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Oregon program seeks to create wildfire-resistant landscapes

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Oregon Department of Forestry
A controlled burn from the Glynn Property Project, which is funded through Oregon's Landscape Resiliency Grant Program.

A state-funded program to increase wildfire resilience across Oregon has treated over 150,000 acres of land.

The Landscape Resiliency Program distributes grants for controlled burns, brush thinning and habitat restoration. So far, it’s funded projects near Sisters, Roseburg and Ashland.

Jenna Trentadue is the State Initiatives Grants Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Forestry.

“It's not just about doing mitigation, but also resiliency on the landscape, so that if a fire were to come through, it would have the ability to recover quickly.”

Trentadue said the program differs from federal efforts by targeting interconnected landscapes, rather than piecemeal acreage. She said it’s on track to reach its 200,000 acre goal by next June.

Oregon lawmakers approved $20 million for the program in 2021, with over $9 million still unspent.

According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, the grant program targets "landscape-scale projects that reduce wildfire risk on public and private forestlands and rangelands, and in communities near homes and critical infrastructure."

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter and former reporting intern. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon. He is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.