Plantation Restoration Project
The Gifford Pinchot Task Force’s work is firmly rooted in the belief that the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (GPNF) can and will serve as a critical example of restored Northwest forests. This ambitious vision would be virtually impossible to meet without the support and help of southwest Washington’s rural communities that are inextricably tied to the health and restoration activities on our public lands
The GP Task Force has been working with our collaborative partners in the rural communities of the Cowlitz Valley (Randle and Packwood, WA) since 2002 to identify and implement common ground solutions to forest management.
The GP Task Force coordinated the Pinchot Partners Restoration Plan on behalf of the collaborative group. The Restoration Plan includes 1,540 acres of thinning, snag and down wood creation, road maintenance, 22 miles of road removal, aquatic restoration, and invasive weed treatment. The project combines thinning work with other restoration projects such as road decommissioning to benefit fish and wildlife.
As part of the planning process, the Task Force worked with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and our rural partners to identify barriers to creating local jobs and benefiting watershed health. “We heard one of the barriers was in the federal planning process, so we took it on ourselves to look for a solution,” said former Task Force executive director Emily Platt. We coordinated with the appropriate federal, state and local agencies and local tribes. The Task Force has taken lessons learned from the planning process and is currently applying them to restoration planning project in the Mt. Adams Ranger District— implementing our Volcano Country Restoration Plan.
A recent University of Oregon study estimates that between 13 and 29 jobs are created or retained, and more than $2.1 million in economic activity is generated, for every $1 million invested in watershed restoration (Nielson-Pincus 2010). The Pinchot Partners Restoration Plan has already created 4,651 hours of work for 24 people with an average wage of $56.53 per hour. During the upcoming implementation phase there will be 11 million board feet of commercial timber that will yield a total of 133.1 direct jobs and 227.7 indirect and induced jobs (12.1 direct jobs per million board feet or 32.8 total direct, indirect, and induced jobs per million board feet). The road and culvert work will generate about 30 jobs economy wide. The project areas selected are close to town and vary in elevation, creating easy access for local contractors and year round work. The thinning is focused in young managed stands created from old clear-cuts that lack tree diversity and wildlife habitat. The projects will help create beneficial wildlife habitat and local jobs as described above.