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Rep. Walden Announces Establishment of Prineville Forest Health Center

Location: Prineville, OR

April 8, 2004 Thursday


BYLINE: States News Service


The office of Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., issued the following press release:

At a breakfast meeting this morning in Prineville, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) announced that the U.S. Forest Service will create a long sought after forest health research center in Prineville. The establishment of the center has been sought by Walden and Sen. Ron Wyden, who both introduced legislation at the end of last year's legislative session to authorize the Prineville center. The purpose of the center will be to implement an effective monitoring, evaluation, and early warning system to determine fire risk and other forest health threats at multiple scales, as well as the forest health benefits achieved through management activities and the future risk of uncharacteristic wildland fires and insect and disease epidemics in the western United States.

Walden, who was recently named Chairman of the Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, applauded the administration's decision to create the Prineville center.

"Establishing this forest health center in Prineville will go a long way toward enhancing our understanding of the causes of wildfires in the West, as well as the most effective means of preventing them and improving the health of our forests," said Walden. "I'm hopeful that this center will become a first-class research facility that will increase our ability to keep our forests, watersheds, critical species habitat and rural communities safe from the threat of wildfire. I'm also optimistic about the center's potential to create new jobs in the local area, which has been economically hard hit in recent years.

Walden continued, "This success is the result of a cooperative teamwork effort between Oregon's congressional delegation, local leaders like Judge Scott Cooper and other concerned individuals. I'm looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition, and I'll continue to do everything in my power to improve the health of the forests in central Oregon and across the western United States."

HTZW sgsb 040409-30491 KMKM

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