BEND, OR -- State forestry officials are moving forward with a plan to update the maps used to decide what lands will be protected from wildfire in Deschutes County. Kristin Dodd with the Department of Forestry says want to work with landowners. "Part of our goal is to make this fair and equitable." She said, "The landowners that should be receiving fire protection from the Department of Forestry should be paying into the system. Conversely, landowners that shouldn't be receiving fire protection shouldn't be paying into the system."
Dodd says the newly formed mapping committee will work to divide lands into several categories. "If they meet the definition of Forest Lands, which is a very broad definition, they are further classified as Class 2 or Class 3 lands, which are referred to as Timber or Grazing Lands." The classifications will help determine which lands should be patrolled every year, which should receive wildfire protection services and which private landowners should be assessed additional property taxes.
She says it's been over 40 years since they've evaluated wildfire protection maps, and the landscape has changed a lot in that time.
The public is invited to the first committee meeting to discuss mapping plans: Wednesday, November 5th, 6-8pm at the Deschutes County Road Dept. Building, located at 61150 SE 27th St., Bend.