Ten years of collaboration have paid off for a diverse group of timber companies, conservation groups and government agencies. The Siuslaw Stewardship Group has focused on building a healthy forest in ways that benefit the overall community says Siuslaw Soil and Conservation District Chair Johnny Sundstrom.
Johnny Sundstrom — “The birth and nurturing of a restoration economy, while it’ll never replace harvest income to the communities, it’s still a way for some people to keep their equipment running, to keep their jobs. And so, there’s remarkable opportunities for collaboration and getting together.”(click here to listen to quote)
The district is part of the Siuslaw Stewardship Group which won the “Two Chiefs Award” from the heads of the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service for their cooperative work in forest management. Sundstrom says the success has come from building trust.
Johnny Sundstrom – “Before we start the finger-pointing – like, ‘Well the problem is those guys’ –first, we get a goal that we can agree on. Can everybody in the room agree that we’d like to see sustainably-harvested timber coming down the road, and abundant fish runs going up the creek, in 30 years? And we’ve never found anybody that didn’t like that picture.”(click here to listen to quote)
Money generated by timber sales helps pay for watershed restoration projects.