Strategic, shared stewardship for a resilient landscape
West Bear All-Lands Restoration Project (West Bear) implements strategic forest health and wildfire reduction treatments adjacent to communities and important human and natural assets across a contiguous landscape extending from Ashland to Medford, west of the I-5 corridor, and across into the Jacksonville foothills.
Administered by Rogue Forest Partners, West Bear builds upon over a decade of successful collaborative forest restoration, hazardous fuels reduction, and community wildfire protection and response to recent emergencies by leveraging and deploying targeted resources into an area of urgent need. The partnership coordinates a large, sustained effort that incorporates tribal rights and perspectives, workforce development, public health and safety, and social equity.
Lomakatsi is the principal recipient of grant funding for West Bear and the lead partner for West Bear planning and design, implementation and monitoring, prescribed fire prescription development, community outreach, workforce, and engagement.
The fragmented ownership, susceptibility to wildfire, concentration of homes, and economic significance require an immediate and coordinated all-lands management approach.
This landscape is part of a region that harbors some of the most biodiversity on the continent, providing habitat to a variety of threatened and endangered species. The region has also experienced socio-economic challenges following the decline of the timber industry and is attempting to sustain quality stewardship and manufacturing jobs, while developing new recreation and tourism-oriented opportunities.
History of West Bear
West Bear began with a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program award for $500,000 to Lomakatsi Restoration Project through the Oregon Office of Emergency Management in 2020.
Additional funding and partner co-investment for West Bear has since grown to over $11 million. Most recently, the Rogue Forest Partners, including Lomakatsi, and collaborating agencies have begun coordinating with a diverse suite of public and private organizations to develop and implement the project.
No previous forest and wildfire management project has sought this level of public engagement, partnership, applied scientific theory, and rigorous monitoring to provide clear and demonstrable public benefit at a significant scale.
This project cannot prevent all fires, but it will achieve a meaningful reduction of wildfire risk to forest lands and communities on a 28,000-acre footprint in the Wildland Urban Interface.