Ashland Forest Resilency Project

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Lomakatsi is working in partnership with the City of Ashland, The Nature Conservancy and the US Forest Service on a 10-year collaborative effort to reduce the risk of severe wildfire, secure clean drinking water, and protect forests, wildlife, habitat, people, property, local economy and the quality of life in Ashland.

Lomakatsi brings over 20 years of ecological restoration experience to the partnership. Our highly skilled staff bring extensive programmatic capacity to the AFR project. Our forest restoration technicians design and supervise the implementation of forest restoration projects within the Ashland watershed. Our program staff develops and raises funds to implement important public programs that engage the community in active restoration of the watershed through education and tours. Additionally Lomakatsi brings our adult Workforce Training and Youth Training and Employment programs to the AFR project.

Since 2010, over 4,000 out of 7,600 acres of community wildfire safety and forest restoration work has been completed under the AFR Project. Roughly 1,000 log truck loads went to local mills, supporting local communities and families,. Over 200 seasonal jobs are supported by the project annually.

Burning is a critical step and is ongoing as conditions allow. We make every effort to keep smoke away from town, but some smoke is inevitable. We apologize for any smoky days and will keep trying to minimize smoke impacts to town.

The best of its kind

This innovative solution to a complex problem is a model for forest restoration. The ongoing success on the ground results from tremendous collaboration in active restoration, public engagement, and co- investment by the city, state and federal agencies.

Recognition

With ongoing successes, the project attracted federal awards of $8.3 million toward completion on federal lands, and $1 million for strategic treatments on critical private lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic damage to the watershed and forests upon which Ashland and the surrounding community relies. These projects have generated $1.5 million in receipts that have been reinvested in the watershed. Additionally, the non-federal partners have contributed $1.6 million into the project.

A Model of Collaboration

Since 2010, the AFR partnership has reduced the threat of severe wildfires in a high value landscape through collaboration among a large and diverse group of governmental bodies, environmental organizations, citizens, private businesses and community groups. A commitment to achieving shared goals on a larger cohesive landscape reduces the risk from high severity wildfire, secures drinking water, and sustains forests that provide for wildlife and a high quality of life for residents. Including key private lands is essential to success.

Community engagement, youth, workforce training

Over 2,000 youth have participated in class presentations and field activities about watershed function, ecology and forest stewardship. In addition, 40 local high school students participate each summer in hands-on training designed to inspire interest in natural resource career paths. Worker training is ingrained in the ongoing day to day operations, elevating knowledge, experience, and leadership.

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In the Ashland Watershed, younger fir trees grow densely in the absence of naturally occurring wildfire. Here, a legacy pine tree is preserved as small encroaching fir trees are removed.

Click below for printable fact sheets and flyers:

Additional information and updates can be found on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project website, and Facebook page.


Previous AFR Activities and Accomplishments

Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Ashland Fire & Rescue work to restore watershed ecosystem: Click here for the News 10 video and article from 3/3/2017

Logging to Thrive: Click here for the Ashland Daily Tidings article on helicopter thinning on 1/6/2016.

Ashland Watershed Youth Training and Employment Program -> Trail work in Ashland’s Watershed.  8/1/13. Click here for story and photos

Lomakatsi Workforce Update: During spring 2013, as part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project, Lomakatsi employed approximately 15 forest workers, 2 workforce trainers, 2 forest technicians, 2 project inspectors and a 5 person staff, working part to full-time on the AFR project. A total of 50 workers were seasonally employed while receiving training and education in ecological forestry practices, skill sets, and approaches. The workers on these forest crews perform demanding manual labor to implement complex ecological restoration prescriptions in difficult terrain, weather and forest conditions. With their boots on the ground and hands on the land, they are the collective backbone aimed at creating a fire-resilient watershed.  Posted on Facebook, Monday, 7/8/13

ASHLAND WATERSHED UPDATE: Spring/Summer 2013 Ashland Forest Resiliency Project News.  For a pdf of this report by AFRP, click here.

2013 – Media and Videos

Fire for Water – Forest Restoration for Ashland“, As part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project, this video helps describe the significance of the work in Ashland’s watershed. 8/12/13.

Fire Line to the Future: Students learn forestry skills while helping improve the health of Ashland’s watershed, July 23, 2013, by Paul Fattig, Ashland Daily Tidings, re. Lomakatsi’s Ashland Watershed Youth Training and Employment Program

Fire knows no boundaries: Crews thin forest above Ashland on Forest Service, city and private lands, June 22, 2013, by Vickie Aldous, Ashland Daily Tidings.  “Work that is going on now around Ashland is being held up as one of six national models for cross-boundary wildfire fuels reduction work.” Ashland Fire Resiliency Project

2012 – Media

Managing to make it work: Ashland watershed cooperative thinning project producing results, July 26, 2012, by Sam Wheeler, Medford Mail Tribune.

2011 – Media

This video by the City of Ashland is an overview of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project. This project in the Ashland Watershed is designed to reduce fire danger, promote forest health, protect the community and older forest habitat in the forests in the source of the City’s municipal water supply. 9/7/2011.

2010 – Media

Restoration Initiation, watershed thinning begins, 5-25-10 (pdf) Lomakatsi crews began work Monday on 7,600-acre project to reduce combustibles. by Vickie Aldous, Ashland Daily Tidings, ADT website link

City joins watershed partnership — Thinning project should reduce wildfire threat, by Vickie Aldous, Ashland Daily Tidings, January 20, 2010

City to look at forest thinning plan teamwork — Economic and cultural development grants up for discussion, by Vickie Aldous, Ashland Daily Tidings, January 18, 2010

Accomplishments in 2010: LRP is working in an innovative partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the City of Ashland, and the US Forest Service. Since last spring, 100 acres of work has been done, reducing fire hazards and improving habitat in this Late Successional Reserve (LSR) established to protect the northern spotted owl and other old-growth dependent species. LRP and partners have been busy in the field designing and planning future projects on several hundred acres, which will take place this coming year. Over 3,000 acres are planned to be completed over the next several years.

Federal Land Stewardship Contracting For more info on the program that makes the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project possible, click here

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