Published June 28, 2022

We were honored to host Senator Ron Wyden and his team today at a West Bear All-Lands Restoration Project worksite in Talent, Oregon. The Senator met with Lomakatsi’s crew and staff, and partners, and discussed the importance of strategic ecological fuels reduction for forest health and community safety.

We also discussed how this work supports local living wage jobs, including for many Tribal and Latino community members. We’re grateful for Senator Wyden’s long-standing support for ecological restoration in the Rogue Valley and beyond, and for his and Senator Jeff Merkley’s leadership in securing $500,000 in congressionally directed spending to Lomakatsi for this project, that will be used for an additional 300-400 acres of ecological fuels reduction in and around the City of Jacksonville this fall.

West Bear is a collaborative effort between Lomakatsi, Rogue Forest Partners, Jackson County Fire District #5 IAFF Local 2596, Sustainable Northwest, and many other partners, with the goal of reducing the risk of severe wildfire across a 27,000-acre project area, spanning the wildland urban interface between Talent, Phoenix, southwest Medford, and Jacksonville. Partners plan to strategically treat 10,800 acres of the overall footprint with ecological thinning and prescribed pile burning to achieve a substantial reduction in wildfire risk across the landscape.

Many thanks to Senator Wyden for his leadership, the Lomakatsi crew for all their hard work, and our partners from Rogue Forest Partners, The Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and City of Jacksonville for joining us today—and to the many others who make this work possible.

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