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Forestland Evaluation Continues In Jackson & Josephine Counties

Both counties are in the process of classifying land as protected or not to find out where the Oregon Department of Forestry's resources are needed most.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 8:46 AM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- More than half of the lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties have been reviewed to determine protection for fire season. It's a process that happens every five years and it determines where in both counties ODF resources will be needed most. One ODF fire prevention specialist says this year's evaluation is vital as both areas have seen significant growth over the past few years. 

"Jackson, Josephine County - we're growing in regards to not only our population but structures built....Let's say there are 10 to 20 new homes down the road from you. And because they've been built in the past few years or so, maybe they're not paying their forest patrol assessment yet. We want to make sure everyone is held accountable, paying the right rate."

The classification process is performed by a committee that determines land as "forestland" or "not forestland" according to four standards:

  1. Fire resk potential
  2. Vegetation Type (fire fuel)
  3. Community Structure
  4. Proximity to other forestland

It's a long process as the committee must get through all of both county's 1.8 million acres. They hope to have the process done by fire season 2019. If your land is newly classified or at a different rate, there's an upcoming meeting on Tuesday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. at ODF's location on Table Rock Road that is open to the public.

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