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Consortium Provides Forum For Information Exchange

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Consortium for Sustainable Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems has been established in Wenatchee, to provide a forum for landowners, state and federal agencies, and universities to share information about managing and sustaining natural resources in the interior Pacific Northwest.

The goal of the consortium is to bring together a diverse group of managers and landowners with different goals and regulatory authorities to discuss common problems and concerns that cross jurisdictional boundaries.

Members include the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U. S. Forest Service; Washington State University; Pacific Northwest Region and Northern Region of the U. S. Forest Service; and the University of Washington. Edward DePuit, chair of WSU’s natural resource sciences department, and Richard Everett, an ecologist at the PNW Research Station are co-chairs of the organization.

“The team has been working together on regional resource issues since 1993,” explained Everett. “We recently formalized the organization, which will be coordinated jointly by the Wenatchee lab of the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the department of natural resource sciences at Washington State University. One of the primary efforts of the team is to make sure that current research and technology is easily available for use by landowners and managers.”

“We’re all very excited about the opportunities this is going to create for increased interdisciplinary collaboration,” said DePuit. “Basically we — the Forest Service, the University of Washington, and WSU — are going to be able to accomplish far more together in cooperation with our constituencies than we would be able to do separately. The consortium will greatly facilitate this sort of collaboration.”

Current projects include assessment and description of forest and rangeland conditions at multiple hierarchial scales and the transfer of resource information to user groups and the general public through consortiums, conferences, and workshops. The education and technology transfer programs of the group are directed by WSU Cooperative Extension.

The consortium is working on issues of specific importance to forests and rangelands in the interior Pacific Northwest. These issues include biodiversity, threatened and endangered species, wetlands and riparian zone management, water and air quality concerns, and the impacts of changing natural resource conditions on resource dependent communities.

For more information contact Ed DePuit, Washington State University, at (509) 335-8570, or Richard Everett PNW Research Station, Wenatchee Forestry Sciences Laboratory at (509) 662-4315.

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