Across the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington, more than 2.3 million acres of dry forests have become overcrowded and vulnerable to unusual outbreaks of insects, diseases, and wildfires. The current pace of active forest restoration, with thinning and prescribed burning, is not keeping pace with forest growth.
The Blue Mountains Forest Resiliency Project is an effort to rapidly restore more than a half million acres of forests on the Ochoco, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. For perspective, this project is more than ten times the average size of current forest restoration projects. Where current forest project planning can take several years to complete, this project aims to complete the process in just over one year. Planning at this pace and scale requires innovative approaches to project design and analysis, testing ways to reach National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decisions differently, and working closely with tribes, communities, and forest collaborative groups. Read more here.