East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains Partnership
Sign Up Today --- Application deadline is May 16, 2014!
Funding is now available to improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire on your land through active forest management.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) have entered into a partnership to provide technical assistance and cost sharing opportunities for private forestland owners.
To lean more, contact your local NRCS field office.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced a multi-year partnership with the United States Forest Service to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation.
Fuel Reduction - Before
The project, called the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership, will invest $30 million in 13 projects across the country and over $2.6 million in Oregon, to help mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and supply and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.
The 13 priority projects will build on existing projects with local partnerships already in place. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and FS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds.
In Oregon, the project will focus on the East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains. Funding will be targeted on the landscape to augment and increase fuels reduction activities on adjoining private, federal and state lands. The East Face area contains high to very high wildfire potential on both public and private land. This goal of this work is to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire to a number of private residences across three separate Wildand Urban Interfaces. This will also reduce the threat of wildlfire to the watersheds that contain the municiple water supply for La Grande and Baker City. The project area also contains key habitat for federally threatened bulltrout, steelhead and Chinook salmon.
A number of options exist for utilizing additional resources, based on partnership priorities. Examples include:
Treat an additional 3,500-4,000 acres on NIPF thereby reducing fire hazards, benefiting wildlife, improving water quality and quantity, and supporting the health of the local economy;
Implement fuels treatment practices like Pre-Commercial Thinning and Slash Treatment;
Augment stewardship projects to focus on commercial removal in and adjacent to WUI areas, approximately 2,000-4,000 acres;
Enhance limited resources for in-stream work to remove fish barriers and strengthen existing partnerships with the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla and Bonneville Power Administration to further project implementation; and
Utilize rural fire departments and state resources to implement burning and therefore further their training specific to wildland fire.
Vegetation treatments could increase the resilience of forests in La Grande’s municipal watershed, resulting in improved water storage, regulation of flow and sustained water quality. By reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, restoration treatments could also avoid future costs related to fire, including loss of municipal infrastructure and impaired water quality due to erosion.
Fuel Reduction - After
The Measure of Success
Fuel reduction activities will reduce the likelihood of fire spread onto private lands and reduce severity of fire impacts on water quality and elk forage in upland areas. These fuels reduction activities will protect infrastructure related to Anthony Lakes Recreation area, the access corridor, and investments by Baker County.
East Face Project Map (PDF, 248 KB)
East Face Flyer (PDF, 7 MB)
Parker Ussery, 541-523-7121
Logan McCrae, 541-523-5831
Mike Burton, 541-963-4178 ext. 108
Jamie Knight, 541-963-3168