Government Impact on Vandevert Forests
The Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire
Protection Act of 1997 (generally known as SB 360)
recommends and supports the modification of private urban and
suburban properties to make defense against wildfires safer and more
effective. The Vandevert ranch foreman contributed to the
development of this legislation.
The state may recover fire suppression costs
from a property owner if a fire originates on the owner's property,
the fuel reduction standards have not been met, and the Oregon
Department of Forestry incurs extraordinary suppression costs.
Certification that fuels reduction standards have been met relieves
a property owner from the act’s fire cost-recovery liability. Most
private lots on the ranch meet the standards for certification and
some have been formally certified. The common land is moving in the
direction of meeting certification standards and has the potential
to achieve them within five years.
Vandevert Ranch, Sunriver, Crosswater, and
Oregon Water Wonderland are generally classified as “Extreme Risk”
except that the ranch meadows and pasture are classified as “High
Risk”. In contrast, the Blue Eagle Road neighborhood is classified
as “High Density Extreme Risk”). (See the
ODF Map of Urban Interface Areas in the Appendices.)
ODF Standards for ODF
certification in the appendices and ODF description of the
The federal Healthy Forests Restoration Act
of 2003 aims to accomplish the following:
- Reduce dense undergrowth (that fuels
catastrophic fires) through thinning and prescribed burns;
- Improve the public involvement in the
review process by providing opportunities for earlier
participation, thus accomplishing projects in a more timely
- Select projects on a collaborative basis
involving local, tribal, state, Federal and non-governmental
- Focus projects on Federal lands that meet
strict criteria for risk of wildfire damage to communities,
water supply systems and the environment;
- Authorize the Healthy Forests Reserve
Program, to protect, restore and enhance degraded forest
ecosystems on private lands to promote the recovery of
threatened and endangered species;
- Encourage biomass energy production
through grants and assistance to local communities creating
market incentives for removal of otherwise valueless forest
- Develop an accelerated program on certain
Federal lands to combat insect infestations.
ODF and Other Government Agencies
Every year the ranch is required to submit a
Notification of Operations to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).
The notification is essentially a description of work to be
performed in the year ahead (e.g. thinning, fuels reduction,
planting). The description is not detailed and there is latitude to
undertake different tasks. Unusual forestry work (e.g.
clear-cutting, extensive harvesting operations) would require
ODF has assisted the ranch in administering a
U.S. Department of Forestry grant to partially reimburse the ranch
for up to 33 acres of fuel reduction in 2007 and 2008.
For more information see
Government Agencies in the appendices.
Continue to Forestland Strategies
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