Workshops & Webinars
Unprecedented fire and smoke impacts across Jackson, Josephine, and Curry Counties have galvanized public and political will to address fire issues. The Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative responded to this by hosting a leadership forum and workshop to focus on needed proactive fuels treatments and advanced wildfire planning.
These elements are considered critical for achieving the three central objectives of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: fire-adapted communities, safe and effective wildfire response, and resilient landscapes.
SOFRC and partners planned the meetings in part to highlight the Rogue Basin Cohesive Forest Restoration Strategy (RBS) developed by SOFRC. That strategy provides a vision of a strategic approach that can catalyze co-aligned investment toward integrated land management that accounts for fire, conservation of diverse habitats, climate adaptation, and human well-being. The State of Oregon supports this middle path forward and has funded the Rogue Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI) based on the RBS.
These events represent the shared desire for actively engaging in proactive wildfire planning, forest thinning, and controlled burning to ensure a better future for people and forests of the Rogue Basin.
Rogue Leadership Forum
The design of the Leadership Forum provided a venue for staff and elected leaders in federal, tribal, state, county, and local governments to share their views on integrating fire and land management.
A broad base of elected officials participated in the leadership forum, including commissioners from Jackson, Josephine, and Curry counties as well as elected officials and staff from tribes, city government, state, and federal legislatures. Leaders from the local federal land management agencies, Rogue Valley Fire Chiefs, rural fire districts, and organizations representing conservation, business, industry, climate change, and social justice, as well as others also participated. Participation in the All Lands Workshop was composed of similar partner groups but shifted to specialists and community stakeholders.
SOFRC operates throughout southwest Oregon with a focus on the Rogue Basin. We currently communicate through email, website, community meetings, workshops, and events. The most common methods of communication are through meetings with agency partners at districts and field offices to share information, coordinate joint projects, attend and lead field trips.
In light of ongoing COVID-19 health and safety concerns, SOFRC does not presently have an in-person workshop scheduled, but we are expanding our online offerings via Zoom. In the coming year restoration, community protection, maintaining wood manufacturing capacity, and citizen engagement will find us deeply engaged.
Integrated Land Management: All Lands Workshop
The All Lands Workshop provided a technical venue to share emerging approaches for robust collaborative land management and to serve as a launch platform for the Rogue Forest Restoration Initiative. A key outcome was the collaborative development of Potential wildfire Operational Delineations (PODs). This exercise began drawing anticipated wildfire control lines, collaboratively mapping a proactive approach to planning and implementing treatments in the right places, and informing wildfire fire responses with data and understanding developed before fires start.
Strong participation by the tribes, coordinated by Lomakatsi Restoration Project, produced a historic tribal influence at the leadership forum and highlighted the significant potential for tribes and land managers to co-invest and co-manage in work on ancestral tribal lands. Tribal land management professionals and eco-cultural restoration practitioners shared their knowledge of living with and utilizing fire as a placed-based ecological management tool.