A delay in the state’s wildfire risk map may have put a portion of Senate Bill 762 on hold.  But another part of that legislation that looks to mitigate wildfires is enjoying some success.


SB762 set aside $20 million in grants for nonprofits, local governments, conservation districts, private landowners and federal partners to make their landscapes more resistant to wildfire.  Grant Coordinator Jenna Trentadue said the funds provide reimbursement for prescribed burning, forest thinning, invasive grass removal and more.


“It really covers how we’re doing some actionable items out on the ground, to really minimize that risk to communities, to resources and kind of address the landscape-scale type of projects that we need to be implementing to help keep our state safe from those catastrophic wildfires."


So far, the Oregon Department of Forestry has doled out about $9 million, resulting in roughly 153,000 acres treated statewide.  Trentadue said regardless of the practice, improved forest health is the ultimate goal.


“How do we keep our trees healthy so that they can survive through drought.  And sometimes, removing some of the trees and thinning out the areas can reduce the competition between the trees.  So that’s the type of thing we’re looking for in this type of grant, where we can emphasize the health of the trees and the resiliency to both drought and wildfire."


ODF has a goal of impacting more than 200,000 acres before the grant program ends in June.


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