Projects and Stories

Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program

Collaborative partnerships are restoring Oregon and Washington’s national forests through an innovative program.

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Blue Mountains Forest Partners collaborative works toward broad forest restoration. Photo by: Blue Mountain Eagle

Oregon and Washington have some of the most diverse and complex forest ecosystems in the West. The forests provide us with clean air and water, public space for recreational pursuits, economic opportunities for rural communities, and are essential habitat for fish and wildlife. And yet, due to decades of fire suppression, past land management activities, and conflict over the best use of forest resources, we have seen our national forests become unhealthy, overgrown, and prone to severe wildfire.

To address these ecological and economic challenges, Sustainable Northwest is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to grow an innovative program that will restore ecosystem health and create jobs in forest restoration.

In 2009, Sustainable Northwest educated members of Congress on legislation that would create the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), Congress passed the legislation providing the opportunity for the Forest Service to implement the national program for 10 years. By requiring collaboration, the CFLRP brings together public and private land managers, conservation interests, and tribes to benefit forest ecosystems and rural economies through accelerated landscape-scale forest restoration. This approach represents a key change in the way the Forest Service conducts business. Five national forests are participating in the Pacific Northwest: the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, and Malheur National Forests in Oregon, and the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests in Washington.

Under the CFLRP, these five forests are engaged in 10-year projects that take a landscape scale approach to forest restoration that includes utilization of local wood products and enhancing the ecological resilience of our national forests. We are already seeing tremendous results for rural areas, including job creation and job stability, a reliable wood supply for local mills and market infrastructure, restored forest health, improved community safety, and reduced fire suppression costs.

To increase the effectiveness of the CFLRP work across the Pacific Northwest, Sustainable Northwest is partnering with the Forest Service to coordinate a Region 6 CFLRP Network that supports peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge and experience. For more information about upcoming CFLRP events, visit our events page.

Goals of the network:

  • Connect participants from the five Region 6 CFLRP projects and other high priority restoration areas in Oregon and Washington for learning and sharing. 
  • Identify core needs, challenges and successes in CFLRP planning and implementation.
  • Share successful practices to enhance wildlife habitat, reduce the risk of wildfire, combat invasive species and restore watershed health.
  • Ensure effective participation of agency staff and collaborative group participants. 

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Network participants: 

    Deschutes Skyline Project

    Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative

    Southern Blues Restoration Coalition

    Lakeview Stewardship Project

    Northeast Washington Forest Vision 2020

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For more information contact:

Patrick Shannon, Sustainable Northwest Forest Program Director

pshannon@sustainablenorthwest.org, (503) 221-6911 x 117

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Resources:

Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act

U.S. Forest Service Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program