DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST -- As the first phase of USDA Forest Service economic stimulus funds arrive in Central Oregon, two Deschutes National Forest contracts were awarded Tuesday under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Jefferson and Deschutes Counties.
Tree thinning and biomass removal work will begin within the week. A contract was awarded to Melcher Logging, Incorporated in the amount of $1,472,000 for work in Jefferson County on the Sisters Ranger District. This work on approximately 3,200 acres will occur on the Head Thinning project, an existing stewardship project in the woods.
Another contract for $402,582 was awarded to Quicksilver Contracting Company for lower elevation thinning work to be done at several locations on the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District in Deschutes County. Quicksilver will employ approximately twenty persons to do the work across approximately 3,630 acres.
The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests are on schedule to award the remaining funds of approximately three million dollars to contractors in Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties by the end of the week.
“Jefferson and Deschutes Counties have seen some of the highest increases in unemployment in our state over the past few months,” says Deputy Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth. “It is very exciting to be part of putting people back to work reducing the hazardous fuels near our communities right here in Central Oregon.”