In Oregon, small woodland owners play big role in fire resilience

21 June 2021

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USA – Bob and Bonnie Shumaker know full well a wildfire could be at their doorstep any year.

It’s a risk they’re willing to take in order to live in a picturesque forest of firs and cedars about 12 miles northwest of Forest Grove.

“We love the forest,” said Bonnie Shumaker, who planted the first 5 acres of what is now the 160-acre Shumaker Tree Farm with her husband in 1980.

When it comes to mitigating wildfire risks, foresters say small woodland owners like the Shumakers play a crucial role in the patchwork of forestland ownership.

There are more than 40,000 non-industrial small woodland owners in Oregon who each maintain between 10 and 5,000 acres of forestland.

In the three Portland metro-area counties, small woodland owners account for 22.5% of all forested lands, according to data from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. In Washington County, the proportion is the highest of the three at 30.9%.

Wildfire 2021: A Pamplin Media Group specil report

Back to Estacada Last year, these neighbors barely saved their property from wildfires. Now, at the cusp of a new fire season, we head back to Estacada to see how they’re preparing. Pamplin Media Group and its news partners take a look at Oregon’s fire season for 2021.

State danger The state’s top firefighters outline the risks as they see them for the 2021 fire season.

Legislature The Oregon House’s Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery has pushed through a slate of bills designed to make it easier for Oregonians to recover.

Snowpack Based on the amount of snow on Oregon’s peaks, this fire season could look much like last year.

Sen. Merkley on Preparedness The senator from Oregon wants more funding for wildfire preparedness. Now he chairs a Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees budgets for the Forest Service.

Wildfire survey The Oregon Values and Beliefs Center polled Oregonians in May regarding wildfire.

Clackamas County Few Oregon counties were hit harder than Clackamas. We look at the county’s preparations for another potentially dangerous season.

AccuWeather The agency offers an overall look at the entire West Coast, with a focus on Oregon.

Eastern Oregon In the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Eastern Oregon, it’s lightning, not humans, that causes more wildfires. And 2020 was a pretty calm year for them.

Column from state fire marshal How to prepare your home and lands for the coming fire season.

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