New Collaborative Effort Promises Healthier Forests
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeff Allen, Coordinator, 541.490.9021 (cell)
May 7, 2007
New collaborative effort promises healthier forests
MEDFORD, ORE – A highly unusual coalition has reached an agreement that promises progress on at least one front in southern Oregon’s long-running “timber wars.”
Members of the Southern Oregon Small Diameter Stewardship Collaborative will appear before Jackson County Commissioners on Wednesday morning to announce that the group has reached consensus on a plan to significantly increase the removal of small diameter trees from uncharacteristically dense forests in the Rogue Basin.
“This extremely diverse group has agreed on a strategic plan, developed a set of project guidelines, and signed a formal declaration committing ourselves to apply these guidelines on the ground, starting with a major project of 10,000 acres or more,” notes Collaborative member Darren Borgias of The Nature Conservancy.
“This agreement gives us the best opportunity in years to get past stalemate so we can begin taking steps to reduce the risk of more catastrophic wildfires on our public lands,” notes Collaborative member Dave Schott of the Southern Oregon Timber Industry Association. “Furthermore, if we can get these projects going on a regular schedule, I believe the resulting supply of material will attract new business investment and create new jobs in the region.”
“Most conservationists support thoughtful projects that remove small trees from overcrowded forests,” stated Joseph Vaile of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, The guidelines developed by this group will help ensure that projects do, in fact, restore southern Oregon’s outstanding public forests.”
Project coordinator Jeff Allen has been facilitating the group’s work over the past six months through the Southwest Oregon Resource Conservation & Development Council. “This group has come a long way from its beginnings in a living room two years ago,” he noted. “We are now poised to accomplish great things for our forests, our communities, and our economy.”
The Collaborative will testify before the Jackson County Commission as part of the regularly scheduled Commission meeting on Wednesday, May 9 at 9:30 AM in the Jackson County Courthouse. More information is online at http://pacrimrcd.org/page.asp?navid=313
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