A Resilient Community Living with Wildfire
Historically, fire was a natural part of the landscape in North Central Washington and as a result of fire suppression, the natural fire regime has been altered resulting in leaving forest stands overstocked, contiguous with ladder fuels, and infested with insects that cause tree mortality.
These landscape characteristics coupled with development where communities meet the wildland and the increase in fire intensity in the Leavenworth area, leave our community at high risk for damage to lives, property, and infrastructure. As an organization we aim to create a “new natural”—a culture that coexists with wildfire and accepts fire as a natural process in our landscape.
To Build a Community, Culture & Landscape Adapted to Fire
The CWSC’s highest goal is to change the social, environmental, and economic contexts in which we view fire by creating fire adapted landscapes, governments, businesses, and residents, all connected and collaborating to change the way we live and work in fire country.
We strive to restore fire dependent ecosystems, and recognize fire’s place and role in the landscape.
Collaboration, education, and outreach all play a strong role in how we work to accomplish our mission and ultimately achieve the vision of a resilient community living with wildfire.
WHO WE SERVE
The greater Leavenworth, Washington area for the past twelve years
The Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition has been integral to the fire adaptation process in the greater Leavenworth, Washington area for the past twelve years. Fiscally sponsored as a non-profit by the Washington Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Coalition has a history full of spearheading new ideas, facilitating and collaborating, and implementing fire adaptation and forest restoration projects. Over the years strong partnerships have been fostered with residents, non-profits, contractors, and other collaborative organizations, plus local, state, and federal partners- but always with an essential connection to our grassroots and to our sense of place.
Each spring we partner with Chelan County Fire District 3 to bring free vegetative fuels reduction programs to the upper valley area. The Coalition coordinates multi-owner forest fuels reductions for private owners at the 50-300 acre scale each year. Engaging small private forest owners while keeping in close contact with our partners has proven to help in removing barriers which have deterred many of those same owners in the past from actively managing their lands. In accordance with the Washington Department of Natural Resources 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, the Coalition seeks to:
- Accelerate the pace and scale of treatments, with a special emphasis on working with residents and landowners in Chelan County Fire District 3.
- The Coalition strategically focuses work to protect communities and values at high risk from wildfire. Educational workshops and town meetings, along with home and landscape assessments for fire risk are among our specialties.
- We work to promote rural economic development and use of restoration by-products. Consulting foresters, fuels removal contractors, and alternative uses for forest products are near the top of the list for us. We need our contractors, foresters, and other industry folks to help us stay safer in the event of a wildfire. Find more on these strategies in ‘Before the Fire.’ (provide link)
We dream of healthy forests and a community that is ready for and adapted to wildfire.