GNA Spotlight - August 2023
Authored by Kyle Sullivan-Astor, Federal Forest Restoration, Program Lead, Oregon Department of Forestry
In July 2022, the 66-acre Four Corners Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) commercial thinning project managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Federal Forest Restoration (FFR) Program was completed on the Umatilla National Forest. This project area, adjacent to private ownership, is a result of a long-standing partnership between ODF and the Umatilla National Forest, monumented in a GNA Supplemental Project Agreement signed in 2019. Funding to make this project happen came from FFR Program State General Fund and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region GNA agreement federal funds; this project would not have been feasible without outside funding due to lack of timber value.
The project goals were to improve the project area’s ability to be resilient to disturbances such as wildfire, insect and disease; increase economic activity in Morrow County, OR, and surrounding counties, and improve the overall health of the forest.
The success of this project served as a springboard for larger restoration efforts on the forest. These include the 425-acre Davis GNA and the 506-acre Elbow GNA Commercial Restoration projects, 335 acres of non-commercial fuels reduction work, assisting with the planning of a future restoration project through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, and additional commercial restoration GNA projects still in the planning phases.
An important piece of the overall success of ODF’s partnership with the Umatilla National Forest has been the significant investment of state resources by Oregon’s State Legislature through the ODF-FFR Program. Since the FFR Program’s inception in 2013, the state has invested $1,352,434 in restoration work on the Umatilla National Forest. These investments have supported the Umatilla and Northern Blues Forest Collaboratives, NEPA planning through the FFR Program’s Planning Assistance and Categorical Exclusion (PACE) initiative, and personnel time supporting the preparation and implementation of restoration work.
For more information, contact Kyle Sullivan-Astor.
Photo: Jason Aldrich, FFR Forester