Collaboration & Coordination
Since its inception as a “knitting circle” in 2002 and later as the Southern Oregon Small Diameter Collaborative, Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative (SOFRC) remains focused on bringing diverse groups together to resolve forest management issues.
In 2010, SOFRC hosted the Solutions for Forest Conference at Southern Oregon University. This initial convening of 200 participants from regional, state, and federal organizations was instrumental in identifying the underlying socio-political underpinnings of successful forest management projects and substantially improving the political climate and awareness to address Southern Oregon’s forest health issues.
During the Conference, discussions primarily focused on challenges to landscape-scale restoration and identifying obstacles to socially, economically, and ecologically beneficial management of forests in southern Oregon. Objectives also included identifying strategies to promote public understanding and increase support to foster a collaborative approach to forest restoration in the region. As a result, Conference attendees identified and visited what would later become the Pilot Joe project, the first phase of the Middle Applegate Dry Forest Restoration project.
SOFRC connects the latest scientific data, public engagement, cross-boundary learning opportunities, coordination, and administrative support that forest restoration groups need to succeed.
In the ensuing years, SOFRC continues to involve land management agencies and many local organizations to produce strategies for restoring forests and protecting communities for the entire Rogue Basin.
Two recent projects, the Rogue Valley Integrated Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and the Rogue Basin Cohesive Forest Restoration Strategy illustrate our successful collaboration between counties, agencies, and the state to work towards a common goal.
SOFRC engages and collaborates with multiple organizations throughout the Rogue Basin, and the list is only growing.
Recent Coordination Milestones
SOFRC served as coordinator in collaboration with partners to develop the Rogue Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI), a prominent landscape-scale restoration project funded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. Out of this collaboration, the Rogue Forest Partners formed, coordinated by SOFRC, and is now ten organizations strong with expertise in implementing large landscape-scale projects.
SOFRC sponsored the Rogue Leadership Forum and All-Lands Workshop that brought 250 people together with participation from local, state, and national officials, agencies, local conservation groups, and a sizeable tribal presence to support landscape restoration and implementation of the Rogue Basin Strategy.
SOFRC coordinated the Rogue Forest Partners to develop a 10-year USDA Forest Service Collaborative Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) proposal. Nationally competitive, the Rogue Basin CFLR project was selected and is expected to be funded in late 2022.
Rogue Forest Partners
The Rogue Forest Partners (RFP) are a group of four nonprofits and six public agencies working as one for the communities and forests of the Rogue Basin. The diverse partnership works together to sustain healthy, adaptive fire-resilient forests and communities with scientifically sound and culturally wise investments in forestry, skilled forest workers, and safe, effective fire management.
SOFRC’s participation with RFP extends beyond being a member; we also act in coordination, grant writing, and fiduciary roles for the organization.