During contentious times in the early 1990’s, conversations between an environmentalist in the Applegate River watershed and a logger revealed common interests about forest management. They invited others to a series of community meetings to explore how watershed conservation and timber cutting could coexist.
The Applegate Partnership that grew out of those meetings tackled two goals: healthy forests and employment. The Partnership formed a Watershed Council that initiated stream restoration projects with working groups focused on buying local, helping small loggers market timber, helping develop Adaptive Management Areas in public forests, and widely circulating the Applegator community newspaper. Since the 90’s, the Watershed Council has changed. Today the staff is reduced, working part time, often from home, and board members participate in working groups. U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees no longer serve on the Council, but contribute as specialists in working groups.
When asked about the future, Watershed Council President Jack Shipley said the first by-laws in 1992 established a sunset clause of seven years, but the successful collaboration has inspired the partners to keep at it, even as the task of restoration exceeds their original time frame.
Sources: Sustainable Northwest. Founders of a New Northwest, People Working Towards Solutions. Portland, Oregon: Sustainable Northwest. 1997, 37-40. Print; Shipley, Jack. Personal interview with author. 5 Nov. 2015.