Wyden, Merkley Announce More Than $17 Million for Forest Health Projects


Continuing efforts to create jobs for Oregonians, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and
Jeff Merkley announced today that Oregon will receive more than $17 million
from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to protect forests on the South
Coast and in Southern, Central and Eastern Oregon from wild fires, invasive
species and disease outbreaks.

“Oregon’s forests are among the most important natural resources we
have,” Wyden said. “We have an enormous backlog of forests that need to
be restored and this funding will employ hard-working Oregonians to do it.
 By funding projects that reduce wildfire risk, stop diseases from
spreading and reduce populations of harmful insects, we will bring jobs back to
the forest and protect our natural treasures at the same time.”

funds will create jobs for local residents at a time when they need them most,
helping keep our forests healthy from disease and pests and protecting
surrounding communities from the threat of wildfire,” said Merkley. 
“Creating jobs through sustainable forest practices is exactly the kind of
win-win for the short-term and long-term that will make a real difference in
the lives of Oregonians.”

funding will be used for projects in some of the hardest hit areas of the state
where the forests can provide real employment opportunities. Among these
projects are $1 million for forest-wide thinning and $3.6 million for
collaborative restoration projects in Grant County. The funding announced today
will also help to fight invasive species such as the Opine Beetle in Deschutes
County and other plant species throughout large parts of the state. As chairman
of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on Public
Lands and Forests, Wyden has focused on implementing sustainable forestry management
that will improve the health of the forests and bolster the economy of
surrounding communities. These projects complement those efforts.

following funding is exclusively for Oregon:

  • Collaborative
    Restoration Forest Health Support Contracts – $3,630,000

Deschutes County

  • Sudden
    Oak Death Host Reduction
    – $2,692,000

Curry County

  • Northeast
    Oregon Forest Health Block Grant
    – $2,243,000

Baker, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and
Wallowa Counties

  • Ashland
    Forest Resiliency and Timber Stand Improvement – $2,000,000

Jackson County

  • Opine
    Beetle Risk Reduction –

Deschutes County

  • NEO
    Ecosystem / Riparian Restoration
    – $1,795,000

Baker County

  • Terrestrial
    Habitat Enhancement – Botany and Wildlife (Meadows) – $1,400,000

Coos, Curry, Jackson and Josephine

  • Forest-wide
    Thinning – $1,000,000

Grant County

  • Native
    Conifer and Non-Conifer Seed Collection and Production for Restoration
    Projects- $400,000

Baker County

  • ODA
    National Forest Invasive Plant Control and Management – $269,000

Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney,
Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa Counties.

  • Linn
    County Forest Health –

Linn County

following funding will be shared with other states:

  • Research
    on Restoring Critical Habitat for Listed Pacific Salmon – $2,240,000

Siskiyou County, California and Benton
County, Oregon

  • Forests
    Adapting To and Mitigating Climate Change Effects – $1,795,000

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon,

more information about the individual projects mentioned here as well as a full
listing of the ARRA funding released from the Forest Service please visit http://fs.usda.gov/recovery.