The State of the Dry Forest Zone and its Communities

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Title: The State of the Dry Forest Zone and its Communities
Author: Davis, Emily Jane; Moseley, Cassandra; Nielsen-Pincus, Max; Abrams, Jesse; Brady, Cullen; Christoffersen, Nils; Davis, Chad; Enzer, Maia J.; Gordon, Josef; Goulette, Nick; Jungwirth, Lynn; Jungwirth, Jim; Kauffman, Marcus; McCarthy, Tyler; Shannon, Patrick; Sundstrom, Shiloh
Abstract: The Dry Forest Zone is a region of eastern Oregon and northern California with challenging market conditions and high levels of poverty and unemployment. However, local entrepreneurship, collaboration, and commitment to integrated economic development and natural resource management in the zone are strong. In the past decade, the scope of community-based nonprofits, integrated biomass utilization businesses, and new networks has increased, fostering sustainable forest stewardship at an increasingly regional scale. The geography and climate of the zone support dry forests of pine and mixed conifer with fire regimes that are departed from their historical range of variability. These forests are prone to wildfire hazards and in need of active management to restore more diverse and variable-aged structures. As 68 percent of the land in the zone is public, the communities of this region rely on the economic and ecological productivity of these federal forests. The number of sawmills that once provided high levels of primary processing capacity and employment has shrunk to nine mills in the zone. More forest-related employment is now forestry support work, including activities such as firefighting, pest control, and thinning. Poverty and unemployment have increased, with estimated poverty levels in 2007 of over 15 percent in ten of the fifteen counties. Through the Dry Forest Zone project, we have an opportunity to build on the local strengths of this region and overcome these ecological and socioeconomic challenges.
Description: 94 p.
Date: 2010-04

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