As of Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Orogrande Community Protection Project got a jump start in July when Idaho Department of Correction’s (IDOC) Red Shirt crew joined forces with forest personnel.
The Red Shirts, comprised of 10 crew members from the Idaho Corrections Institute in Orofino, put training they had acquired to use cutting, brushing, and piling around the community of Orogrande. Corrections Officer Spencer, said of the group, “They are ready to go to work.”
The IDOC crew members earn $1.25 an hour. Wages earned in projects like the Orogrande project can be used to send money home, pay for child support, and purchase items in the commissary like pop, candy and Ramen noodles.
Skills learned and utilized help inmates reintegrate back into the community and find jobs. When crew members were asked if they had spent time in the forest and done similar work, a range of experience, from one who had grown up in that line of work to another who was originally from Sacramento and had never done any kind of related work or spent time on forest lands, was shared.
Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Supervisor, Cheryl Probert, signed the Final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Orogrande Community Protection Project on Jan. 29, 2016. In a Feb. 8, news release, a community member shared, "The Orogrande Protection Project is an example, of what can be accomplished when the local community and USFS work together in a harmonious way…”
The project is designed to reduce forest fuels near private lands and roads near the Orogrande Community, other private lands, and along Forest Road 233, the Crooked River Road. The project is also designed to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfires and to improve forest health, vigor and resilience within forest stands. These actions are consistent with the Idaho County Community Wildlife Protection Plan (CWPP). The project area is located in the Crooked River watershed southwest of Elk City.