The Cohesive Strategy Vision is “To safely and effectively extinguish fire when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a nation, to live with wildland fire.”
The goal of the Northern Blue Mountain Pilot Project is to implement the National Cohesive Wildfire Strategy on the ground. The Northern Blue Mountain pilot project area includes nearly 3.5 million acres of US Forest Service lands covering two national forests, more than 2 million acres of private land protected by ODF and Washington Department of Natural Resources and approximately 2 million acres managed or protected by a variety of entities including the BLM, BIA, and Rural Fire Protection Districts. ODF and WDNR shares roughly 3,500 miles of common forest protection boundary with the Forest Service and Department of Interior and over 2,500 miles of common boundary with Rural Fire Departments.
The Cohesive Strategy represents a holistic, comprehensive approach to dealing with wildfire issues. The pilot project presents a practical opportunity to develop this more holistic approach by applying the three goals of the Cohesive Strategy in the field. Those goals are:
- Restore and Maintain Landscapes: seeking to implement management across all ownerships to work towards landscapes that are resilient to fire-related disturbances.
- Create Fire-adapted Communities: seeking to help populations create and modify infrastructure such that it can withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property.
- Wildfire Response: seeking to ensure all jurisdictions participate in making and implementing the pilot project area safe, effective, efficient response to wildland fire.
The Northern Blue Mountains provides a good foundation for the Cohesive Strategy. This geo-region deals with a multitude of fire and resource management issues and has developed solid working relationship (and tested these relationships) among the wildland fire and land management partners in the pilot project area. Our overarching vision or theme is to use this opportunity to develop a far-reaching and progressive model for forest resource and wildfire management that serves all the landowners, the stakeholders and the agencies into the future.