Purpose of Klamath County Forestland Classification Review Process
For the first time since 1972, the Klamath County Forest Land Classification Committee (KCFLCC), in conjunction with the Klamath-Lake District of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the Walker Range Fire Patrol Association (WRPA), have reviewed existing forestland classification information in Klamath County and adopted revisions to those classifications.
This classification review process and adopted changes was undertaken to:
• Equitably spread fire protection costs across all lands that are receiving protection services.
• Review approximately 2 million acres of private and public lands within Klamath County
• Better define ODF’s and WRPA’s protection area.
• Create an electronic format for administering assessment roles
• Improve mapping ability.
In addition to using the classification process to determine the correct Forest Patrol Assessments for wildfire protection to owners of forestland, this classification review was also a much-needed housekeeping process that will improve the accuracy of the assessments, as well as the district’s ability to identify changes and errors.
The definition of forestland as stated in applicable Oregon statutes includes most areas with flammable vegetation, including timbered landscapes, and rangeland (grazing land) within ODF’s and WRPA’s protection district boundaries. Forest Patrol Assessments are used in conjunction with State of Oregon General Fund appropriations to maintain and operate ODF’s forest fire suppression system. A different assessment rate is applied to timbered lands and grazing lands.
Klamath County Forestland Classification Maps
Summary of the Klamath County Forestland Classification Process
The Klamath County Forestland Classification Committee held community meetings in several Klamath County locations and held a public hearing in Klamath Falls during January 2013, where draft mapping products were available to review the proposed classification changes, and public input was accepted. Subsequently, the changes in classification were adopted on February 1, 2013, with affected landowners being notified by March 1, 2013. Due to additional public comment a revision of the 2013 classification was conducted and adopted January 16th 2014, with affected landowners being notified by March 1, 2014. The revised forestland classification will be implemented effective July 1, 2014.
The Klamath County Forestland Classification Committee members, defined in statute (Oregon Revised Statute Chapter 526), consisted of three members appointed by the Klamath County Commission, one member appointed by the Director of Oregon State University (OSU), one member appointed by the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal, and one member appointed by ODF. The committee, which convened and began their work in October 2010, was composed of the following members:
• Dewaine Holster Chair (Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal’s representative)
• Dennis Lee, Secretary (ODF representative)
• Brett Johnson, Vice Chair (Klamath County Commission representative)
• Jedediah Smith (OSU Extension representative)
• Edward Livingston (Klamath County Commission representative)
• Echo Murray (Klamath County Commission representative)
More Information on Forestland Classification
A brochure, Surcharge on Improved Lots - Helping Fund Wildfire Protection
, published by ODF, provides explanations about forestland and other categories of fire protection assessments, firefighting actions on lands managed for timber production versus forestlands with improved lots and structures, and other information.
There is also more information on fire protection on ODF's website, particularly on the Publications web page at:www.oregon.gov/odf/Pages/pubs/publications.aspx
(at the top of that page, select "Program Reports", and then, after automatically being directed to that section, scroll down within the "Program Reports" section to the sub-heading of "Protection From Fire Program Publications"), as well as throughout the various sections of the "Fire in the Forest" pages within the site at:
Questions? Contact Us
For Central, Southern, and Eastern Klamath County:
Oregon Department of Forestry
3200 Delap Road
Klamath Falls, OR 97601
For Northern Klamath County:
Walker Range Forest Patrol Association
135393 Highway 97 North
Crescent, OR 97737