Fire in Pacific Northwest Forests: Past, Present, and Future

A Four-Part Webinar Series

Fire is elemental, fire is powerful, and fire certainly can and does destroy homes.

But does fire actually destroy our forests?

Please join Great Old Broads for Wilderness for a highly-informative, four-part virtual educational series—”Fire in Pacific Northwest Forests: Past, Present, and Future.” These Zoom-based sessions—featuring expert forest and wildfire scientists and practitioners, and hosted by the Rogue Valley, Cascade Volcanoes, Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broadbands—take a closer look at the historical role of fire in the Pacific Northwest’s forested landscapes, and how that role has changed with human management.

 

Webinars

Session #1—Fire in the Forest: A Natural Process and Unnatural Changes

March 2, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Pacific

Click here to watch a recording of this webinar.

Learn about the natural role that fires play in forested landscapes and ecosystems in the region, and how climate change and human management has altered those roles, from the use of fire by indigenous people, to systematic fire suppression. 

Presenters:

Jessica Halofsky, Ph.D. —Research scientist, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Dr. Jessica Halofsky

Dr. Jessica Halofsky

Dr. Halofsky is a research ecologist with ten years of experience in climate change science and applications. She received an M.S. in Forest Resources from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Oregon State University. Her research interests include fire and disturbance ecology, vegetation dynamics, and climate change impacts and adaptation. Recently, she has also collaborated on a number of model- based projects focused on potential shifts in fire regimes and vegetation dynamics with climate change. Dr. Halofsky has worked closely with scientists and managers on climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation projects for years, pioneering one of the first climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation projects with Olympic National Forest and Park.

 

 

 

Darlene Chirman, Ecologist and activist.

Darlene Chirman

Darlene Chirman

Darlene is member of the Great Old Broads Cascade-Volcano Broadband in Portland and Southern Washington. She is a transplant from California, where she earned a Masters in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. She then spent 20 years doing habitat restoration in the Santa Barbara, CA area. She retired to Portland where her daughter lives, and spends her time as a habitat restoration volunteer and as an advocate for forest protection and climate action, and the intersection between those two issues. She has a special interest in wildfire in forest ecosystems and community wildfire recovery, having evacuated from her Santa Barbara home several times, and the loss of half her neighborhood there to wildfire in 1990.

 

 

 

Resources:

Session #2—When the Smoke Clears: Natural Regeneration and Post-Fire Management in Our Forests

March 9, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Pacific

Click here to watch a recording of this webinar.

 
Explore how fires lead to natural regeneration of forests, how human management after a fire impacts this process, and what implications this has for biodiversity, natural ecosystems, and our climate.
 
Presenters:

Monica L. Bond, Ph.D.—Wildlife biologist, biodiversity advocate for the Wild Nature Institute.

Dr. Monica Bond

Dr. Monica Bond

Dr. Bond is a wildlife biologist and biodiversity advocate with the Wild Nature Institute and a research associate with the University of Zurich. She received her B.A. degree in Biology from Duke University, her M.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University, and her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Zurich. She has published more than 45 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and book chapters, and has worked as a field organizer for Green Corps, an Endangered Species grassroots organizer for the National Wildlife Federation, and a staff biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity. She spent the past two decades studying Spotted Owls and served on the Dry Forest Landscapes Working Group for the Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. She travels around the world researching and advocating for the conservation of imperiled wildlife and habitats.

 

 

 

Francis Eatherington, activist.

Francis Eatherington

Francis Eatherington

Francis Eatherington—Francis is a dedicated member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness’ Rogue Valley Broadband in Southwest Oregon and a strong voice for public lands conservation. She has lived in the Umpqua River valley for almost 50 years, and worked in forestry in the Pacific Northwest for 25 years. Francis also worked with Umpqua Watersheds and Cascadia Wildlands to help protect public land forests in the Umpqua watershed. More recently, she’s been fighting the Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas pipeline and terminal proposal with her fellow Oregon Broads.

 

 

 

Chandra LeGue, activist

Chandra LeGue

Born and raised in rural Michigan, Chandra LeGue has called Eugene, Oregon home for 21 years. A self-described “nature nerd,” she has degrees in biology and environmental studies, and has worked for Oregon Wild since 2003, promoting policies that protect and restore Oregon’s forests and engaging the public in the organization’s work. She is the author of “Oregon’s Ancient Forests: A hiking guide” published by Mountaineers Books in 2019. She serves on the board of directors of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council, and is on the leadership team for the Willamette Valley chapter of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

 

 

 

Resources:

Session #3—Adapting to a Future with Fire: Preparing Our Communities and Our Landscapes

March 23, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Pacific

Click here to watch a recording of this webinar

Fire is a reality, now and into the future, so how do we live with it? We’ll take a look at ways communities can adapt to live with and prepare for fire through firewise landscapes and other measures, and explore the future of fire on the landscape in an era of climate change.

Presenters:

Aaron Mendez, student and activist.

Aaron Mendez

Aaron Mendez

Aaron is currently a 2nd year student studying Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. He was raised his whole life in Phoenix, Oregon and graduated from Phoenix High School in 2019. His parents have strong ties within the entire Phoenix-Talent Community, with his dad working for the Phoenix Public Works Department and his mom being a teacher at Talent Elementary. He is the oldest of three boys and both of his parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Sara Quinn, filmmaker and activist.

Sara Quinn

Sara Quinn is a filmmaker in Portland who has been working on a science-based film about wildfire, bringing her into conversation with top fire ecologists, engineers and community leaders trying to make our forests and our communities more resilient. With a background in cultural anthropology, Sara brings the slow, intentional approach of ethnography into her storytelling. She has been making award-winning films and shorts with Balance Media for six years, telling the stories of frontline communities facing fossil fuel infrastructure projects, wildland fire threats and attacks on public land. From documenting community-based fisheries along the Mesoamerican Reef to restoration of native food sovereignty in Maine, Sara has a particular interest in exploring rural environmentalism and the deep connection to place that comes from living from the land.

 

 

 

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice is a scientist and Cascade Volcano Broad who is interested in biology at a wide range of scales. She works as a senior scientist studying the basic biology of neglected parasitic diseases at Oregon Health and Science University. She’s also deeply concerned about the climate crisis and wants to see Oregon’s forests reach their potential for globally significant carbon sequestration and storage. Forestry reforms must also protect community drinking water and support community vitality across the region. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Rockefeller University and completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine. When she’s not nerding out about microbiology or forests you can usually find her trail running.

 

 

 

Madeline Cowen

Madeline Cowen

Madeline Cowen

Madeline Cowen works with Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, & Ecology (FUSEE), and is a GIS specialist and organizer who has dedicated her life to working in the environmental justice and forest defense movements. She graduated from the University of Oregon with majors in Environmental Studies and Geography, where she focused on fire ecology and sociology. Throughout her work with FUSEE, she has become deeply knowledgeable about fire ecology, and the ways in which we can thrive with fire.

 

 

 

Resources:

Session #4—Putting Fire Knowledge into Action: Advocating for Forests and Fire Policy

April 6, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Pacific

Click here to watch a recording of this webinar.

You have a voice in wildfire management policies. Learn how to get involved and become an advocate and protect your forests through management planning and the public process.

Presenters:

Brenna Bell, staff attorney and NEPA coordinator for Bark.

Brenna Bell

Brenna brings to her work a lifetime of passion for the Pacific Northwest, twenty-five years of organizing experience, and an extensive background in environmental law and education. Her involvement with Cascadia Forest Alliance and the direct-action campaign to save Eagle Creek led her to Lewis & Clark Law School, from which she graduated in 2001. Brenna has worked with numerous Oregon non-profits, including Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Willamette Riverkeeper and Tryon Life Community Farm.For the past 10 years, she has worked with Bark, protecting and restoring Mt. Hood National Forest as their policy coordinator and staff attorney.

 

 

 

Darlene Chirman, Ecologist and activist.

Darlene Chirman

Darlene Chirman

Darlene is member of the Great Old Broads Cascade-Volcano Broadband in Portland and Southern Washington. She is a transplant from California, where she earned a Masters in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. She then spent 20 years doing habitat restoration in the Santa Barbara, CA area. She retired to Portland where her daughter lives, and spends her time as a habitat restoration volunteer and as an advocate for forest protection and climate action, and the intersection between those two issues. She has a special interest in wildfire in forest ecosystems and community wildfire recovery, having evacuated from her Santa Barbara home several times, and the loss of half her neighborhood there to wildfire in 1990.

 

 

 

Chandra LeGue, activist

Chandra LeGue

Born and raised in rural Michigan, Chandra LeGue has called Eugene, Oregon home for 21 years. A self-described “nature nerd,” she has degrees in biology and environmental studies, and has worked for Oregon Wild since 2003, promoting policies that protect and restore Oregon’s forests and engaging the public in the organization’s work. She is the author of “Oregon’s Ancient Forests: A hiking guide” published by Mountaineers Books in 2019. She serves on the board of directors of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council, and is on the leadership team for the Willamette Valley chapter of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

 

 

 

Phil Chang, Deschutes County Commissioner

Phil Chang

Phil Chang

Phil Chang was elected Deschutes County Commissioner in November 2020. Between 2004 and 2014 he helped bring together environmentalists, the timber industry, fire fighters, and community leaders to restore over 250,000 acres of the Deschutes National Forest. The collaborative group that grew from those efforts—the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project—secured $10.1 million in federal funds that were used to restore wildlife habitat, make our forests healthier and more resilient, and reduce the risk of wildfire to our communities. Making our forests safer, healthier, and more resilient was also a major focus over the next 6 years while Phil was a Field Representative for US Senator Jeff Merkley and then manager for the Federal Forest Restoration Program in the state of Oregon. 

 

 

 

Rep. Karin Power, Ore. State Legislator

Rep. Karin Power

Rep. Karin Power

Representative Karin Power is committed to progress for our environment, for stronger communities and better schools, and for equity and equality. She puts her years of environmental law experience to work by advocating for cleaner water and air in our communities, and protecting Oregon’s strong environmental heritage. Rep. Power is also the first LGBT woman elected to serve House District 41. She understands how important it is to make our government more accessible, and champions equitable policies both for the Oregon we are today and for the generations yet to come.

 

 

 

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice Kelly, Ph.D.

Felice is a scientist and Cascade Volcano Broad who is interested in biology at a wide range of scales. She works as a senior scientist studying the basic biology of neglected parasitic diseases at Oregon Health and Science University. She’s also deeply concerned about the climate crisis and wants to see Oregon’s forests reach their potential for globally significant carbon sequestration and storage. Forestry reforms must also protect community drinking water and support community vitality across the region. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Rockefeller University and completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine. When she’s not nerding out about microbiology or forests you can usually find her trail running.

These sessions are free and open to all.

If you are able, Great Old Broads for Wilderness kindly asks for a suggested $10 donation to support our continued on-the-ground grassroots advocacy work.
Are you or someone you know interested in watching a recap of the web session highlights in Spanish? A translated video of highlights from each webinar will be available in April, so stay tuned or contact katya@greatoldbroads.org directly for further information.
 
¿Está usted o un amigo interesado en ver una recapitulación de puntos culminantes del seminario web en español? Una traducción de los puntos culminantes del seminario web estará disponible en el mes de abril. Quédese vigilante o se puede comunicar directamente con katya@greatoldbroads.com para más información.