Oregon's forests are without comparison.
1000 Friends of Oregon is on the forefront of protecting Oregon’s forests from the ever-increasing risks of wildfires that threaten our state’s livability. Part of our work to combat wildfires is advocating for legislation designed to protect our forest and farmlands and mitigate climate change, like HB 2020.
Our Executive Director, Russ Hoeflich, sits on Governor Kate Brown’s Wildfire Response Council, as the Chair of the Land Use Sub-Committee. “The Council is tasked to review Oregon's current model for wildfire prevention, preparedness and response, analyzing whether or not the current model is sustainable given our increasing wildfire risks.” In December 2018, we published A New Vision for Wildfire Planning, a report on the role of responsible land use in the reduction of wildfire risk.
Fire seasons have grown in length more than 21% on average since 1970, so it’s imperative that action is taken now. As the threat of wildfires continues to multiply, 1000 Friends will persistently advocate for sound Land Use policies that reduce wildfire risk to protect our forests, cities and farmlands.
Today, more than 107,000 homes in Oregon, worth $12.7 billion and representing 8 percent of the state’s housing supply, face high or very high risk of wildfire.
“While news headlines were quick to capture the “cost” of firefighting, suppression represents only a fraction of the true cost of wildfire. There are huge impacts to air quality, fresh water supplies, and health, travel and tourism, employment and the economy, transportation, timber industry, and iconic Oregon economic sectors such as the state’s wine industry.”
In recent years, Oregonians have experienced increased risks to health and livelihood, damage to natural resources, and destruction of homes and treasured parts of Oregon from longer and more severe wildfire seasons.
But it doesn't have to be this way!
Don't have time for the whole 70-page wildfire report? No problem! Read our 1-page summary instead, including the 6 policy recommendations we're encouraging Oregon lawmakers and elected officials to consider in 2019.