Forward this newsletter
View this email in your browser
WRSC Newsletter #16 06/16/2014
Click Here to Subscribe to the WRSC Newsletter
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Twitter
Send Us An Email
Send Us An Email
Visit Our Website
Visit Our Website
The Western Regional Strategy Committee (WRSC) delivers articles and stories each month that demonstrate the collaborative efforts of agencies, organizations and communities supporting and promoting the three goals of the Cohesive Strategy: Restoring Resilient Landscapes, Creating Fire Adapted Communities and Responding to Wildfire. The newsletter is our primary communication tool with our partners and the public. Feel free to contact us with ideas for articles or comments. 

Western Governors and President Obama Discuss Wildfire

During the Western Governors’ Association’s Annual Meeting this week, the Governors spoke with President Barack Obama via a video link. The discussion centered on wildfires in the drought-stricken West, and the need to provide adequate funding for wildfire suppression without borrowing from fuels reduction and other programs. The President urged the Governors to support legislation in the House and Senate to provide adequate funding for wildfire events and to put an end to "fire borrowing". Read more here > 

Also at the Annual Meeting, the Governors adopted bipartisan Policy Resolution 2014-10, on developing regional wildfire fighting resources and partnerships. The Governors recommend an evaluation of available National Guard wildfire fighting resources and encourage expansion of local fire mobilization plans. The Governors affirmed their belief that the western states should work together to identify options to expand the availability and sharing of wildfire firefighting resources. And they encourage Congress and the Administration to ensure the federal aerial wildfire fighting fleet is rebuilt as expeditiously as possible. See the policy statement here > 

Using Social Media to Get the Word Out

The Two Bulls Fire broke out on Sunday, June 8th west of the City of Bend, Oregon. It began as two separate fires and traveled 6 miles the first day, threatening homes and requiring evacuations. Recognizing the importance of keeping people informed, a Joint Information Center (JIC) was quickly set up at the Deschutes County Sherriff’s Office. This is the first time that central Oregon has utilized a JIC on a fire. In addition to a liaison with Fire Command, the JIC included representatives from organizations such as Public Health, the Red Cross and the local School District - any partners who have a stake in the daily outcomes of the fire operation.  

The JIC provided input to the usual news sources of radio, television and newspapers along with the new social media. The JIC recognized that information on the fire, road and school closures, evacuations, and health warnings need to be easily accessible to the public and updated frequently. To reach people wherever they are, the JIC is using a Facebook page and a twitter feed to push information as quickly as possible. The “likes” on facebook grew to over 10,000 the first day with a reach of 215,000 people. A blog was also established so partner agencies can post their information in one convenient place.
Kate Lighthall is working with the JIC and views the fire in her community through her unique perspective as WRSC Coordinator.  “In 2014, the demand for instant and constantly updated information is fierce!”, she says. “The Two Bulls Fire provides a great opportunity to coordinate accurate information and ensure consistency in the messages sent through all the partners’ networks in a timely manner.”

Clearwater Basin Collaborative Reaches Agreement

Clearwater Basin Collaborative has developed an agreed upon strategy to bolster timber economies and county govermnents, restore wildlife habitat and protect pristine landscapes. The collaborative for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest was convened five years ago by Senator Mike Crapo to bring together the parties battling over forest policy.  “We decided we need one another to get what we want, and we decided since we are going to be in the same boat, we just as well should all row in the same direction,” said Don Ebert Chairman of the Clearwater County Commission. The strategy balances the interests of environmentalists, timber industry, the Nez Perce Tribe, wildlife managers, and off-roaders and includes: support for increased timber harvest in roaded areas, support for funding of equipment operators and primitive tool schools and a biofuels plant in the basin, protection of cultural sites, new wilderness and wild and scenic rivers designations, support for wildlife habitat restoration with emphasis on elk recovery, support for an ATV route, and more. Read more here >

And the Winner Is...
"One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire"

A new fire prevention program that started on the Shasta-Trinity Forest of California has received the National Bronze Smokey Bear Award. Mark Thibideau, originator of the program, and Ron Hodgson, who took the program statewide, accepted the award. One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire" is a collaborative, boundary-spanning, interagency campaign that engages all stakeholders - including nonprofit groups, businesses, and individuals. Its motto is "All Lands, All Voices". Collaborators contribute what they can, given their organizations' capacities, resources, restrictions, and cultures. Combined stakeholder contributions accomplish what none could do alone.

The objective of the "One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire" campaign is to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires, thus reducing fire suppression costs, property losses, firefighter exposure to wildfires, and threats to human life and safety. The campaign targets roadside fires, equipment fires, escaped debris burns and other accidental causes of wildfire. "One Less Spark" is now expanding into other states in the Southwest under the leadership of Forest Service employee Joe Aragon. 
See the One Less Spark website for tools such as videos, posters, and public education materials.
Watch the video here >

National Strategy Brochure Now Available  

The National Cohesive Strategy Communications Team has developed a tri-fold brochure to introduce the concepts of the Cohesive Strategy. The brochure is posted on the Forests and Rangelands website and can be downloaded and printed. It can be given as a handout at conferences or education sessions. The brochure briefly explains the goals of the Cohesive Strategy and management options and challenges identified in the Phase III National Strategy Report.  The national brochure does not replace the Western Region's brochure. It is a companion piece and the two should be used together. The West's brochure is available here.

A Heartfelt Thank You

Firefighters come from all over the country and even from Canada to fight the fires and protect local communities. As the Funny River Fire in Alaska winds down, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge found a creative way to thank firefighters. They asked people to send in one word to describe the firefighters and used those words to make a word cloud. The word cloud above was presented to the Incident Command to show the gratitude of the community. That gratitude extends to all firefighters and support people working on thousands of fires across the United States! 
Does your agency or community have a project or event you'd like to see featured in the WRSC Newsletter? Tell us about it! Just contact Cheryl Renner.
Katie Lighthall
Coordinator, Western Region
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Ann Walker
Co-Chair Western Region
Western Governors' Association
Tony Harwood
Co-chair Western Region
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Kent Connaughton
Co-Chair Western Region
US Forest Service

WRSC e-Newsletter produced by Renner Associates LLC

Copyright © 2014 Western Regional Strategy Committee, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp