Announcements

Central Oregon Wildfire Information

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory Spring Ponderosa Sale

Event Dates:
Online Sale Launch: April 12-22 Online Only
Pick-up Dates: April 26 and after

Online Ordering Process:
Browse our website at SNCO.org to explore the ponderosa pine ordering options.  Placing your order is a breeze with our user-friendly interface.

Central Oregon Septic Assistance Program

Central Oregon Septic Assistance Program (COSAP) offers financial aid for Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson County homeowners at or below moderate income level to repair/replace their septic system, or connect to a sewer line if:

  • They have a failing septic system
  • Their systems are non-compliant and post an imminent risk to public health and/or are likely to result in significant environmental impact

The application from COSAP’s second round of funding is open from Friday, March 15, 2024 until Monday, April 15, 2024 at 11:59pm. For more information and application form visit the COSAP webpage.

Free Yard Debris Disposal

Grass clippings, brush, plant prunings, pine needles, pine cones, weeds, trimmings and branches, stumps or trees (no larger than 12″ diameter). COVER YOUR LOADS! NOT Accepted: Sod, dirt, rocks, lumber, metal, trash or plastics of any kind, including plastic bags, and any stumps or trees larger than 12″ diameter.

BEND: Knott Landfill
May 3 – May 12, 7 AM – 4:30 PM
61050 SW 27th St., Bend
SUNRIVER: Sunriver Compost Site
May 3 – May 4, 8 AM – 4 PM
18305 Cottonwood Road, Sunriver
LA PINE: Southwest Transfer Station
May 31 – June 8, 8 AM – 4 PM
54580 Highway 97, La Pine

Deschutes National Forest selects permanent Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger

The Deschutes National Forest is pleased to announce the selection of Kevin Stock as the permanent Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger. “I’m excited to welcome Kevin Stock into his new District Ranger role,” said Deschutes National Forest Supervisor Holly Jewkes. “The District will benefit from his extensive natural resource management experience.” Click here for more information.

OSFM Incentive Program for Wildfire Defensible Space Projects

To help those living in communities more likely to be impacted by a wildfire, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is launching an incentive program to help Oregonians pay for defensible space projects. As part of the program, those who meet eligibility requirements will receive a $250 one-time payment. Homeowners, renters, and property owners must live in select areas of the state and request and receive a free defensible space assessment. Properties with a La Pine address are eligible.

The free assessments are given by a local fire service agency member or an OSFM representative. An expert will walk the participants’ property with them and provide valuable one-on-one time to discuss how to build and increase their fire resiliency. After the assessment, those who qualify will receive the payment in the mail for their participation. This incentive is designed to encourage people to implement the recommendations received during their assessment.

Please read the program guidelines here. For more details about the OSFM’s defensible space program, visit their website.

2024 BLM Community Fire Assistance Program

The Bureau of Land Management has allocated $90,000 for fuel reduction projects to protect communities and BLM land. Communities must be adjacent or within 1 mile to BLM Land, and preference will be given to projects that are community-based.

Fuel Reduction grants are intended to assist communities with specific, short-term projects or activities related to reducing fuels and improving defensible space in Deschutes County.  Projects will be direct agreements with the Deschutes County and the County will administer any service contract. 

Applicants for Fuel Reduction grants must be working at a neighborhood or community scale (not individual properties) to reduce fire risks.  Activities should result in reduction of fuels and/or improvement of defensible space around structures, ingress egress routes and fuel breaks Communities must be adjacent or within 1 mile to BLM Land.   

The first round of applications will be accepted until March 31, 2024, and will be reviewed shortly thereafter.  A site visit may be conducted as part of the review.  Applicants will be notified of results Mid-April.  Applications received after March 31 may be considered depending on available funding. For more information and application form click here. For additional information about this BLM Community Fire Assistance Application, please contact: Kevin Moriarty, County Forester at 541-322-7117 or forester@deschutes.org

Newberry Regional Partnership

The Newberry Regional Partnership is a team of public and private citizens that have come together to develop a long-range plan for growth in South Deschutes County. Our goal is to create a community strategic action plan and to provide a path for community civic engagement and education.

The Partnership is focused on creating a collaborative organization of community leaders from the public and private sectors to engage the broader La Pine community in planning for and dealing with changes associated with growth in the years ahead.

Email engage@newberryregionalpartnership.org with questions, comments, or suggestions for the group.

The Oregon State Wildfire Hazard Map

To enhance Oregon’s wildfire resilience, the State Legislature passed the 2021 SB 762 Omnibus Wildfire Bill that enacted recommendations from the Governor’s 2019 Wildfire Council. Click here to view a webinar exploring the broader intent of the legislation, its requirements for mapping, where the effort stands today, and what we continue to learn from the public’s reaction.

Two key leadership positions filled on the Deschutes National Forest

Kevin Larkin, Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger since 2012, is the new Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest and Kevin Stock, currently the Central Oregon Fire Management Service Fire and Aviation Staff Officer, will take a four-month assignment to become the Acting Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger. Click here for more information.

ODF and OSU to begin updating wildfire hazard map

Oregon Department of Forestry will soon begin work with Oregon State University to update the wildfire hazard map based on direction provided in Senate Bill 80, passed by the 2023 Oregon Legislature. This is in addition to the work ODF and OSU have been doing to incorporate feedback provided by landowners and local governments following last year’s initial map rollout. Click here for more information.

Forest Service Fuels Reduction Project Bordering OWW II Subdivision

Deschutes National Forest recently completed a wildfire fuels reduction project on a 40 acre parcel bordering the Oregon Water Wonderland II subdivision. Slash piles will be burned during the winter. Click here for a photo of the project.

Oregon State Fire Marshal launches a website to educate about defensible space

To better prepare Oregonians for wildfire and give them resources to help create defensible space, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has launched a new defensible space educational tool. The Oregon Defensible Space Program offers Oregon-specific wildfire preparedness best practices, resources for download, and an in-person defensible space property assessment request portal. Creating defensible space is something everyone can do to reduce the wildfire risk to their home or business from wildfire. This website provides a one-stop shop for Oregonians with information and other resources they need to protect their homes and neighborhoods.

Whether people want to connect with local programs, gain insight into maintaining defensible space, or begin a defensible space plan, Oregonians can find resources by visiting Oregon Defensible Space (https://oregondefensiblespace.org/)

New Fire Chief for La Pine Rural Fire District

The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District is pleased to announce the hiring of Erick Holsey as the District’s new Fire Chief. The selection follows the June 30, 2023 retirement of Chief Mike Supkis. Click here for more information.

UDRC Defensible Space Reimbursement Program

The 2024 Spring Defensible Space Reimbursement program is closed for new applications because funds are fully allocated. The 2024 Fall program will open after July 1 for property owners who did not receive a reimbursement in 2023.

The UDRC will help property owners within the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District with the cost of creating or maintaining defensible space for wildfire risk reduction. The UDRC will reimburse your expenses for licensed fuels reduction contractors or rental equipment up to $500 maximum. One application for a UDRC Defensible Space program from a sole or joint property owner will be accepted for work completed by June 30, 2024.

Applicants for the Reimbursement Program may not apply for the Low-income Senior program in the same year. The UDRC will not reimburse work completed before your application is approved. Your work plan must include examples of wildfire fuels reduction listed on the application form. To apply for the 2024 Spring Defensible Space Reimbursement Program click here for the online application form.

UDRC Low-income Senior or Disabled Defensible Space Program

The intention of this program is to offer assistance to property owners who cannot do the work themselves, or afford to hire someone else to do the work. UDRC has partnered with Council on Aging of Central Oregon to provide free wildfire fuels reduction services for low-income senior or low-income disabled homeowners in the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District. Click here for a printable flyer describing the program. To apply for this program, click here for the mail in application form with income and age or disability requirements or call UDRC at 541-556-0317 to request the application form. Applicants for the Low-income Senior or Low Income Disabled Program may not apply for the Reimbursement program in the same year.

2023 UDRC Programs Review

Defensible Space Reimbursement Program

Total Reimbursements: 100
Property Owner Expenses: $127,467
UDRC Reimbursement Payments: $49,037
54 reimbursements to UDRC communities
46 reimbursements to La Pine Area communities

Low-income Senior Defensible Space Program

Property Assessments: 20
Projects Completed: 15
Contractor Payments: $15,000

Home Hardening Pilot Program

Property Assessments: 16
Projects Completed: 8
Homeowner Expenses: $6,276
UDRC Reimbursement Payments: $3,138

The Low-income Senior program is funded by a grant from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund and Coalitions & Collaboratives AIM grant. The Reimbursement program is funded by grants from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, BNSF Railway Foundation, and Oregon State Fire Marshal Office. The Home Hardening Pilot Program was funded by a Coalitions & Collaboratives AIM grant.

Public Meetings

Forum to introduce the new Deschutes County Forester and Project Wildfire Coordinator. Cosponsored a film screening of “The West is Burning” with Discover Your Forest. Cosponsored a Wildfire Defensible Space Workshop with Oregon State Fire Marshall Office. Presented UDRC grant opportunities for a South Deschutes County grant workshop hosted by Oregon Living with Fire. If you have suggestions for future public meeting topics click on Contact UDRC.

Reporting Graffiti or Illegal Dump Sites

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office inmate work crews have been actively involved in the community by removing graffiti and cleaning up large collections of litter from property throughout Deschutes County. Click here to report graffiti or illegal dump sites in Deschutes County.