The Collaborative first met in 2005 to increase public and agency support for forest restoration in Southwest Oregon. The group was made up of landowners, foresters, loggers, agency representatives, academics, environmentalists and community members. The group met for several years in a local living room and was known as the Knitting Circle, reflecting its informal, conversational origin. In 2010 the group became a 501c3, now known as the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative. SOFRC focuses on land managed by the Medford District Bureau of Land Management and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
To advance restoration, the Collaborative worked with diverse stakeholders to create Productive Harmony Guidelines, a set of ecological, social, and economic indicators for agencies and stakeholders to consult in project planning to achieve on the ground success. The Collaborative has also been instrumental in advancing regional landscape assessments of forest restoration need and opportunity. This work has helped build support for restoration and generated a number of high profile projects, including the BLM’s Pilot Joe Secretarial Pilot and Friese Camp Ecological Forestry Project.
SOFRC completed “The Rogue Basin Action Plan for Resilient Watersheds and Forests in a Changing Climate” in 2014. This collaboratively developed plan emerged from a partnership with the Model Forest Policy Program and the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest.
What is Forest restoration?
Forest restoration is a planned process to regain ecological integrity in a changing climate and enhance human well being in degraded landscapes. Land-use decisions in Southwest Oregon over the last 100 years have generated overly dense forest stands that are vulnerable to insects, disease, and severe wildfire. Using the latest science and balanced approaches to restore Southwest Oregon’s forest landscape has diverse benefits for human and natural communities.
How does the Collaborative Work?
The Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative works directly with community partners and federal land managers, who oversee two-thirds of Southwest Oregon lands, to find common ground and help create sound, science-based federal forest plans. The collaborative has worked with partners to create a set of ecological, social, and economic indicators for agencies and stakeholders to consult in project development. And the Collaborative has advanced regional landscape assessments of forest restoration needs and opportunities, building support for restoration and leading to new projects on the ground.