Policy & Development

SOFRC works with state and regional organizations to promote the work of collaboratives, share good ideas and promote support for the Rogue Basin. We are steering committee members of the Sustainable Northwest Oregon Forest Collaborative Network, active with the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, and work with multiple state and federal conservation and land management organizations.

Through collaboration, we can amplify our voices in support of state and national legislative efforts to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration.

SOFRC Executive Director, Terry Fairbanks testified in 2019 at an Oregon State Senate hearing about the role of collaboratives in supporting wildfire management efforts. Along with other testimony, these hearings helped to inform legislators about the role of collaboratives in increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration.

Marko Bey, SOFRC Board President, testified before Congress in 2019, regarding the importance of active forest management. He stressed that our model of forest restoration balances an ecological, economic, and climate-smart approach to reducing the risk of wildfires at the same time as addressing the socio-economic challenges faced by forest-based communities.

After a century of fire suppression, climate change, and drought conditions, the Rogue Valley is at high risk of uncharacteristic wildfire and in need of active restoration. Following the devastating 2020 wildfire season, public opinion polls found an exponential increase in concern for smoke impacts and public safety — Rogue Valley residents are ready to see active forest management.

Here’s what’s happening in Salem right now:

Oregon Senate Bill 762:  SOFRC has signed on to support this Bill led by Senator Jeff Golden.

From land-use planning to mapping, fire organization staffing, investment in wildfire risk reduction treatments, and training, this bill is widely supported and endorsed. 

SB-762 is important because Oregon has stepped up to invest in wildfire risk reduction in a comprehensive and significant way. We thank our legislators and all the organizations who mobilized to pass this bill!

Oregon state capital building

Whether it is smoke management, wildfire mitigation, forest restoration, or climate change, the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative stays informed and engaged.