Learning on the Land Event

Forest Service, Blue Mountain Land Trust, and Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group invite public to Learning on the Land Event

News Contact: Darcy Weseman (541) 278-3722
September 25, 2017

PENDLETON, Ore. – The Umatilla National Forest and Blue Mountain Land Trust, in partnership with the Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group (UFCG), invite the public to the upcoming “Common Ground” Learning on the Land field tour, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This event will take participants on an excursion to the Glass Project, located on the Umatilla National Forest, and will explore how the UFCG came together to find common ground on management of this project. The UFCG, which was formed in 2012, is a group of public, private and non-profit stakeholders representing a variety of backgrounds, including environmental groups, counties, loggers, public agencies and wood product industries. Collaborative members will be present on the field tour to discuss how they are using agreements and the consensus-building process from prior forest restoration projects to help inform and guide their proposals for the Glass Project.

“Finding and building common ground can seem daunting at times, some might say even impossible in certain situations,” said Jeff Costello, Facilitator for the Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group. “Success in that process can sometimes be elusive and temporary; but most stakeholders in these forest collaborative groups would agree that the path to reach common ground, once achieved, is well worth the effort.”

Participants in this field tour will also get to learn about forest management including various harvest methods, proposed treatments, and protection measures for sensitive species.

The Glass Project, located 16 miles N of Elgin on the Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest, is still in the early stages of project development and proposes approximately 2,308 acres of commercial mechanical treatments and 2,755 acres of small diameter thinning. This project is expected to provide wood products, employment opportunities and revenues to counties, while also improving forest health, protecting water quality and fish and wildlife habitat.

This event is also occurring on National Public Lands Day, which is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in September. National Public Lands Day brings together volunteers, agencies, and partner organizations to connect people to public lands in their communities, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands. All day-use fees at recreation sites will be waived on this day across the Forest.

To sign up for this event, please visit the Blue Mountain Land Trust website at http://bmlt.org/newevents/2017/9/30-common-ground or contact Lauren Platman at lauren@bmlt.org or at 509-525-3136. For additional information about the Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group, please visit http://orsolutions.org/osproject/ufcg or contact Jeff Costello at jeff@wallowaresources.org. Additional information about the Glass Project can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50471.

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