Forest Health in the Columbia River Gorge

This website provides information and educational resources to assist landowners, land managers, and natural resource professionals in their efforts to sustain forest and tree health and resiliency in the Columbia Gorge. Trees and forests in the Columbia River Gorge face many challenges across diverse topography and climate conditions. In the Gorge, it seems that there are constant threats to forest health from the interaction of wind, ice, snow, heat, or drought and hazards due to fire, insects, and diseases.


Contacts - Sources of assistance for maintaining forest and tree health in the Columbia Gorge

Storm damage toolkit - Useful programs and information to assist in recovery from storm damage to trees and forests.

Fire damage toolkit - Useful information for assessing and managing forests after a fire has occurred.

Fuel Hazards Reduction - Resources and programs to assist forest landowners and land managers in reducing fire hazards.

Forest Health Presentations - Slide presentations from Forest Health Workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact information for sources of assistance in the effort to maintain forest and tree health in the Columbia Gorge.

Federal and Tribal

-Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (541) 308-1700

-Region 6 Forest Health Protection (503) 808-2913

-Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (Fire) (503) 808-2732

-Pacific Northwest Region 6 [Fire and Aviation] (503) 808-2468

-Yakima Nation (509) 865-5121

-Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (541)276-3165

State of Washington

-Forest Stewardship Program 360-902-1706

-Underwood Conservation District (509) 493-1936

-WA Department of Natural Resources Eastern Washington Landowner Assistance Program (509) 925-8510

-Skamania County Extension Office (509) 427-3931

-Klickitat County Extension Office, (509) 773-5817

 State of Oregon

-Oregon Department of Forestry Stewardship Foresters Statewide

Hood River and Wasco Counties - Chet Behling, (541) 296-4626

-Oregon Department of Forestry, Forest Health Management (503) 945-7386 

- Oregon State University Extension Service, Hood River County (541) 386-3343

- Oregon State University Extension Service, Wasco County (541) 296-5494

-Oregon State University Extension Service, Sherman County (541) 565-3230

-Hood River County Forestry Department (541) 387-6888

Private Contractors

-Oregon, Hood River & Wasco Co.

-Washington, SE Washington area

Storm damage toolkit

 Useful programs and information to assist in recovery from storm damage to trees and forests.

 Cost-Share and Other Financial Assistance

 -USDA Emergency Farm Loans  provided to producers (crops, trees, livestock, farm) to help recover from a natural disaster  

 -USDA Disaster Assistance Program-Tree Assistance Program (TAP) financial assistance for qualifying orchard and tree farmers owners that sustain damage from a natural disaster

 Following a Storm (salvage harvest, cleanup, hazard trees, etc.)  

-Forest Storm Damage Factsheet Washington DNR Presentation

-Storm Damage to Forests: Information for Landowners Washington DNR

-Tree First Aid after a Storm Oregon Department of Forestry

-Can These Trees Be Saved  Oregon Department of Forestry

-Burn Pile Tips Oregon Department of Forestry

Insects and Storm Damage

-Slash Management for Bark Beetle Prevention, Oregon Department of Forestry

-Pest Watch: California Fivespined Ips-A Pine Engraver Beetle New to Washington State, WSU Extension Factsheet

-Forest Health Note: Pine Engraver Beetle, Oregon Department of Forestry

-Management Guide for Pine Engraver USDA USFS Forest Health Protection

-Blowdown and Douglas-fir Bark Beetles in Western Oregon, Oregon Department of Forestry Factsheet

-Douglas-fir beetle USDA USFS Forest Health Protection

-MCH Pheromones for Douglas-fir Beetle Management, Oregon Department of Forestry

Fire damage toolkit

 Useful information for assessing and managing forests after a fire has occurred.

 Cost-Share and Other Financial Assistance

  -WA Department of Natural Resources Forest Health Hazard Landowner Assistance Program

  -Eastern Washington Forest Landowners Cost-Share Application, Financial assistance provided by USDA and administered by the DNR to help landowners improve forest health and reduce the risk of bark beetle and wildfire damage in Eastern Washington.  All non-federal landowners with less than 5000 acres of forested land are eligible. For more information visit the link or call (360) 902-1706.

  -Determination of Eligibility for Financial Assistance for Timber Salvage Operations in Oregon, A workbook to determine landowner eligibility for financial assistance for reforestation and certain salvage harvests following a fire in Oregon.

 Following a Fire

 After a fire occurs it can be daunting to know where to start.  This section collects some useful publications and information related to post-fire assessment, timber salvage, and replanting.”

  -After the Burn, This comprehensive paper provides the necessary information to assess and manage forestland following a wildfire in the Inland Northwest.

  -Help After a Wildfire, Oregon Department of Forestry has put together a wealth of information for landowners on what to do after a fire.

  -The Phoenix Guide, USDA Handbook providing detailed information on wilfire preparedness, impacts, and recovery after fire.

  -Science Update: Managing Forest After Fire,  Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Update focused on post-fire management.

  -Timber Salvage After Wildfires, Oregon Department of Forestry publication answering questions related to timber harvests following a wildfire.

  Insects and Fire

 -Forest Health Alert, Fire Injury to trees, Washington DNR publication for assessing which trees will survive a fire, including trees that are at risk for insect attack.

 Fuel Hazards Reduction

 -Firewise landscaping Checklist Key steps in assessing and managing fuel hazards on woodland home sites.

  -Reducing Fire Hazard on Your Woodland Basics of fire hazard management on small woodlands.

 -Reducing Hazardous Fuels on Woodland Property: Pruning Discusses pruning as a way to reduce fire hazard in forest land. Outlines pruning guidelines and considerations.

 -Reducing Hazardous Fuels on Woodland Properties: Mechanical Fuels Reduction Describes mechanical ways to reduce hazardous fuels on woodland properties, including Slashbuster-type machines, grinders, and masticators.

 -Reducing Hazardous Fuels on Woodland Property: Disposing of Woody Material Tells various ways to use and dispose of woody material left after a thinning or harvest on forest land.

 -Reducing Hazardous Fuels on Woodland Property: Thinning Describes benefits of thinning a stand of forest trees. Benefits include increased potential economic value as well as better protection against wildfire.

Forest Health Presentations

 Emerging Forest Health Issues and Best Management Practices to Improve Resilience, Vancouver, WA, May 12, 2017

-2016 Forest Health Highlights for Washington and Oregon, Storm Damage and Douglas-fir Beetle Outbreaks, Tree Defoliators, combined slide by Glenn Kohler, Entomologist, Washington Department of Natural Resources

-Forest Insect and Disease Information Resources, Reference list handout from Glenn Kohler, Washington Department of Natural Resources.

-California Fivespined Ips: ID & Management. A summary of findings, implications and recommendations for management of western ponderosa pine with CFI.   by Todd Murray, Entomologist, WSU Extension

-Root diseases and Heart Rots: Identifiction, ecology and management of primary fungal agents in the Columbia River Gorge. Update on Bigleaf Maple Decline, combined slide show by Dan Omdal, Forest Pathologist, Washington Department of Natural Resources

-Emerging Invasive Species Threats to PNW Trees and Forests. Methods to detect and report new occurrences, by Amy Grotta, OSU Extension Forester

-Abiotic Tree Stress and Damage. Covering “sick-tree” issues related to abiotic stress from climate extremes and soil or site issues, by Glenn Ahrens, OSU Extension Forester.


 Urban Forest Health Issues and Best Management Practices to Improve Resilience, Hood River, OR, April 5, 2016

-Identification, Ecology, and Management: Insects, by Christine Buhl, Entomologist, Oregon Department of Forestry

-Identification, Ecology, and Management: Diseases, by Amy Ramsey, Pathologist, Washington Department of Natural Resources

-Predicting Post-fire Conifer Mortality, by Steve Fitzgerald, Silviculture Specialist, Oregon State University Extension

 Frequently asked questions

-Q&A Storm Damage to Forests

-Q&A Timber Salvage After Wildfire