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Small Forestland Grant Program


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.

Application materials

The application period for both components of the Small Forestland Grant Program are now open. Applications for Small Forestland Grants must be sent to 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.

Program components

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)

​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.​​

The primary goal of the Small Forestland Grant Program is to reduce high severity wildfire risk. Mule deer habitat restoration has a lot in common with activities to reduce wildfire risk. You should contact your local ODF office to discuss if this project could be designed to meet multiple restoration objectives.​

​​If the Land Trust owns less than 640 acres, you can apply. As a project sponsor, the Land Trust can expend up to 10% of the project cost. This can include landowner outreach to identify more landowners to join in the project. You can also contact your local ODF office to see if they may be able to help.​

​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.​

​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.

​​Yes, there are a number of ODF managed grant programs with a goal of supporting forest management activities on private properties. A list of ODF grants can be found on the g​rants and incentives page. For large, cross-boundary landscape scale projects focused on reducing hazardous fuels, see ODF's LRP. The NRCS has a number of forestry related funding opportunities to provide landowner assistance. Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board also administers a variety of grant programs​.

​The SFGP relies on the existing watershed overall risk rating summary layer in Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer.

In the upper right-hand corner with the magnifying glass to the right, enter an address from the community. This should populate an address in the left-hand bar. Click on this and it will zoom to that place on the map.​

​Visit the Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer.​

Go to Layers, check mark the box next to “Administrative Boundaries." Click on the plus to the left of “Administrative Boundaries." In the drop-down menu, click the box next to “Urban Growth Boundaries." Go to upper right-hand corner and enter an address from the community and see if your community is located within the yellow line or outside of the yellow line.​

​You should contact your local ODF field office and ask if there are projects being developed in your area. You can also contact local project sponsors directly.​​

​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.​

​There is no limit to the number of applications a sponsor can submit.​

​Eligible grant awards will be between $10,000 and $300,000. This is the first year this grant will be offered. In similar programs, grant amounts span the range of eligibility. A median grant request between $100,000 and $250,000 is anticipated.​

No. Because the landowner owns more than 160 acres west of the cascade mountain crest, they do not meet the definition of a small forestland owner. Grants must go to landowners with no more than 160 acres west of the Cascade Mountain Crest, or no more than 640 acres east of the Cascade Mountain Crest.​​

Yes, direct costs from prescribed fire are an allowable practice under the Small Forestland Grant Program. If you have not received a previous payment for this practice, it would be eligible under this grant program.​

This project appears to address multiple resource concerns. It is also within a strategic planning area (Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s Focused Investment Partnership for Oak Woodlands). It has a non-traditional forest product being produced from the project (biochar). It also has multiple properties engaged and ready for treatment. It looks like this project could get high scores in a number of categories.

Although commercial thinning can be a part of a project, all revenue generated from a project needs to be re-invested into project activities before the grant period closes. You would not have time within the grant period to re-invest revenue before June 15, 2023. You should see if the landowner can conduct the commercial operation much earlier, or the commercial thinning would be an ineligible practice.​

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