What has The Corps accomplished so far?
Working through the OCC Program Partners, Corps-members have been busy throughout Oregon from Portland to Ashland, Coos Bay to Baker City.
Results for 2022
1300+ acres treated
222 worksites treated
733 homes and businesses impacted
12 Oregon counties impacted
1.5 acres treated per day on average
How is the land treated?
OCC Crews remove ground and ladder fuels. They create defensible space by clearing at least 100 feet around homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
Crews identify hazardous fuels and invasive species. Chainsaws, pole saws, brush cutters, and loppers are used to limb trees and cut debris. Large unwanted material can be prepared as firewood for homeowners in need. It is frequently delivered to grateful seniors by OCC Crews. The remainder is stacked and burned in place or chipped.
The resulting landscape is healthier for large trees and significantly less prone to catastrophic damage from wildfire.
When is this work being done?
Work is being performed year-round according to conditions on the ground. Prescribed burns are deployed in the winter, spring, and fall.
How are youth being served by this program?
OCC Corps-members are trained by professionals in practical fuels reduction skills. Along the way, they also learn “soft skills” such as leadership, teamwork, and resumé building that are crucial to advancement in professional settings. The youth engaged in this program often come from difficult backgrounds in underserved communities. They may face significant adversity in their daily lives. OCC Program Partners maintain staff capable of supporting these young people. Being part of a crew builds identity and pride. The result is a confident, competent workforce that serves all of Oregon.
Results for 2022
213 program participants
34,540 work hours served
900+ professional certificates awarded
What’s it like on the job?
Workdays are rigorous and expectations are high for each crew member. It’s often cold and wet from rain or snow. The work is very physical so hot weather can be very difficult.
Fuels reduction work is inherently dangerous. Crews are taught safety protocols including first aid and CPR. They earn professional credentials and develop skills to support career advancement.
Help them earn their stripes.
There is a way to respond to wildfire. With the necessary funding, there are young people willing to do the work required. Show your support for the Oregon Conservation Corps.
Overcoming Barriers to Success
Youth participants in the Oregon Conservation Corps have a better shot as success because the program funds Program Partners who can help young people navigate local resources.
OCC Program Partners hire and train staff that are youth development professionals. Many crew leaders have specialized certifications, some are licensed social workers. These trusted adults can connect vulnerable youth to local housing authorities, utility assistance, education partners, health care providers, food security and nutrition programs, childcare support, addiction prevention, and support groups for family members or friends who are struggling with addiction, homelessness, and other issues.
Get the Facts
Wildfires destroyed over 4000 homes across Oregon.
1,100,000 acres of wild lands were burned.
The gross cost was $84 million, as reported by ODF.
There were 1134 wildfires.
518,000 acres of wild lands were burned.
Over 80% of those fires were attributed to humans.
Prevention Saves Oregon Money
For every $1.00 spent on forest restoration:
$5.70 in economic value is generated.
And $1.45 is saved in future fire-fighting costs.
That’s a +700% return on investment.
Since 2017, the State of Oregon has spent $1.4 billion fighting wildfires.
This would have been the equivalent of over $10 billion in prevention.
Which, if the Oregon Conservation Corps maintained its current rate of treatments, is 1,300,000+ acres and workforce training for 200,000+ youth over 6 years.
Resources for Property Owners
The Oregon Department of Forestry has a helpful section on their website that includes links to fire resistant plants, a fire-wise landscaping checklist, and other videos.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal has some great resources on creating defensible space around your home.
Would you like the Oregon Conservation Corps to work on your property? Check to see if there is an OCC Program Partner working in your area and ask them for an assessment.