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Illinois Valley Fire Resiliency Oversight Group

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What we do.....

Illinois Valley Fire Resiliency Oversight Group (IVFROG) helps local residents prepare for wildfire season. Utilizing a collaborative approach to wildfire resiliency, IVFROG promotes programs which defray costs to landowners seeking to reduce the risk of fire near their homes and in surrounding forests. IVFROG acknowledges that we live in a fire-adapted ecosystem - major activities include fuels mitigation work and fostering a Fire-adapted Community.

Who we are.....

We (IVSWCD) serve as the fiscal sponsor and partner in IVFROG. This group  is funded in part by Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and the Roundhouse Foundation.  Active partners include:

Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDO), Illinois Valley Fire District, Bureau of land Management, Cave Junction City Council, Grayback Forestry, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, Oregon Department of Forestry, Illinois Valley Watershed Council,  Rogue Valley Integrated Fire Plan, KS Wild, Lamakatsi, USDA natural Resouces Conservation Service (NRCS), oregon State University (OSU), Southern oregon Research and Extensiion Center (SOREC), Rogue Forest partners, US Forest Service Wild Rivers ranger District, office of the State Fire Marchall, and Wilson Biochar. 

Our Beginnings.....

Stewards of Our Forests – WUI Call-for-Action

Nearly a decade ago, a public land decision to log Hope Mountain in Takilma hit a snag.  Led by community-minded folk, namely the late John Meengs, neighbors went into action. They wanted to preserve the clean, clear and cool waters of nearby Page Creek which meanders through their forested properties before it meets the East Fork Illinois River.

As a result of working together, a unique partnership formed between local residents, local contractors, Grayback Forestry and Wilson BioChar and Wild Rivers Ranger District (WRRD). That cooperative spirit led to a healthier, more fire-resistant landscape. The project was proof that the best stewards of the forest are those already living in harmony with it.

Other experienced natural resource professionals and community liaison organizations such as the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDo) joined the effort, contributing to the project’s success.

“We strived to reach a point … where things weren’t so much ‘done to us’ as much as they were ‘done by, and with us’,” said Takilma resident Stacey Williams.

More recently, the Illinois Valley Watershed Council received grant funding and worked both with residents and the US Forest Service on a project to help improve conditions for native fish in Page Creek.

Over time, and with support from multiple sources, the Takilma stewardship model has grown to encompass the entire Illinois Valley. The Illinois Valley Fire Resiliency Oversight Group, IVFROG as it is known today, addresses the Illinois Valley’s potential for catastrophic wildfire. Fire Risk Reduction strategies such as removing over-grown brush and ladder fuels on private woodlands are primary goals of IVFROG.

From O’Brien to Selma and in between, all residences in the Illinois Valley are identified in a class of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), either Moderate or Extreme fire risk. IVFROG utilizes cost-share programs through the USDA and other logistical means to help residents prepare for wildfire season.

“Citizens ready to take action to reduce their risk of wildfire and create defensible space are key stakeholders,” according to Cheryl Nelson, who serves the community as IVFROG’s Engagement Coordinator.  “With an overabundance of fuels on private lands, woodland owners play a huge role in helping reduce the potential of catastrophic wildfire,” said Nelson.

Nelson’s position is funded through a grant agreement between the Illinois Valley Soil & Water Conservation District and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s Stakeholder Engagement program.

Wild Rivers Ranger District (WRRD) supports the IVFROG partnership’s fuels reduction projects in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) as “it provides mutual protection across boundaries,” according to District Ranger, Scott Blower.

Visit the IVFROG website: