WHO WE ARE
Forest Bridges is a grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit that formed in 2015 to build consensus and trust representing voices across the spectrum of forest interests — conservation and environmentalism, forest industry, recreation and wildlife — specifically on the management of the O&C Lands of western Oregon.
We partner with Tribal Nations, governments, scientists, other nonprofits, businesses and the broader public. Our collaborative work together aims to shift the management paradigm on the O&C Lands to sustained, all-lands Active Conservation management.
Forest Bridges brings people together to foster sustainable forest health and habitats through active management and restoration solutions for western Oregon’s O&C Lands
BLM O&C LANDS
BLM COOS BAY WAGON ROAD LANDS
BLM PUBLIC DOMAIN LANDS
USFS O&C Controverted Lands
Improved forest health and fire resilience, thriving wildlife habitats, strengthened rural communities and sustained inclusive collaboration achieving active management on western Oregon’s O&C Lands.
ACTIVE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT POLICY
We also write Active Conservation management policy papers (e.g., on the Dry and Moist Forests of western Oregon). The PoAs and papers serve as the basis of management alternatives we propose to the federal land management agencies to consider in their rule-making and resource management planning for the O&C Lands.
All documents are “living,” subject to updates as the Forest Bridges collaborative gains relevant new information or develops additional forest management strategies.
The largest wildfires in over 100 years have raised awareness of a shared threat that continues: uncontrolled wildfire in a checkerboard of land ownership, driven by excessive fuel accumulations over the decades, and climate change.
We bring together conservation and
environmentalism, forest industry, recreation, wildlife and community.
Our Board, with input from its advisors, makes decisions in a transparent
and well-intended manner,
We take responsibility for our commitments and performance in all of our decisions and
actions, including in financial matters.
We believe that meaningful, productive change comes by looking at complex
challenges from a new perspective.
We form partnerships with organizations, associations, businesses, governments, Tribal nations, universities, funders, and the general public.
We earn the trust of our stakeholders and partners by providing a safe, reliable, transparent and inclusive platform.
Our strength comes from the inclusion and engagement of a broad spectrum of people, organizations, nations and viewpoints.
We believe that improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and
fairness in all processes.
Bringing people together from different perspectives – conservation and
environmentalism, forest industry, recreation, wildlife and community -- to
collaboratively develop active management and restoration solutions for the O&C Lands
is at the heart of how we work. Collaboration boosts creativity and, when facilitated
well, effectively bridges differences through consensus, setting people on a unified path
towards a common goal.
We form authentic, transparent, and mutually beneficial partnerships with
organizations, associations, businesses, governments, Tribal nations, universities,
funders, and the general public (in the form of Friends of Forest Bridges). Through these
partnerships we can share ideas and resources and take collective action, resulting in
greater voice and impact than when each group stands alone.
Forest Bridges earns the trust of its stakeholders and partners by providing a safe,
reliable, transparent and inclusive platform -- the Forest Bridges’ bridge – where ideas
can be shared openly and genuinely, and where people know they are heard and
respected. Even though not all ideas may change our fundamental principles or
proposals for managing the O&C Lands, the bridge supports free-thinking and dialogue.
And the Forest Bridges Board responds with timely and clear rationale for the ideas it
takes under consideration and the final decisions it makes.
Diversity and Inclusion:
Forest Bridges recognizes that the historical legacy and persistence of discrimination
based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and other differences makes a proactive
approach to promoting a culture of inclusiveness an important component of creating
an equitable society. This is particularly true in rural Western Oregon where many
ethnic groups were historically excluded. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of
diversity into action by creating spaces that support equal and active participation, and
mutual respect and connection.
Forest Bridges’ strength comes from the inclusion and engagement of a broad spectrum
of people, organizations, nations and viewpoints in its organization. In all of its outreach,
Forest Bridges strives to be inclusive, to hear every voice, and to not exclude any voice
or point of view, with an affinity toward those who embrace the Forest Bridges
Principles and Agreements [imbed link]. We welcome and value diversity in its broadest
possible view, going beyond visible differences to affirm the essence that makes each
person who they are and encourage an organizational culture that can be an example to
our partners and the citizens of western Oregon and beyond.
In our hiring; Board, Council of Advisors and Friends of Forest Bridges recruitment;
partnership development; and public engagement, we embrace all people regardless of
their age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language; nationality; parental status;
physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin
color; socioeconomic status; education; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of
each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture; and more.
Equity and Social Justice:
Forest Bridges believes that improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and
fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions
or systems. It means sharing power, influence, resources and a commitment to the
eradication of all forms of social oppression. Achieving equity requires both an
understanding of existing disparities and their root causes, and thoughtful action to
break down barriers, share power and resources, and address imbalances.
Within the context of the ownership history of the O&C lands, which were first
indigenous and then private, prior to becoming public lands, governed by federal law, FB
believes in equal, fair and just distribution of power and resources. Equity transcends
fairness, creating an environment that ensures equal access and opportunity for
everyone – especially those who have suffered the most from pollution, environmental
degradation and systemic oppression and exclusion.
Forest Bridges strives for the O&C Lands, and for those who have suffered most, to
mitigate and/or restore the loss of historic diversity of habitats, the loss of structurally
complex and early seral moist forests, the loss of fire-resiliency, the loss of jobs
(including job alternatives), the loss of O&C county revenues, the loss of access and
enjoyment, the loss of Tribal cultural use and lands management, and the loss of the
ability of the land management agencies to manage efficiently. We also strive to
mitigate the health, environmental and smoke effects and losses created by destructive
wildfire and climate change by promoting the use of beneficial prescribed
fire/Indigenous cultural burning together with other fuel reduction methods as active
forest management approaches to fostering a balance of forest habitats and
sustainability of native species and cultures on the O&C Lands.
Forest Bridges holds itself accountable to bring together people, often of opposing
viewpoints, to generate active management and restoration solutions that finally break
through decades of polarization on how best to manage lands in Western Oregon. In
line with our mission, we are especially committed to this shift on the O&C Lands in the
context of the organic O&C Act of 1937.
We take responsibility for our commitments and performance in all of our decisions and
actions. We manage our finances according to the highest accountability standards.
The Forest Bridges Board, with input from its advisors, makes decisions in a transparent
and well-intended manner, such as when it reviews feedback from people, organizations
and nations -- or identifies useful information through its scientific literature reviews –
as part of honing its Principles of Agreement and proposals for active management and
removal of barriers to management and public access on the O&C Lands.
To tackle the multi-dimensional challenges affecting the O&C Lands, Forest Bridges
studies and analyzes the best of forest science, Indigenous wisdom and practice and
practitioner experience to arrive at its Principles of Agreement and management
proposals. We believe that meaningful, productive change comes by looking at complex
challenges from a new perspective, exercising our intellectual curiosity and mobilizing
the wisdom of an insightful and diverse collaborative group.
We promote an active, metered management – or active conservation – approach to
the O&C Lands designed to sustainably provide timber, wildlife habitat, watershed
protection, recreational opportunities, rural jobs, county revenues, and many other
benefits. Our approach integrates western science, Traditional Ecological Knowledge
and field practitioner experience to identify sustainable forest management solutions.
We are passionate about helping to shift the paradigm at a time when climate change
How you can help
Become a Friend of Forest Bridges to receive our communications and show your support for our collaborative efforts to foster sustainable forest health and habitats through active management and restoration solutions for western Oregon’s O&C Lands.
Become a Friend Today
It’s time to come together to create intelligent, evidence- and Indigenous-based approaches to managing our O&C Lands. Become a Friend and join us on our mission.