How an unlikely group of citizens works to prevent severe wildfires.

Oregon experienced a severe fire season last year which included more than 24,000 acres burned in our backyard.  Will our summer be cut short again with smoke-filled skies and closed trailheads?

Not if the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project team has anything to say about it!  For almost a decade, members of the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project have been working towards improving the health, stability, and fire resiliency of the National Forest lands in Central Oregon. Unlike run-of-the-mill bureaucratic groups, Collaborative team members include recreation enthusiasts, timber industry representatives, environmentalists, local government officials, and other community members representing very diverse viewpoints.

How does a team with contrasting perspectives successfully work together to create healthier forests?  Can a team like this be a role model for other communities in the West hoping to prevent severe wildfires?

Representatives from the Collaborative join City Club to talk about the challenges of forest restoration and the innovative solutions created by bringing together varying viewpoints.

To learn more about the current state of western wildlands and their susceptibility to severe wildfire, please watch this TEDxBend Talk by Paul Hessburg before the forum

Exclusive introduction by Sally Russell, Bend City Council, and moderated by Craig Letz, retired Fire Staff Officer for the Central Oregon Fire Management Service.

Panelists include:

  • David StoweSierra Club – environmentalist dedicated to protecting the environment
  • Melanie FisherCentral Oregon Trail Alliance – represents recreation in Central Oregon
  • Peter CaligiuriThe Nature Conservancy – provides the science around conserving natural resources
  • Chris Johnson, VP Timber Operations at Whitefish Cascade Forest Resource, LLC. – represents the forest products industry and supporting rural jobs.

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