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The September 2020 wildfires destroyed much of Oregon's natural landscape. That damage has had significant effects on our natural and cultural resources.
What is the state doing for natural and cultural resources recovery after these fires?
Following the 2020 fires, the state established a task force to address impacted natural and cultural resources. The Natural and Cultural Resources Recovery Task Force (NCRRTF) is designed to provide coordination and implementation for the state's recovery response to catastrophic wildfires in September 2020.
The NCRRTF's mission is to integrate state assets and capabilities to help local governments, tribal governments, and impacted communities address long-term environmental and cultural resource recovery needs after large-scale and catastrophic incidents.
The scope is to provide guidance to state departments in aiding local and tribal partners in preserving, protecting, conserving, rehabilitating and restoring natural and cultural resources.
The objectives are to:
Implement measures to protect and stabilize records and culturally significant documents, objects and structures.
Assess impacts to natural and cultural resources and identify needed protections during stabilization through recovery.
- Complete an assessment of affected natural and cultural resources and develop a timeline for addressing these impacts in a sustainable and resilient manner.
- Preserve natural and cultural resources as part of an overall community recovery.
Tribal Resource Impacts
Following the formation of the NCRRTF, it was clear that a more focused conversation about natural and cultural resources needed to occur with Oregon's nine federally recognized tribes. Each tribe was invited to participate in the NCRRTF. In addition, a Tribal Work Group of the NCRRTF was formed. This work group will:
- Review assessments to determine if tribal cultural and natural resources are adequately reflected in the information provided.
- Identify methods for tribes to participate in community-level conversations about fire recovery prioritization and investment.
- Establish actions to communicate with tribes about upcoming work on federal/state lands, providing tribes the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to decision making on public lands.
Preserving Cultural Resources While Fighting Fire by ODF(Video)
Cultural Resource Impacts
The statewide heritage recovery efforts are coordinated with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office and partners from the local, state, federal and tribal levels. This subgroup is supporting heritage sites and the organizations that support them, including museums, historical societies, historic cemeteries, historic downtowns and archaeology sites. Resources:
The NCRRTF’s funding-focused subgroup produced a resource form that connects assessment recommendations to potential funding sources, including both FEMA and non-FEMA. This form brought together multiple state and federal agencies with funding authority to maximize the benefit from each dollar spent.
NCRRTF Funding Opportunities Tool
Wildfire Impact Assessments
The NCRRTF will conduct necessary assessments, compile information and data from studies by individual land managers, and collaborate and share resources. Assessments such as the Erosion Threat Assessment and Reduction Team (ETART) will look at the impacts across the board.
Final ETART Reports
The NCRRTF will work with local partners in each of the fire-affected areas to assess priority actions to address wildfire impacts and investments needed to support these.