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Blue Mountains Natural Resources Institute

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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 BMNRI (1990-2000)

About BMNRI (1990-2000)

What is the Blue Mountains Natural Resources Institute?

The BMNRI, formed in 1990, is a cooperative venture among federal, state, and local agencies, private companies, universities, and other interested groups. Its purpose is to conduct research, develop and demonstrate technologies to land managers, landowners, and the general public and to facilitate cooperation in resolving critical resource issues.

The Institute's sphere of influence extends to more than 19 million acres; over half of the acreage is publicly owned, and about 1 million acres is wilderness. The geographic area includes the southeastern Washington counties of Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla; and in eastern Oregon, the counties of Union, Wallowa, Umatilla, Grant, Baker, Morrow, Crook, Wheeler, and portions of Malheur and Harney Counties.

In its work, the Institute emphasizes landscape perspectives in dealing with Blue Mountains natural resource issues and seeks ways to manage for sustainable ecosystems. The BMNRI seeks to promote sound resource management and economically healthy communities through research, technology development and demonstration, and by facilitating communication and cooperation among the various constituencies concerned about the Blue Mountains.

What is the goal of the Institute?

The goal of the institute is to enhance the long-term economic and social benefits derived from the natural resources of the area in a way that is ecologically sensitive and sustainable.

The focus for the institute for the next 3 to 5 years will be to promote healthy forest and rangeland ecosystems by facilitating credible research and implementation of the best available knowledge through active and adaptive management.

Why an Institute?

In recent years, demands on the resources have increased. Cattle, timber, farming, and tourism industries as well as outdoor recreation and quality-of-life proponents are in competition for sustainable yields of natural resources. These regional issues are further complicated by national issues involving old-growth preservation, biodiversity, salvage harvest, and rural development. The BMNRI provides a unique opportunity to focus research efforts on providing resource managers and the public with answers to high-priority resource questions. Through its research, development, and application efforts, the institute can identify feasible alternatives, and describe consequences and interactions.

Who Belongs to the Institute?

Any group may become involved. There are currently more than 80 partners. A board of directors gives policy direction for the institute and a manager directs program activities. Board members represent:

  • Oregon and Washington counties
  • Native tribes
  • Environmental advocates
  • Universities
  • National forests
  • Timber industry
  • Forest Service Research
  • State agencies
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Private landowners
  • Civic groups

How will the Institute's goal be achieved?

The goal will be reached by:

  • Providing information through research. Research will provide information on ecological and social interrelations. This information will provide people with knowledge about impacts and tradeoffs that are consequences of management decisions.
  • Demonstration areas. A series of demonstration areas are designed to showcase innovative management strategies and creative partnerships among managers and the public.
  • Education program. Through its education program, the institute has developed lesson plans to teach fundamental aspects of natural resource management to primary and secondary school children.
  • Facilitation of cooperation. The institute encourages cooperation among the various parties interested in natural resources management. The institute sponsors public forums, workshops, and briefings, and encourages cooperative work groups and projects.


The objectives of the BMNRI are to:

  • Demonstrate application of technology and resource knowledge on specific management areas.
  • Focus research on joint management and production of timber, wildlife, grazing, fish, water quality, and recreation.
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities to enhance the long-term economic and social benefits derived from the region's forest and rangeland resources in concert with county and regional economic strategies.
  • Develop technology to guide multiresource management and policy decisions for sustaining long-term productivity and ecological values and that enable forest and range managers to maximize multiresource benefits and minimize the hazards of fire, insect, and disease outbreaks.
  • Compile basic biological and ecological information needed to improve forest and rangeland health and vigor.
  • Develop long- and short-term forest management practices for use by land management agencies and landowners in concert with public values.
  • Rapidly convert results of research into applicable technology.
  • Establish mutually beneficial relations with individuals and groups to inform them of new research, development, and management direction, and to obtain response and advice from them.
  • Stimulate cooperative research and development among universities and other federal and state agencies.
  • Provide an unbiased forum for open and objective debate, discussion, and consensus on policy and management issues.

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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