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ODF Awards $100,000 to Help Reduce Wildfire Risk in Medford’s Watershed
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has announced that it has awarded $100,000 in funding to Southern Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, in order to reduce the risk of wildfire in Medford's watershed. The funding will be used to conduct forest restoration work intended to reduce catastrophic wildfire risk on 20,000 acres of the Big Butte Springs watershed, which provides the year-round source of water for Medford and the surrounding communities of our partner cities.
BBS Watershed

The award comes through the Planning Assistance and Categorical Exclusion (PACE) funds, administered by ODF's Federal Forest Restoration program. Kyle Sullivan, who leads ODF’s FFR Program, said “PACE investments provide contracting opportunities that assist federal forest managers to expand and accelerate planning efforts for forest restoration treatments. The Snowy Butte Forest Restoration Project will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the watershed supplying Medford and nearby communities with drinking water.”

Medford Water is proud to operate and maintain the water system that delivers high-quality drinking water to around 140,000 Rogue Valley residents. Big Butte Springs has been our primary source of drinking water since 1927 and is one of our community’s most valuable and significant resources. With this in mind, we recognize the importance of the watershed and the need to reduce wildfire risk as soon as possible.
In addition to our organization and ODF, the project has enjoyed significant support and collaboration from other local partners, including The Nature Conservancy and American Forest Resource Council, among others. As we mark our one-hundredth year in 2022, we prepare to serve our community for the next one hundred years, and this work is part of our Vision to be the Rogue Valley’s trusted municipal water provider for present and future generations; through responsible stewardship, accountability, and the pursuit of excellence.

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