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Chapter 6: A socioeconomic assessment of Forest Service Recovery Act Projects: Huron Fuels Treatment Project, Michigan

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Year Published

2011

Publication

In: Charnley, Susan; Jakes, Pamela; Schelhas, John, tech. coords. A socioeconomic assessment of Forest Service American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects: eight case studies. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-831. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 87-103.

Abstract

"Iosco jobless rate passes 20 percent" read the headline in the Oscoda Press, February 3, 2010 (Nelson 2010). Although never described as prosperous, in the past, Iosco and neighboring Alcona, Crawford, and Oscoda Counties had benefited from diverse economies, with jobs found in small manufacturing plants, timber harvesting, wood processing facilities, and four-season recreation. But the economic downturn has been felt even in the relatively isolated communities of the Huron National Forest. When the opportunity arose to propose projects for Forest Service Recovery Act funding, staff on the Mio and Huron Shores Ranger Districts asked how they could develop a safe project that would provide jobs, support local governments, and invest in area businesses. Wildfire is recognized as the number one natural hazard in the area, with forests composed of one of the Nation's more volatile forest types and individual homes or developments scattered among the trees. The recovery project designed by the districts resulted in the hiring of eight students under the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and 80 individuals as temporary employees who reduced the wildfire risk in east-central Michigan by constructing new fuelbreaks and maintaining fuelbreaks established as early as the 1940s and 1950s, mitigating wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface, and improving the health of federal forest land.

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Citation

Jakes, Pamela. 2011 Chapter 6: A socioeconomic assessment of Forest Service Recovery Act Projects: Huron Fuels Treatment Project, Michigan. In: Charnley, Susan; Jakes, Pamela; Schelhas, John, tech. coords. A socioeconomic assessment of Forest Service American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects: eight case studies. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-831. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 87-103.

Last updated on: October 21, 2011