Forest Bridges’ Roseburg Meeting #1: Active Conservation on the O&C Lands

Forest Bridges: The O&C Habitat Project, Inc. will host the first in a series of open public meetings on September 14, 2023, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Roseburg Public Library, 1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd, Roseburg, OR 97470, to share and obtain feedback on its collaboratively developed Active Conservation management principles and proposals for the O&C Lands of western Oregon.

Based in Roseburg, Forest Bridges (forest is a grassroots nonprofit organization that formed in 2015 to bring consensus and trust among people of different perspectives and interests — conservation and environmentalism, forest industry, recreation, wildlife, Tribal, governmental, and community — specifically on the management of the 2.9 million acres of O&C Lands of western Oregon. These lands include 2.1 million acres of BLM O&C lands, 75,000 acres of Coos Bay Wagon Road lands, 239,000 acres of Public Domain lands, and nearly 500,000 acres of Controverted Lands managed by the US Forest Service.

“There is a void that we’re attempting to fill,” said Denise Barrett, Forest Bridges executive director. “Policy leaders and managing agencies have yet to develop sustainable practices and support for the O&C Lands. The forests are losing species diversity and habitat, communities are suffering from devastating wildfires and toxic smoke, county services have been reduced, and mills continue to close due to lack of wood supply.”

Forest Bridges promotes an active, metered management – or Active Conservation – approach across the O&C Lands, integrating western science based on the preponderance of evidence, Tribal knowledge and practice and field practitioner experience. “It’s designed to sustainably provide wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreational opportunities, timber, rural jobs, county revenues, and many other benefits,” said Barrett. “And now it’s time for us to share with the public all we’ve collaboratively developed so far to ensure they are informed, have an open, safe forum to provide feedback, and are motivated to join us in working to shift the management paradigm on the O&C Lands.”

At the September 14 meeting, Forest Bridges will provide an introduction to its collaboratively developed Principles of Agreement and proposals (example here) and allow attendees to ask questions and comment. Meetings on October 18 and December 7, 2023 will explore specific topics of public interest or concern raised during the initial meeting, providing greater opportunities for facilitated discussion. The Forest Bridges Board will consider public feedback as it continues to refine its living principles and proposals.

Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!


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