“Catalyzing creative solutions to restore healthy and resilient forests and communities across the region.”
The Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation was first established as a nonprofit in February 2011. At the time, our sole mission was to provide fund development, fiscal administration, and strategic leadership for collaborative forest restoration groups that aim to restore and steward forest resources on Central Oregon’s public and private lands, including the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project (DCFP) and the Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative (OFRC).
Since then we have expanded our ability to enhance the quality and quantity of forest restoration in Central Oregon. Now, in addition to supporting forest collaborative groups, COFSF seeks to advance innovation and leadership in forest restoration by connecting people to resources, expertise, and each other. We host peer-to-peer learning events and demonstration projects, and develop tools to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative efforts.
COFSF remains committed to integrating diverse stakeholders into collaborative efforts and using and promoting equitable and inclusive practices.
The origins of collaborative forest restoration in Central Oregon can be traced back to the summer of 2000 and one of the worst wildfire seasons on record in the U.S. West. In response to local concerns over wildfire risk, community safety, forest health concerns, and forest restoration needs, a handful of small-scale demonstration projects and community-based organizations emerged. These efforts focused on increasing local capacity to plan and implement a shared wildfire risk reduction strategy across agency and organizational jurisdictions and on improving coordination and communication among diverse organizations and civic entities.
There was a critical need for sustainable funding to support these bourgeoning efforts. The Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation (COFSF) was created to address this ongoing need for funding to sustain effective collaborative process and capacity. Since then COFSF’s mission has expanded to support innovation, implementation efficiencies, and appropriately scaled risk-taking to enhance the quality and quantity of forest restoration in Central Oregon.
Wildfires Ignite Collaboration
One of the worst wildfire seasons on the record to-date sparks multiple small-scale collaborative efforts to address wildfire risk reduction, community safety, and forest health.
Collaborative Efforts Unite
Congress appropriates $40 million dollars for collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forested landscapes under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). Members of collaborative efforts such as FLN, COPWRR, and Project Wildfire jointly apply for and receive funding.
Restoring the Deschutes Forest
Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project (DCFP) is formed and receives the first of 10 years of annual appropriations (roughly $1 million annual) to begin implementing the plan to restore forest and watershed resilience within the Central Oregon CFLRP landscape.
Central Oregon Forest Stewardship
Awareness of the critical need for sustainable funding to support effective collaboration lead to the creation of the Central Oregon forest Stewardship Foundation (COFSF) which was established as a nonprofit in February 2011.
A Need Arises in the Ochoco Forest
The Ochoco Restoration Forest Collaborative (OFRC) forms in 2012 to support effective and timely forest restoration on the Ochoco National Forest. This increases the regional need for funding to support effective collaborative efforts.
Collaborative Discussion Tool
COFSF supports the development of a collaborative discussion tool “Aspen Restoration and Social Agreements: An Introductory Guide for Forest Collaboratives in Central and Eastern Oregon.”
Expanding the COFSF Mission
The COFSF Board launches a process to review and revise the Foundation’s bylaws to reflect the growth of forest-focused collaboration in Central Oregon as well as the increasing regional needs for forest restoration and stewardship.
Dry Forest Implementation Efficiencies Workshop
COFSF hosts its first workshop on Dry Forest Implementation Efficiencies, attended by over 100 practitioners. [Read the Workshop proceedings document here.]
Forest Service’s Chief’s Honor Award
The Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project receives The Chief’s Honor Award and is publicly recognized for its outstanding accomplishments that contribute to the Forest Service’s strategic goals. [Read the Press Release here.]
Dry Forest Restoration on Steep Terrain Workshop
COFSF hosts a peer-to-peer learning event engaging practitioners in a discussion about opportunities and challenges related to restoring dry forests on steep terrain.
Demonstration of Dry Forest Restoration on Steep Terrain
COFSF showcased modern harvester and forwarder equipment restoring dry forests on steep terrain, supporting discussions about opportunities and barriers to restoration on slopes greater than 35%.
Enhance the effectiveness of forest collaboratives
Overcome barriers to landscape-level forest restoration
Connect land managers and forest practitioners to expertise, resources, and each other
Inspire and support innovative and effective approaches to forest restoration
COFSF Board Members & Staff
Trails Volunteer Program Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest
Retirement has offered Kit Dickey an opportunity to indulge her love of working in the woods by organizing several volunteer trail crews that specialize in wilderness trail maintenance and restoration, using cross-cut saws for log out, and hand tools to repair and restore trail tread and drainage. Sustainable trails require sustainable forests, so Kit decided to join the Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative (OFRC) in early 2015 and put her administrative and managerial skills to work, serving as the Chair for OFRC’s Outreach and Project Planning Subcommittees as well as serving on OFRC’s Executive Committee. She became a Board member in 2016 out of a commitment to ensuring OFRC’s success. Kit is actively involved in a plethora of other collaborative ventures including the Ochoco Trails Strategy Group, the Deschutes Trails Coalition, and Hooves and Wheels.
Loren Kellogg, Ph.D.
Dr. Loren Kellogg is professor emeritus at the College of Forestry at Oregon State University where he taught courses in forest harvesting and management and spearheaded forest engineering research and development. He served as the Director of the Forest Engineering Institute, Chair of the Council on Forest Engineering, and Group Leader of Forest Harvesting and Transportation research in the International Union of Forest Research Organizations. His international forestry work included three sabbaticals and a Fulbright Scholar Award for living and working in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Loren is a founding member of the Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation Board and the Deschutes Forest Landscape Collaborative (DCFP). He currently serves on the DCFP Steering Committee. In 2008, he and his family started Intermountain Wood Energy (IWE) LLC.
Rebecca Franklin, Ph.D.
Program Director, Forest Resources Technology Natural & Industrial Resources Department, COCC
Dr. Rebecca Franklin is the Program Director for Forestry Resources Technology at Central Oregon Community College. She also teaches at COCC as a professor in dendrology, natural resource conservation, resource sampling, and forestry. A large part of Rebecca’s commitment to educating the workforce of the future is creating connections between students and local agency and private industry professionals in outdoor laboratory settings so that thye may begin their careers with practical, hands-on and field-based skills. Rebecca has done research, field work, and agency work in seven western states and is currently interested in the geobotany and endemic plants of Oregon. She received her bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Humboldt State University and her PhD from the University of Arizona where she completed her dissertation on Dendrochronology in the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research.
Retired, U. S. Forest Service Silviculturist
Spending his Wonder Bread years in rural Georgia, Ed lived a Huck Finn life in the piney woods of the South. His family moved south of Boston, where he hiked hardwood forests with autumn aromas triggering deep dives into gigantic leaf piles like a burrowing badger. He attended OSU, Corvallis, then UMaine, Orono. Working pre- and post-eruption at Mount St. Helens, he was a timber salvage and Brush Disposal crew leader, as well as a wildfire Crew Boss. The Corps de la Paix (Peace Corps) experience in the Peoples Republic of Bénin gave Ed more than he could give. Returning to the Pacific NW, Ed began a Forest Service career in Chemult on the Winema National Forest. He retired as the Forest Silviculturist after 34+ years. Ed enjoys both water and cross-country skiing, kayaking, and wakeboarding, as well as lots of terrestrial adventures.
COFSF Board Member
Forest Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
In his previous role as the OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent serving Central Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Thomas provided science-based education to communities on the management and conservation of forests and wildlife habitats. Thomas works with individuals, youth and adult classes, and collaborative groups to help support an inclusive learning environment that encourages multiple natural resource management perspectives. He also provides technical support to help inform land management decisions at local and regional levels, focusing on cross-boundary partnerships and balancing ecological, economic, and societal values.
Vernita Ediger, Ph.D.
COFSF Executive Director
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Natural Resources and Environment Program Director
Dr. Vernita Ediger earned her doctorate in Environmental Anthropology from Stanford University, focusing on working landscape conservation, cooperative resource management, institutional structures and power dynamics, and mechanisms through which public perceptions influence land management. Prior to her time with COFSF, Vernita served as the Executive Director the Blue Mountains Forest Partners (BMFP), where she developed new approaches that enabled BMFP to triple their annual project acreage and their income. As the Executive Director for COFSF, she is excited to grow the Foundation by expanding and branding COFSF programs. Vernita provides strategic direction, facilitation, and fund development for the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project and Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, and engages with other collaborative natural resource efforts, such as the Wild Horse Sounding Board and the Deschutes Trails Coalition.
COFSF Board Member
Born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in San Diego, California, John received a BS in Forest Management from UC Berkeley and started his career on the Bly Ranger District of the Fremont National Forest as a seasonal employee for three seasons. He worked as a certified silviculturist on the Winema and Umpqua National Forests and spent 12 years as a District Ranger at McKenzie River on the Willamette National Forest. He later fulfilled a dream of working and living in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem for four years on the Gallatin NF as a Deputy Forest Supervisor. His last post and the most rewarding chapter was as Forest Supervisor of the Deschutes NF for 12 years in Bend, Oregon. In 2019, John retired from the Forest Service after a 40-year career working on six National Forests in two Regions. Retirement finds John always doing something outdoors; hiking, skiing, fishing, kayaking, photography, and exploring new landscapes with his wife Julie and their son, Conor.
We currently have no open positions. Please check back later.
Our collaborative forest restoration work would not be possible without the generous support from our Funders.
Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation (COFSF)
Bend, OR 97701
The Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation (COFSF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations to the COFSF are tax-exempt, and the COFSF complies with all 501(c)(3) rules and regulations. Tax ID: 27-2703426.