USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

Putting America Back to Work

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).The PNW Research Station initiated 11 economic recovery research projects as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The projects addressed major issues including fire-prone forests, salmon habitat, the values of urban forests, and climate change. In the first two years after ARRA’s passage, between 250 and 270 people were hired to accomplish this work, with skill sets ranging from construction to field data collection to high-tech computer modeling. Each individual recipient of the station’s economic recovery funds has a compelling story to tell about the impact this funding has had on their economic well-being, career goals, and personal lives. In return, each has made a significant contribution to the mission of developing scientific knowledge and tools to ensure that the Nation’s forest lands and resources are managed wisely and protected for future generations.

Here are a few facts about the jobs created with the $14,216,000 in economic recovery funds directed by the PNW Research Station:

  • From summer 2009 through summer 2011, between 250 and 270 people were employed using funds the station provided to vendors, universities, and nongovernmental organizations under contracts or grants. At the end of that period, the station had expended almost 70 percent of its economic recovery budget, with the remaining funds expected to last an additional two years.
  • The length of employment varied from seasonally to multiple years.
  • Many of the jobs offered training in addition to a paycheck. The on-the-job training workers received provided unique expertise and skills that can be applied to future professional scientific careers.
  • The station worked with the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications to explore a variety of forms of communication to tell the economic recovery story. Multimedia packages developed by students describing many of the station’s ARRA accomplishments can be found at http://sciencestories.uoregon.edu/.

 

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click to expand/collapse.List of ARRA funded projects in Oregon

Coyote Creek Gauge Stations Reconstruction

Funding: $350,000

This project restored non-functioning stream gauges in the Umpqua Experimental Forest, where forest stands are planned to undergo treatments to meet forest health objectives. The region contains high-value salmon habitat, and information about the effects of forest management on year-round stream conditions is critical for maintaining habitat for fish species that have immense economic and cultural values. The information gained from these restored gauge stations will enable evaluation of contemporary forest treatments on stream flow. This project provided employment for around a dozen people.

> Read More

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Pacific Northwest Research Station Road Maintenance

Funding: $83,418

When the ARRA was enacted, road repairs were needed throughout the PNW Research Station’s network of research laboratories and experimental forests to ensure safe access for personnel and the public. Associated erosion control activities were needed as well, to improve water quality and ecosystem integrity. This infrastructure and erosion control improvement project included a variety of improvements, like bridge replacement, grading and resurfacing roads, maintenance of parking areas, and correcting drainage issues. For the Oregon portion of this project, work took place at the Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory, the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, and the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range, and was completed in the fall of 2010. This project generated between 20 and 30 direct jobs.

> Read More

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Prioritize Fuel Treatments by Estimating Restoration Potential and Understanding the Effects

Funding: $4,022,352

Accumulated fuel on millions of acres of forest land in the western United States heightens the risk of uncharacteristically severe wildfire. This project is fast-tracking landscape modeling efforts that will help identify fuel treatment priority areas, treatment costs, and opportunities where treatments could pay for themselves without damaging other resources. Beyond fuels treatments, the models will have wide application to a number of forest planning and management questions. This project is scheduled to continue through 2013. At the end of 2011, employment for over 60 individuals had been generated.

> Read More

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stream.

Research on Restoring Critical Habitat for Listed Pacific Salmon

Funding: $1,395,419

Partnerships among premier scientists and natural resource professionals from a variety of agencies and universities are being used in this project to address issues critical to the management of Pacific salmonids and their habitats. Project components include: assessment of watersheds in southeast Alaska and the interior Columbia basin that are vulnerable to climate change; identifying key places for habitat restoration; understanding climate change and fire effects on watershed and fish habitat; mapping fish habitat in southwest Oregon and northwest California, and developing a stream chemistry tool for establishing water quality regulations for timber harvest. This project will continue through 2012. As of the end of 2011, it had provided direct employment for between 20 and 30 individuals.

> Read More

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Urban foresters measure trees in the Park Blocks, Portland, Oregon.

Western States—Forests Adapting to and Mitigating Climate Change Effects

Funding: $788,300

In this project, baseline data on the condition of forests in populated areas are being gathered in five western states. Results will be used to evaluate questions about the potential reduction of energy use due to trees cooling the urban environment, the contribution of urban trees to carbon sequestration, water management within urban areas, and quality of life for urban residents. Work will continue through 2013. By the end of 2011, between 30 and 40 individuals had been employed on the project.

> Read More

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Summer employment.

Summer Employment and Education Opportunities for Youth

Funding: $371,050

This project is creating leadership and learning opportunities for minority students in middle school to graduate school. The project includes hiring youth mentors to lead outdoor activities for underprivileged children and their families, and providing employment to university students in wide variety of natural resources-related jobs, where they are exposed to and encouraged to pursue careers in science-related fields, where they are currently underrepresented. The project will continue through 2012. At the end of 2011, between 30 and 40 people had been employed.

> Read More

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Maia Beh inspecting the number of bark and ambrosia beetles caught in a Japanese beetle trap in a forest where coast live oak is infected with sudden oak death.

Technology to Manage Fuel Loads and Reduce Tree Mortality

Funding: $280,000

This project is field-testing new technology to reduce tree mortality from bark beetles and sudden oak death. If successful, these treatments will help reduce the amount of available fuel and lessen the risk of uncontrollable wildfire and its impacts on nearby communities. The project is expected to continue through 2015, and has provided employment for 2 people.

> Read More

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Sophia Polasky

The Impact of Economic Recovery Funding in Rural Communities

Funding: $100,000

Roughly half of the economic recovery funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture targeted conservation, forestry, and rural community development projects. It is important to assess how these investments actually made a difference in rural areas. A team of scientists evaluated quantitative and qualitative data on the social and economic impacts of economic recovery-funded projects in rural areas with high unemployment and poverty rates, with a focus on identifying how forest restoration and rural community development goals can be linked to promote healthy rural communities. Eight case study areas from California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, and Alabama were assessed. The project was completed in the fall of 2010, generating direct employment for around 12 people.

> Read More

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  Partners in Oregon
Deschutes National Forest, Siuslaw National Forest, Umpqua National Forest, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Willamette National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Southern Oregon University, Conservation Biology Institute, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, USDI Bureau of Land Management, Bonneville Power Administration, Douglas County PUD, Wild Salmon Center, Ecotrust, National Science Foundation, World Forestry Center, Inner City Youth Institute, Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland, YMCA of Portland

 


List of ARRA funded projects in Washington

Workers hired through Twin City Glass of Longview, Washington, install energy-efficient windows at the USFS Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory.

Energy-Efficient Windows Installed at Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory

Funding: $260,000

This project replaced 150 single-pane, low thermal-rated windows at the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory with new energy-efficient windows, to lower the heating and cooling cost of the building while conserving energy. The project was completed in July 2009, and generated direct employment for about 10 individuals.

> Read More

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Starkey bridge.

Pacific Northwest Research Station Road Maintenance

Funding: $108,220

When the ARRA was enacted, road repairs were needed throughout the PNW Research Station’s network of research laboratories and experimental forests to ensure safe access for personnel and the public. Associated erosion control activities were needed as well, to improve water quality and ecosystem integrity. This infrastructure and erosion control improvement project included a variety of improvements, like bridge replacement, grading and resurfacing roads, maintenance of parking areas, and correcting drainage issues. For the Washington portion of this project, work took place at the Wenatchee Forestry Sciences Laboratory and the Wind River Experimental Forest, and was completed in the fall of 2010. Between 20 and 30 people were directly employed in this project.

> Read More

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Colored solution.

Improve Health and Safety of Communities and Firefighters Through Forecasting and Managing Smoke From Fires

Funding: $738,000

Smoke from wildfire is a human health hazard, particularly for those with asthma and other respiratory problems. Timely, accurate smoke forecasting can reduce these impacts. This project continued ongoing efforts to deliver accurate smoke forecasts from wild and prescribed fires, and accelerated delivery of improved tools for smoke and fire management. Between 20 and 30 individuals were employed on this project.

> Read More

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Prioritize Fuel Treatments by Estimating Restoration Potential and Understanding Their Effects

Funding: $878,781

Accumulated fuel on millions of acres of forest land in the western United States heightens the risk of uncharacteristically severe wildfire. This project is fast-tracking landscape modeling efforts that will help identify fuel treatment priority areas, treatment costs, and opportunities where treatments could pay for themselves without damaging other resources. Beyond fuels treatments, the models will have wide application to a number of forest planning and management questions. This project is scheduled to continue through 2013. As of July 2011, about 60% of project funds have been expended, generating direct employment for over 60 individuals.

> Read More

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Stream.

Research on Restoring Critical Habitat for Listed Pacific Salmon

Funding: $314,581

Partnerships among premier scientists and natural resource professionals from a variety of agencies and universities are being used in this project to address issues critical to the management of Pacific salmonids and their habitats. Project components include: assessment of watersheds in southeast Alaska and the interior Columbia basin that are vulnerable to climate change; identifying key places for habitat restoration; understanding climate change and fire effects on watershed and fish habitat; mapping fish habitat in southwest Oregon and northwest California, and developing a stream chemistry tool for establishing water quality regulations for timber harvest. This project will continue through 2012. As of November 2010, the project has expended about half of its funds, and generated direct employment for over 20 individuals.

> Read More

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Space Needle, Seattle WA.

Restore Community Ecosystems While Promoting Green Jobs in the Puget Sound Area

Funding: $1,341,000

This project focuses on ecosystem restoration in populated areas. Researchers are evaluating approaches for assessing forest conditions and ecosystem services, studying restoration and stewardship motivations and effectiveness, examining the effects of residential location choice on urban growth and development at the wildland-urban interface, and investigating how management of non-timber forest products can be factored into urban planning, stewardship, and restoration. The information gathered will provide municipalities with information that will facilitate better planning for green spaces and development in urbanizing areas. At the end of 2011, this project had generated jobs for over 40 people.

> Read More

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Summer employment.

Summer Employment and Education Opportunities for Youth

Funding: $170,000

This project is creating leadership and learning opportunities for students in middle school to graduate school. During the summer, university student youth mentors lead activities for underprivileged children and their families, introducing them to National Forests, and gathering valuable baseline information about the health of these resources. Students are exposed to and encouraged to pursue education and jobs in science-related fields, where they are currently underrepresented. The summer of 2011 saw about 40% of the funds expended and over a dozen people employed in this project, which will continue through 2012.

> Read More

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  Partners in Washington
University of Washington, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Olympic National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Yakama Nation, Colville Confederated Tribes, Chelan County Public Utility District, Washington Department of Ecology, Entiat Watershed Planning Unit, King County, Pierce County, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Cascade Land Conservancy, Rural Technology Initiative, Institute for Culture and Ecology, Trust for Public Lands EarthCorps

 


Related Links

USDA Forest Service, ARRA projects on National Forests in Oregon and Washington

USDA Forest Service, ARRA projects occurring nation-wide

 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,10September2013 at11:39:53CDT


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