The youth will age into their niche in
the forest ecosystem. We will see the
small burn pile smoke during the wetter
months, and know their meaning.
Lomakatsi Restoration Project also
contracts local loggers to work
with staff foresters to thin forests
following ecological guidelines, using
helicopter removal to minimize the
impact on sensitive soils of the steep
slopes. These logs are byproducts of
restoration, not the driver of revenue.
Lomakatsi is one of the partners in
Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship
Project, or AFR, formed in 2010 to
address the threat of wildfire, maintain
diverse ecosystems for plants and
animals by returning beneficial fire,
and to protect the city water supply.
The AFR agreement also includes
the City of Ashland, the U.S. Forest
Service, and The Nature Conservancy.
The City of Ashland does outreach
on the Wildlands-Urban Interface;
burning, smoke alerts, and wildfire
evacuation plans. They are nine years
into the ten-year project. 9,000 acres
have been treated, with 14,500 acres
yet to go. In early February, Governor
44 Ashland Gallery Guide
Kate Brown announced: the Rogue
Forest Restoration Partnership will get
$1.5 million starting July 1 to restore
forests, enhance wildlife habitat and
reduce wildfire risk to Rogue Valley
communities. This is part of a 6-year
$6 million award by the Oregon
Watershed Enhancement Board.
Lomakatsi, a key partner, will largely
manage the program.
fires, and the forests have adapted to
this. Indigenous peoples controlled fires
for 1,000 years, led by women with plans
for basketry. A goal of AFR is a return
to historic conditions in the watershed,
with our water coming out of snow in the
The compatibility of art and science
is trending again in the web of ideas.
National Parks have fostered wildland
art in their residency programs (profiled
in the 2017 Gallery Guide). Great
numbers of granting organizations have
supported artists that rely on natural
sciences for their subject matter, which
becomes available for cross-pollination
with sciences. This arc of interest
is bringing to light ideas about the
importance of life in the wilderness.
The wolf is an archetypal animal with
a niche in a healthy ecosystem. They
keep rodents from overpopulating.
More importantly, they cull the diseased
fauna, which refines the gene pool of
the deer herd. “What but the wolf’s
tooth could whittle so fine the fleet leg
of the antelope?” This question comes
from the artistic narrative that has
controlled fires for 1,000
years, led by women
with plans for basketry.
Last year hundreds of millions of dollars
have been spent on fire suppression.
In 2007, a fire started in the Wildland
Urban Interface above Tolman Creek
Road in Ashland. When it entered the
treated area, the fire dropped to the
forest floor, preserving the canopy and
making suppression possible.
The Rogue Basin has a dry forest
system. It is not the wet Pacific
Northwest. It is a frequent fire landscape
with 3 to 5 to 15 year intervals between