Reducing Fire Risk in Jackson County
Ashland Forest Restoration
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. In Jackson County, Oregon, they’ve taken this lesson to heart. Located just north of the California border, Jackson County experiences one of the highest occurrences of wildfire in Oregon. Lottery dollars are helping renew the forest and reduce fire risk near Ashland.
Fighting Fire with Fire
Open and Healthy Forests
In total, 8,500 acres of public and private land will be treated in the forests adjacent to Ashland. Trees will be thinned and flammable debris removed, sometimes with controlled burns. These steps keep the forest open and healthy, and the reduced fire risk will help preserve the forest itself, its human and animal inhabitants, as well as the city of Ashland’s drinking water. The Ashland All Lands Forest Resiliency Project is a coalition of partners working to reduce wildfire risk, improve wildlife habitat and ensure clean drinking water for local residents. Oregon Lottery dollars are helping the coalition realize their vision.
Partnerships for Progress
The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), partner agencies and private landowners are using lottery dollars to help prevent wildfire disasters. Lottery funds are also helping restore sensitive habitats and watersheds.
The Ashland All Lands Forest Resiliency Project has three goals:
- Reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to communities and landowners.
- Protect water quality and supply in the Ashland Municipal Watershed.
- Improve and protect wildlife habitat, especially for threatened species such as Pacific fishers, spotted owls, and Coho salmon.
A Teacher’s Perspective
Laurie McDowell has attended Outdoor School with her students for some 20 years, giving her a deep perspective on how the program impacts students’ lives, often long past their return to the classroom. Not only do kids get to learn whether or not an area is a healthy habitat for animals and plants, Outdoor School also gives them important social interactions that simply can’t be replicated at regular school. Additionally, for many students in her urban school, Outdoor School was their first encounter with Oregon’s natural beauty beyond the manicured borders of a city park. She remembers checking in with a student who had been very challenging in the classroom, just to see how his Outdoor School experience was going. His unexpected response was, “Mrs. McDowell, no one’s ever told me that this was here. How come I didn’t know this was here before?” The experience at camp revealed a world previously unknown to him. According to McDowell, these are the “Aha” moments that Outdoor School brings to students’ lives long beyond the sixth-grade.
Oregon Veterans Expo
America’s veterans earn a variety of benefits by serving their country. But connecting veterans to those services may be difficult, especially in the more rural corners of Oregon. Recognizing this unique challenge, the ODVA recently hosted a Veterans Expo in Pendleton, connecting providers from the fields of health care, finance, mental health services and more to Eastern Oregon veteran populations. Sponsored in part by lottery dollars, these annual expos (a future installment coming soon to Lincoln City) help veterans from all eras and walks of life to learn about and access their full range of benefits.
Salem’s Museum of Mental Health
Housed in what was once the Oregon State Asylum, a state-of-the-art Salem museum now chronicles the history of mental health treatment.
Military Vet Jordan G.
Jordan Guidry is one of many Oregon Lottery employees who bring their military skills and experience to work and, in the process, help make our workplace a better place.
Military Vet Ken P.
Ken Pesnell is one of many Oregon Lottery employees who bring their military skills and experience to work and, in the process, help make our workplace a better place.
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