Senate Bill 762 is comprehensive legislation passed with bipartisan support that will provide more than $220 million to help Oregon modernize and improve wildfire preparedness through three key strategies: creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective response, and increasing the resiliency of Oregon's landscapes. The bill is the product of years of hard work by the Governor's Wildfire Council, the Legislature, and state agencies.
Section 24 of this bill directs the Oregon Department of Forestry to establish a competitively awarded grant program to support small forestland owners in reducing wildfire risk. The legislature approved $5 million in grant funding for projects that reduce wildfire risk through the restoration of landscape resiliency and the reduction of hazardous fuels (vegetation) on a small forestland owner’s property.
The application period for both components of the Small Forestland Grant Program are now open. Applications for Small Forestland Grants must be sent to email@example.com by Jan. 21, 2022. Read the Firewise USA community application for where to submit applications. Firewise USA applications are due by Jan. 14, 2022. Please review the documents linked below to see how to prepare a proposal that will be eligible, and selection criteria that will be used to select project proposals for grant awards. All project work for either program component must be completed before June 15, 2023.
The Small Forestland Grant Program is offering two funding opportunities: the Small Forestland Grant, and Firewise USA community support. Both opportunities will require grant dollars to be spent reducing the risk of high severity wildfire through the reduction of hazardous fuel on small forestland owner properties. Both opportunities will prioritize high risk watersheds, but lower risk watersheds are not excluded from applying. See
Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer's Overall Watershed Risk Layer. All invoices from both program components will need to be submitted no later than June 15, 2023. Below is a brief overview of these two funding opportunities.
1) Small Forestland Grant (see Call for Proposals)
- $4.25 million to fund a competitive grant program to support small forestland owners. In addition to the priorities listed above, successful project submissions will display a collaborative implementation process including working with multiple landowners in pre-existing strategic planning areas and leveraging the collective power of public-private partnerships.
Landowner fuel treatment that burned during a wildfire in 2021. The treatment prevented the fire from reaching the canopy, protected trees and helped firefighters directly engage the fire front.
2) Firewise Community Support
- $750,000 will be available to support Firewise USA sites and their neighbors via a competitive grant award. Priority will be given to communities outside urban growth boundaries that are currently in good standing as an active Firewise USA™ site. Applicants who have not received recent funding will be prioritized over those who have.
Members from the Forest Hills Firewise Community reduce
hazardous fuel loading in their shared forest.
Photo Credit: Tyler Averyt, ODF Community Wildfire Forester, Grants Pass, OR
Senate Bill 762, Section 24 bill language
SECTION 24. (1) As used in this section, “small forestland owner” means an individual, group, federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon or association that owns:
(a) Up to 160 acres of nonindustrial private forestland west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains; or
(b) Up to 640 acres of nonindustrial private forestland east of the crest of the Cascade
(2) The State Forestry Department shall establish a Small Forestland Grant Program for the purpose of providing grants, on a competitive basis, to support small forestland owners in reducing wildfire risk through the restoration of landscape resiliency and the reduction of hazardous fuels on the owners’ property.
(3) In consultation with partners and stakeholders, the department shall set criteria for
assessing grant applications and awarding grants. The criteria may include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Prioritization of projects on forestland in extreme or high wildfire risk classes described in section 7 of this 2021 Act.
(b) Owner commitment to maintaining fuel reduction treatments.
(c) Owner possession of a forest management plan.
(d) Project proximity to current or past fuel mitigation efforts, supported by any owner
or funding source, that would contribute to cross-boundary, landscape-scale forest resiliency.
(e) Whether the project addresses additional resource concerns, such as insect and disease management.
(f) Whether critical facilities and infrastructure may receive enhanced protection due to project outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the timeline for the first round of proposals?
The first round of proposals will be open from Nov. 18, 2021 to Jan. 21, 2022. Awards will be announced the first week of February. Awarded projects will work on their grant agreement and scope of work between February and April 2022.
Can project revenue be used as leverage?
Yes. All revenue generated from the project must be reinvested into project activities listed within the grant agreement’s Scope of Work prior June 15, 2023.
Are there age class requirements for fuels to be eligible?
Although there are no restrictions on age classes eligible for treatments, treatments removing trees to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire often focus on prescriptions increasing canopy separation from the ground. Common prescriptions including thinning from below, reducing suppressed or intermediate tree density, pruning, and/or selectively reducing surface fuel continuity and density (brush treatments for example). In addition, practices not in compliance with the Forest Practices Act are not allowable activities.
Who is eligible to be a project sponsor?
See the list of eligible “Project Sponsors” on the SFG call for proposals. These sponsors must be a defined entity with at minimum a Tax Identification and the ability and mechanism to accept funds from the state.