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 Small Forestland Grant Program (SFGP) offered two funding opportunities: the Small Forestland Grant and the Firewise Community Grant. Both opportunities require grant dollars are spent reducing the risk of high severity wildfire through the reduction of hazardous fuel on small forestland owner properties. Both opportunities were scored prioritizing high-risk watersheds, but lower risk watersheds were not excluded from applying. All invoices from both program components must be submitted by successful recipients no later than June 15, 2023. The SFGP received over $8 million in eligible funding requests with $5 million of funding to be allocated this biennium. Below is a brief overview of these two program components and awarded proposals.
Statewide map of project locations.
The public is encouraged to provide feedback by sending an email to email@example.com. Input will be compiled throughout 2022 and will be used to inform future improvements to the SFGP.
Small Forestland Grant
The Small Forestland Grant received over $5.4 million in funding requests by the Jan. 21, 2022 submission deadline. Proposals submitted by project sponsors were reviewed by a team of five reviewers, three grant specialists from ODF, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and the United States Forest Service, as well as two representatives from the Committee for Family Forestlands. Approximately $4.2 million was awarded to 23 proposals (1-23 below). Details of proposals, scoring, and awards are provided below.
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.
Firewise Community Grant
The Firewise Community Grant received 85 applications requesting $2.8 million in funding by the Jan. 14, 2022 submission deadline. Applications were scored and ranked prioritizing active Firewise USA sites in good standing outside urban-growth boundaries who have not received recent funding. Twenty communities will receive $800,000. Awards range from $7,000–$75,000 per community and include a variety of treatment approaches from contracted work, youth corps, ODF fuel crews, and community chipping days. A summary of awards is provided, projects in green were selected for funding.
Applications received were reviewed for accuracy. Projects marked with “#" indicate changes were made to the application score based on this review. Several project points were reduced or increased.
In addition, projects listed here do not include ineligible submissions. Partially completed forms, requests from non-recognized Firewise USA Communities, and applications submitted past the deadline are examples of ineligible applications. In total, three ineligible applications were received.
All applications that scored an 18 or higher have been awarded at the requested amount. If a project scored a 17, the following additional criteria were used to select additional awarded projects:
- Involvement of an economically vulnerable or underserved community.
- Use of an ODF fuels crew or engagement of youth corps to conduct treatments.
- Demonstration of a well-articulated plan to use requested funds and identification of specific activities for treatments involved.
Every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of reported information. However, complete accuracy is not guaranteed. If you find a discrepancy in this information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with corrections.
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.
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.
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.