Wednesday, January 27th WCSWA Monthly Meeting: 7:00pm

Daniel Leavell

Drs. Daniel Leavell (State Fire Specialist) and John Bailey (Professor of Silviculture and Fire Management) will briefly review the 2020 fire season and what we learned from it, as well as previous years’ wildfires.  Then, they will address what woodland owners could do moving forward to minimize risk to their property, and be available for questions.

John Bailey

The 2020 wildfire season notched some new records for acres burned (especially on the westside) and garnered widespread attention to the growing issue of wildland fire risk in Oregon and beyond.  It was predictable in many ways given recent trajectories in fuels accumulation, changing climate patterns and density and dispersal of human development.  Beyond exposing our vulnerability to these underlying issues, it also brought to light several new realizations:  1) westside Douglas-fir forests are not the “asbestos forests” we once considered them to be; 2) wildfire transition from uninhabited forest and rangelands to human communities is not dependent on dense, surrounding forests; and 3) house-to-house fire transmission is an under-studied phenomenon but a huge issue needing resolution.  Drs. Bailey and Leavell will provide some data and insights on both the general trajectories driving increased wildland fire risk as well as these new, emerging concerns.


But this is NOT ALL BAD NEWS for 2021 and beyond!  Unlike the risk incurred from other natural hazards and disasters (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) for which we can only prepare and adapt, wildfire risk itself can be reduced proactively through fuels treatments incorporated into good land management practices.  Fundamentally speaking, reducing the fuels availability in and around the things we value will reduce fire intensity (and maybe occurrence) – that is just physics and chemistry.  Reductions in fire intensity typically reduce the severity or impact of a fire on those things we value that are at risk:  wildlands, woodlands, suburban/urban neighborhoods, and homes – and families – and our ourselves.  So, this presentation will include some of the latest ideas about living and coping with fire as a hazard and how to lessen the risk, what makes for effective fuels treatments/reductions across a range of conditions, and how it can fit into a cohesive strategy for managing our risk moving forward into an uncertain future.  “Zoom” in on Jan. 27 and learn more


For additional articles see the January 2021 Forest Forum.

January 27th WCSWA Monthly Zoom Meeting

February 24 WCSWA Zoom Meeting, 7:00pm

Two 30-minute presentations

Understory Management and ONREF 

Understory of the forest is often a puzzlement:  How to get the desired stuff to grow and keep out the invasives.  Multnomah SWCD will offer insight in a presentation by Michael Ahr and Laura Taylor on “Beneficial Understory Vegetation Establishment and Management.”

The second presentation will be by the Oregon Natural Resource Education Fund (ONREF) on their past and present activities and future planning. OSWA, through several chapters, including ours, raised $25,000 to establish an Oregon Small Woodlands (OSWA) ONREF sub-fund. The Oregon Community Foundation will manage the OSWA sub-fund, along with three other sub-funds, as part of the general Oregon Natural Resource Education Fund. These funds will be used to promote natural resource education in high schools throughout Oregon.

(Zoom info in February Forum).

Remembering Amy Grotta

The forest community lost one fantastic personality on December 24, 2019. Our dear friend and colleague Amy Grotta passed away. Amy was the FNR Extension agent for Columbia, Multnomah, and Yamhill Counties.  Amy had been living with cancer for a number of years which regrettably took her life. Her indomitable spirit had been an inspiration for us all.  She will not be forgotten. What an incredible talent and friend to the forest and to those who were touched by her talent, wisdom, energy, and willingness to step in and help us. Among her accomplishments while at OSU, Amy authored numerous Extension publications on a variety of forest management topics.  Her “Tree Topics” blog and publications kept us informed on important tree matters.

For continuation and for a great idea for sharing memories of Amy see Page 3 of the January 2020 Forest Forum.

Last updated: January 11, 2021 at 5:30 am