Hear about our collaborative from Oregon Public Broadcasting's Oregon Field Guide! After the “Timber Wars” left both sides with deep animosity, loggers and environmentalists have done the unthinkable in Eastern Oregon: they've worked together to find common ground—and even become friends. This is the story of the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, one of the most successful forest collaboratives in the Pacific Northwest.
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For a millennium, surface fires burned thousands of acres of ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests in the southern Blue Mountains every year. Today, the nature of fire has changed. In 2015, 110,000 acres burned, much of it a high severity fire that killed thousands of acres of old growth pine and destroyed more than 40 homes. The behavior of fires like the Canyon Creek Complex is driven by dense forests and the build-up of surface fuels over more than 100 years since fire was excluded from the landscape.
Thinning forests captures the economic value of timber, ...