Governor Kate Brown highlighted collaboration's role in sustaining robust rural economies and preserving natural resources in Oregon at a Chairman's Initiative workshop on Monday of the Western Governors' Association.
"We know we accomplish more working together. We have benefited tremendously from this collaboration in Oregon," Gov. Brown said in remarks that kicked off the Bend workshop of the Western Governors' National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.
"I am focused on creating jobs in our timber and rural communities," said Gov. Brown. "In Oregon we continue to pursue strategies to accelerate the pace, scale, and quality of restoration on our federal forests."
As an example, Gov. Brown noted that in 2006 the timber sale program on the Malheur National Forest was effectively zero, with disagreements over forest management stymying progress with the US Forest Service. Since then the formation of the Blue Mountain Forest Partners collaborative has resulted in the reinstatement of active management. That has led to a 200% increase in home sales in the area, as well as school enrollment increases and a decrease in unemployment.
"Our challenges are great," Gov. Brown concluded, "but I am confident our resolve is greater."
Watch Gov. Brown's speech, as well as a keynote by U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon, and all Day One sessions on the WGA YouTube Channel.
The two-day (Jan. 23-24) workshop is the fourth in a series hosted across the West by the Western Governors' Association for the central policy initiative of WGA Chair and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
The initiative is designed to examine forest management programs and investigate collaborative forest landscape restoration. The workshops play a central role in collecting information that will position Western Governors to recommend and promote congressional efforts to improve forest management authorities
Here's where to find the videos of all workshop sessions:
- Welcome, Introductory Remarks: James D. Ogsbury, Executive Director, Western Governors’ Association; Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon; Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief, US Forest Service (USFS).
- Roundtable, Oregon Roundup: Setting the Stage for the Conversation: Moderator: Jason Miner, Natural Resource Policy Manager, Oregon Governor's Office; Panelists: Chad Davis, Partnership and Planning Program Director, Oregon Department of Forestry; Bill Aney, Former Eastside Restoration Coordinator, USFS; Steve Grasty, Judge (Retired), Harney County, Oregon.
- Roundtable: Increasing Resilience for Communities and the Environment: Dealing With Legacy Effects and Adapting to a Changing Climate: Moderator: Cassandra Moseley, University of Oregon; Panelists: Paul Hessberg, USFS; John Stromberg, Mayor of Ashland, Oregon.
- Roundtable: Getting More Out of Collaboration: Moderator: Chad Davis, Partnership and Planning Program Director, Oregon Department of Forestry; Panelists: Travis Joseph, American Forest Resource Coalition; Sean Stevens, Oregon Wild; Mark Webb, Blue Mountain Forest Partners.
- Roundtable: Changing Agency Culture: Moderator: Jim Pena, Regional Forester, USFS; Panelists: Steve Beverlin, Malheur National Forest Supervisor, USFS; Paul Henson, Oregon State Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Mark Stern, The Nature Conservancy.
- Roundtable: Supporting and Diversifying Rural Economies: Day 2 began with remarks by Peter Daugherty, Oregon State Forester. Roundtable Moderator: Tom Insko, Eastern Oregon University; Panelists: Nils Christofferson, Wallowa Resources; Pete Caligiuri, The Nature Conservancy; Sally Russell, Mayor Pro Tem of Bend, Oregon.
- Case Studies: Implementing an All-Hands, All-Lands Approach: Moderator: Karen Hardigg, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition; Panelists: Ron Alvarado, State Conservationist, NRCS; Peter Daugherty, Oregon State Forester; John O’Keeffe, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.
- Distilling Priorities: Jason Miner, Natural Resource Policy Manager, Oregon Governor's Office. This session will conclude with "Next Steps and Final Thoughts" from Troy Timmons, Western Governors' Association.