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Why Should Communities Get Involved?
CWPP Success stories in Oregon
Overview

Forested landscape CWPPs have helped communities work together to achieve common goals and deal with often controversial issues. CWPPs have offered many valuable opportunities to communities, allowing them to identify local priorities for community protection and resource management. In addition to enhancing safety and reducing risk to human structures and watersheds, communities with CWPPs are also given priority for USFS and BLM funded hazardous fuels reduction projects as authorized under the HFRA. In the end, CWPPs have helped communities better protect themselves for fire risk and better manage their forested landscape.
 
The collaborative efforts of foresters from the federal and state agencies, rural fire departments, private landowners, local government agencies, volunteer organizations, and concerned citizens who live in the wildland urban interface, have resulted in signed CWPPs in every county and many communities across Oregon.
 
Quotes from ODF foresters
 
From Southwest Oregon (Jackson and Josephine Counties): "Fuels treatment and fire prevention efforts are all around us. It is a great time to get people involved. The big fires of 2002 and 2003 have brought fire protection into our living rooms. As a result, little groups are springing up everywhere and are receiving education and assistance to help them understand what they can do to create defensible space in their communities; they are providing a lot of energy to the CWPP effort. In some cases we are seeing projects accomplished even when grant money isn't available. People are now spreading out, away from their homes, and modifying fuels beyond the immediate defensible space area. Success is not just the development of a document, it is the connections that those in the forestry/fire professions are making with non traditional partners in their communities." 
 
From Northeast Oregon: "What we have gained from this experience is something you can't capture in a written document. We have enlightened the public about our roles (all agencies) in wildfire protection and what they (the public) can do to help themselves. The public understands what fuels reduction means and how collaborative efforts with all the agencies can help to reduce the risk of fire in the interface and at the same time increase the resiliency of the forests in which they live. It is difficult to report the success of community planning efforts - you can't measure the public's appreciation of the efforts that foresters and fire experts have put into helping them create defensible space around their homes and working towards longer term forest health improvements." 
 
From the Crescent/Gilchrist area: "Our CWPP steering group received a wonderful compliment from the private sector in one of our high risk, high priority areas. They were proud to be involved with a group that is so well represented by ALL agencies and interests, even industrial timber land owners. They couldn't believe that so many people have come together to give so many volunteer hours for the cause of Community Wildfire Protection."
 
From Lane County in the Southern Willamette Valley: "In Lane County an extensive working structure has been established for developing a county-wide CWPP. The plan development process involves bringing together local, state and federal fire agencies as well as public and private landowners to contribute to the plan content. Local fuel reduction strategies and public outreach programs already in place will be identified and documented as well as opportunities for implementing new ones."

For additional information
please contact:
 
Kristin Babbs, National Fire Plan Coordinator
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State Street
Salem, OR  97301
Phone: (503) 945-7444
kbabbs@odf.state.or.us