Field trip attendees look down on the area burned by the Shevlin Fire. Photo Credit: Alison Green, Project Wildfire

Topic: Planning Resilience WUI codes & ordinances Type: Success Story / Lessons Learned

A New Model for Developing WUI Lands in Central Oregon

Authors: Alison Green

A planned development on the west side of Bend, Oregon highlights partnerships and the importance of building right from the ground up in the WUI. Planners of the Miller Tree Farm blended the values of multiple parties into one cohesive vision of a wildfire-safe neighborhood that will also balance wildlife and recreation values that many central Oregonians hold dear.

The landowners are the Millers, a family that has been an active member of the Bend community for over a century. The Tree Farm is located just west of Bend’s city limits in Deschutes County. The property is bordered mostly by Forest Service land, and on the west by Shevlin Park. It’s conveniently situated near William E. Miller Elementary School, Summit High School and the new Pacific Crest Middle School. Its proximity to Forest Service land and Shevlin Park provides easy access to nearby recreational opportunities. The plan for the development accounted for the vital infrastructure nearby.

The proximity to Forest Service and parklands, the Outback Water Treatment Facility and city and rural residences, are all key factors in The Tree Farm’s commitment to becoming a Firewise/USA Community. Brooks Resources has committed to using NFPA codes 1141 & 1144 to build structures and maintain the landscape in this development.

Throughout the years, the Miller family has diligently maintained the property to reduce fuels, investing resources every year to clear brush, limb trees and create a healthy forest. These efforts will continue to be maintained by the developer and future HOA through governing documents that will outline requirements for fire-resistant building materials and landscape treatments to enhance wildfire protection and safety. These efforts are balanced with maintaining and providing for a healthy wildlife population as well.

The property owners and the developers recognize their responsibility in restoring the land to a more resilient condition that will be better able to receive fire when the time comes.

 

One thought on “A New Model for Developing WUI Lands in Central Oregon”

  1. An effective example of collaboration during the development stage in the West will benefit Utah as we start to implement our new Wildfire Policy. Thanks for sharing the story Alison.

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