Skip to main content

Forest Health

Did you know?

Did you know that more than half the forest land in the United States is owned and managed by some 11 million private forest owners? These working forests benefit us all. Private forest lands supply nearly 30 percent of the water we drink as well as clean air, fish and wildlife habitat, and significant recreation opportunities.  They provide over 90 percent of our domestically-produced forest products, including the timber needed to build homes and fuel wood for heating them, supports 2.4 million jobs (primarily in rural communities), and contributes to our nation’s energy security, housing, and infrastructure.

Protecting our Forests

Southern Deschutes County contains a mosaic of dry forest types and aquatic/riparian systems such as ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine, as well as extensive riparian areas along the three main rivers (Deschutes River, Little Deschutes River, and Fall River). Most of the area is lodgepole pine that is overstocked and prone to Insect and disease. These threats are a high risk to catastrophic fire which can threaten municipal infrastructures, impair the Upper Deschutes River water quality due to erosion and overall timber production. The Deschutes SWCD is working with United States Forest Services (USFS), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Deschutes County, Walker Range FPA, and local stakeholders and residents in southern Deschutes County addressing threats to our timber resource and local communities. The partnerships objectives for Southern Deschutes County are:

1) Increase forest resiliency from fire, insects, and disease and reduce the risk to communities of south Deschutes County/North Klamath County from wildfire.

2) Reduce the chance for uncharacteristic wildfire that would threaten municipal infrastructures and impair the Upper Deschutes River water quality due to erosion.

3) Enhance key elk and deer habitat by reducing the encroachment of lodgepole pine into natural meadows.

4) Strengthen partnerships with communities through established agreements to treat hazardous fuel accumulations in high risk areas and improve water quality and quantity in the upper Deschutes River corridor.

5) Provide educational opportunity for landowners to explore land management activities.

6) Leverage established agreements to plan and implement fuels treatment activities across Federal and Private land boundaries.


If you are a timber owner in Deschutes County and would like to address your timber resource, the Deschutes SWCD is here to help!