Healthy, Productive, and Resilient Federal Forests for All
Why is collaboration important?
Since the early 1990s, timber harvest volume on federal forestland in the Pacific Northwest has decreased by more than 90 percent. While federal forests make up nearly half of all forestland in Washington and Oregon, they currently account for only 10 percent of wood supply in the region. As a result of this decrease, many mills shuttered and the communities they supported declined. In the past few decades, federal forests have also become increasingly susceptible to disease and megafires, which ravage the landscape threatening life, livelihoods, and critical habitat. While part of the initial decline in federal forest harvest levels was to promote habitat protection for sensitive or endangered species, today federal forest management agencies also face litigation, dwindling revenues, and increased wildfire costs. These social challenges have made it difficult for forest managers to accomplish active management, including planned harvests. Recognizing the need to better manage these forests to sustain rural communities, reduce catastrophic wildfire, and generate resources for the U.S. Forest Service, stakeholders throughout the nation have begun to form community-based forest collaboratives to create a forum to identify and support local forest restoration and harvest projects.
What are forest collaboratives?
Collaborative forestry seeks to bring diverse, sometimes conflicting, stakeholders together with a goal of building a common vision for managing federal forestlands. Collaborative forestland governance can help address the needs of a variety of stakeholders and accelerate landscape scale harvest planning and implementation, which helps create local jobs and reduces litigation. While forest collaboratives work to develop recommendations for the U.S. Forest Service, the collaborative process does not transfer government authority for federal actions or decision-making.
Who participates In collaborative forestry?
Folks you might see around the table at a forest collaborative meeting include forest sector employees, environmentalists, tribal representatives, recreationalists, business owners, and state, local, and federal agency representatives.
Within the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), there are currently 36 collaborative groups; eight in Washington and 28 in Oregon.
Photo Courtesy of Jurgen Hess Photography
What does collaborative forestry mean to Hampton?
At Hampton we believe ensuring a vibrant future for our federal forests, the local wood products sector, and the communities where we live and work requires dialogue, understanding, and trust among a wide array of stakeholders. As such we are committed to the conversation.
Hampton’s Collaborative Forestry Manager, Anjolene Price is based out of our office in Darrington, WA. Anjolene participates in a number of collaborative efforts, including:
- DARRINGTON COLLABORATIVE
- NORTH CENTRAL WASHINGTON FOREST HEALTH COLLABORATIVE
- PINCHOT PARTNERS
- SOUTH GIFFORD PINCHOT COLLABORATIVE
- TAPASH COLLABORATIVE
Hampton employees also work closely with the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forest collaboratives and the Hebo Stewardship Group in Oregon.
Additional Information For more information on forest collaboratives, consider the following resources: