LAKEVIEW, OR – Yesterday the Lakeview Federal Sustained Yield Unit, also known as the Lakeview Federal Stewardship Unit, on the Fremont-Winema National Forest was officially discontinued.
Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen signed the letter ending the Unit at the recommendation of Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa and Fremont-Winema National Forest Supervisor Barry Imler following the conclusion of the regular 10-year review in September.
Put in place nearly 70 years ago, the Unit has evolved through the regular 10-year reviews, including the change in name to the Lakeview Stewardship Unit in 2001 and a restoration-focused policy statement.
Even with those changes, nearly 20 years later, the Unit was found during the latest review to be no longer viable or meeting its objectives.
The 492,000-acre Unit was established in 1950 to benefit local economic stability in the communities of Lakeview and Paisley by providing forest products. Initially there were three mills as part of the designation, with the mills restricted to only purchasing timber from within the Unit.
Over the past several years, the number of operating mills has decreased to one – Collins Pine in Lakeview. The decision to discontinue the Unit will allow that mill to bid on timber sales on all National Forest System Lands in the area.
Current forest management on the Fremont-Winema National Forest is increasing economically viable opportunities beyond the Unit boundary. They are utilizing the latest authorities, working collaboratively, and increasing focus on landscape scale forest restoration and stewardship.
“Ending the Unit will free Collins Pine to become fully involved in the accelerated landscape restoration work being done in the area,” said acting Fremont-Winema National Forest Natural Resources Staff Officer Mike Ramsey. “We are taking the lessons learned from the Unit and applying them across the landscape and look forward to working with local timber resources on these important restoration projects.”