Butte Falls Community Forest Moves Closer to Goal with State Legislature Funding

July 12, 2021
BUTTE FALLS, Ore.

The town of Butte Falls is one step closer to their community forest vision as the Oregon State Legislator recently awarded $700,000 for the Butte Falls Community Forest Project through the passage of House Bill 5006. This funding will be the match for the $400,000 U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Grant that was awarded last year.  

“The Butte Falls Community Forest will serve as an excellent model for other rural communities to create spaces for residents to gather together and will also cultivate forest health to in turn protect the community from increasing threats of wildfire,” said Kristin Kovalik, Oregon Director of Land Conservation for The Trust for Public Land. 

The forested land will also serve as an outdoor classroom for children at Butte Falls Charter School and will feature walking, hiking, and biking paths to encourage residents to explore the outdoors and promote health through physical activity. Public ownership will support high-quality jobs and facilitate forest management practices that strengthen forest health. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Oregon Legislature for appropriating $700,000 toward the Butte Falls Community Forest project, and for unwavering support from the Trust for Public Land,” said Mayor Linda Spencer and Bill Thorndike, Oregon Solutions Co-Conveners. “These funds allow us to purchase the lands surrounding Butte Falls ensuring we can begin work on a fire resilient forest that will be accessible to residents and visitors alike. This is the culmination of the work of many including Governor Kate Brown who designated this as an Oregon Solutions project, Representative Breese-Iverson who led the appropriation's effort, and the advocacy of State Senator Jeff Golden and Representative Pam Marsh.”  

“The Trust for Public Land (TPL) has been an invaluable member of the Oregon Solutions Butte Falls Community Forest project team,” said Karmen Fore, Oregon Solutions Director. I cannot thank them enough for their leadership and support in securing this state appropriation, and for their earlier work to secure a USFS grant. These funds ensure that Butte Falls can purchase 400 acres of forest land surrounding the town, and it significantly contributes to the success of this important community collaborative.” 

With some other awards, The Trust for Public Land and partners the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Solutions, and Bureau of Land Management are close to completing fundraising for the $1.15 million project by the end of the year. 

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About The Trust for Public Land   

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.