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Ashland Forest All-Lands Restoration Project

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Wildfire Knows No Boundaries

For thousands of years, frequent low intensity fires maintained open, healthy forests and reduced the risk of severe wildfire, as well as insects and disease infestation. Today, over a century of fire suppression has left forests and oak woodlands dense, unhealthy, and at risk of severe wildfire.

The Solution: A Model of Collaboration

Private landowners, agencies, non-profits and other partners joined forces to tackle wildfire threats on public and private lands. It began in 2010 on U.S. Forest Service land with the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) Stewardship Project, and today it has evolved to include all lands in a cohesive strategy called the Ashland Forest All Lands Restoration (AFAR).

By working together across public and private land boundaries, the project reduces the critical risk of severe wildfire in a changing climate, while securing clean drinking water, protecting forests and wildlife, habitat, people, property, the local economy, and quality of life.

See what the project has accomplished--it's pretty spectacular!

Who are the AFAR Partners?

AshlandMap_2015

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Project Location

Federal and non-industrial private forest lands in and around the Ashland Creek Watershed in Jackson County, Oregon. The watershed includes the municipal water supply for the City of Ashland with more than 20,000 residents. The targeted area includes:

  • 4,000 acres of Forest Service land
  • 4,200 acres of privately-owned forest land

Project Objectives:

  • Reduce and mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire to communities and landowners on public and private lands;
  • Protect water quality and water supply in the Ashland Municipal Watershed; and
  • Improve and protect quality wildlife habitat for threatened, endangered, and at-risk species (such as Pacific Fisher, Northern Spotted Owl, and Coho salmon).

Wildfire Risk in Jackson County:

  • Jackson County consistently experiences one of the highest occurrences of wildfire in Oregon and has suffered devastating losses to quality of life, property, natural resources, and community infrastructure.
  • The Oregon Department of Forestry considers Southwest Oregon a hot-spot for wildfire. This region has recorded more incidences of wildfire, more money spent, and greater resources used to reduce wildfire’s impacts than anywhere else in the state.
  • Jackson County ranked second in a survey of 417 counties in 11 western states for risk to development in fire prone areas adjacent to public lands.
  • The local wildfire risk assessment rates the Ashland Watershed and surrounding wild land- urban interface (WUI) as the highest for composite fire risk out of 84 strategic planning units in the county.

NRCS Conservation Practices:

  • Forest Management Activity Plan
  • Forest Stand Improvement
  • Tree/Shrub Pruning
  • Woody Residue Treatment
  • Tree/Shrub Site Prep
  • Tree and Shrub Establishment
  • Fuel Break
  • Fire Break
  • Fish and Wildlife Structure
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Prescribed Burning
  •  Brush management
  • Conservation Cover

Points of Contact

Erin Kurtz, District Conservationist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
89 Alder St. Central Point, OR 97502
Phone: 541-664-1070 ext 408
Email: Erin.Kurtz@or.usda.gov

Don Boucher, Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project Manager
U.S. Forest Service
6941 Upper Applegate Rd. Jacksonville, OR 97530
Phone: 541-538-9635
Email: dboucher@fs.fed.us