Photo: Sustainable Northwest Wood
Volume XVIII | Issue 2 | Fall 2018
Cover Story

Early ranchers shared the wide-open lands of Central and Eastern Oregon with about 1 million acres of native western juniper. Today, biologists estimate that juniper stands now cover more than 9 million acres. The thirsty trees suck up precious water resources and crowd out other plants and wildlife. That’s not good. High desert ecosystems suffer greatly from the invasion. One juniper can suck up to 40 gallons of water a day, water that could be nourishing grasses, wildlife and cattle. A collaboration of government agencies, business leaders and nonprofit groups is working hard to create a market for the species, which would slow the spread of juniper while injecting a dose of badly needed vitality into the region’s cash-strapped economy.

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Community Vitality is published twice a year (in a printed format and online) for community leaders by The Ford Family Foundation.

Anne Kubisch, President; Nora Vitz Harrison, Editor; Megan Monson, Assistant Editor.

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Eastern Oregon landscape with juniper

Solving the problem of the thirsty juniper

Early ranchers shared the wide-open lands of Central and Eastern Oregon with about 1 million acres of native western juniper. Today, because of a combination of factors including fire suppression,...  Read More

Working hard to meet demand

Kendall Derby jumped into the juniper milling game 12 years ago, with a mill in Dayville. He moved to Fossil in 2008 when a mill with a kiln and warehouse went up for sale. Business for his...  Read More

Volunteers bring old school to life

The West Valley Community Campus buzzes with activities. Serving the communities of Willamina, Sheridan and Grand Ronde, it’s home to a variety of regular events for the public, from belly dancing...  Read More

Broadband comes to Willamina

Dave Buswell knows a golden opportunity when he hears one. OnlineNW, the primary Internet provider for rural communities in the mid-Willamette Valley area, came to Willamina last year to invite the...  Read More

Building economic resiliency

Forest fires. Floods. Earthquakes. Ice storms. There’s no way to predict when potentially catastrophic events will test the economic resiliency of a community. But as astrophysicist Carl Sagan once...  Read More

Two Scholars excel after graduation

Ford ReStart Scholar Joseph Foley is in his first year in a demanding doctoral program in Virginia. Eleven years ago, he was in a very different place.  “I’m a recovering alcoholic,” 35-year-old...  Read More

2018 Hallie Ford Fellows named

Talent and potential took the spotlight with the naming of the 2018 Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts in June. A jury of five arts professionals selected Avantika Bawa, Demian DinéYazhi’,...  Read More

Studio, artists celebrated

A new book and exhibition chronicles the 25-year history of a world-class printmaking studio located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton. The Hallie Ford...  Read More

New report spotlights data

“Our ability to do great things with data will make a real difference in every aspect of our lives.” —Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America Good data contribute to good decisions. The ability...  Read More

Play initiative

School may have been out for the summer, but for some families, the learning never stopped. Every Tuesday and Thursday over the summer, a play-to-learn group at the Drain Community Pool drew families...  Read More

Defining equity locally

When the Malheur Education Service District gathered a cross-section of the community together to explore the readiness for work around equity, organizers were surprised at the results. “More people...  Read More

Fun with everyday math

Most parents are aware of the need for developing reading skills in their young children. But a growing body of research is highlighting the need for children to hone their math skills. If you think...  Read More

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