CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- The U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry are teaming up to help restore local forests. This partnership is a response to the Good Neighbor Authority, which was passed by Congress. It allows state and federal agencies to team up for certain projects.
The restoration will include thinning out more than 3,000 acres of land northwest of Prospect after fire season. It will also keep ODF seasonal firefighters employed through the season.
"It's a good collaboration to help each other out," said ODF public information officer Melissa Cano. "They get the fuels reduced on their land and it also makes a safer habitat for all of our wildlife and in return we get to keep our seasonal employees longer, which means we will have experienced firefighters returning year after year."
The thinning project will include four goals:
- Preserve legacy forest structure (large trees) while moving the ecosystem toward more historic conditions
- Controlled burns to enhance vegetation diversity
- Reduce PLant competition that enables remaining trees develop mature characteristics
- Reduce Fuel loading to minimize fire risks
The first phase of the project is expected to be complete by December 2018 and and the second by July 2019.