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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
1401 Gekeler Lane
La Grande, OR 97850

United States Forest Service.

BMNRI Home > About BMRNI (1990-2000) > Closing of BMNRI

About BMNRI (1990-2000)

Closing of BMNRI

Come Help Us Celebrate a Decade of Accomplishments

Please join us January 6, 2000 from 3-5 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room (#309) of Hoke Hall on the Eastern Oregon University Campus

Featuring Jack Ward Thomas as keynote speaker: "Forest and Range Management in the Blues—Then, Now, and Tomorrow"

Accomplishments Mark Closing of Blue Mountains Natural Resources Institute

La Grande, OR, September 16, 1999.

After nearly 10 years of operation, the La Grande-based Blue Mountains Natural Resources Institute is closing. Funding shortages prompted the decision to close according to Acting Institute Manager Lynn Starr. The Institute was a partnership of federal and state agencies, county governments, interest groups, business, tribal governments and universities in a 14-county area of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington.

"The Institute was successful in its mission in getting science and citizens involved in decision-making," said Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station Director Thomas Mills. "Our model has been emulated and we are looking at options to consider what might be the next generation of science and citizen involvement." The Institute was housed at a Forest Service facility, and the PNW Research Station and Pacific Northwest Region provided funding and staff support.

The Institute had 80 partners and sponsored a wide array of forums, conferences, technology transfer tools, and research projects. "After a decade, we've maintained a reputation as a source for credible, well-balanced information," Starr said. "Ongoing research will be completed and we are working to place Institute staff in other positions." The Institute was the brainchild of several Blue Mountains residents: former Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas, local businessman Larry Cribbs, PNW Research Station Program Manager Tom Quigley, Union County Commissioner John Howard and others.

A board of directors tackled many complicated natural resource issues. Charter members included Howard, Cribbs, Bob Messinger of Boise Cascade, Shirley Muse of the Audubon Society, landowner Bob Klicker, former Wallowa County Commissioner Pat Wortman, Umatilla Forest Supervisor Jeff Blackwood, and others.

Several workshops, scientific studies, publications, videos, and seminars were sponsored over the years including studies examining log-yarding methods and prescribed burning versus tree thinning to reduce fuels; and a conference to examine markets, harvesting and milling techniques, and manufacturing processes for small-diameter trees. The Institute's quarterly publication, Natural Resource News, had over 2,000 subscribers and kept readers abreast of research findings and emerging issues in the Blue Mountains. Board member Ed DePuit of Washington State University stated "It's been a splendid 10 years. We can feel good about our accomplishments." Muse agreed and added that the Institute has "paved the way for other groups and efforts."

The accomplishments of the Blue Mountains Natural Resources Institute will be celebrated later this fall, and the public will be invited to attend.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:44 CST

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