The field trips and tours will take place on Friday, April 15th.
Field Trip #1 – Burning for Blooms, Butterflies, Birds (and Bouquets): Prescribed Fire in the Willamette Valley
This field trip will leave from the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) at 8:00 am and travel to the following stops throughout the day; Nature Conservancy’s Kingston Prairie and Baskett Butte Preserves; Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge; private lands; and will end with a visit to a local winery to sample some of the north Willamette Valley’s finest bouquets. The bus will return to OCC around 5:00 pm.
Restoring fire’s important role in the ecology of Willamette Valley prairies, savanna, and woodlands has become a focus of restoration and conservation in recent years with the listings of species such as Fender’s blue butterfly, Streaked horned lark, and Kincaid’s lupine as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Over 1000 acres are being burned annually to restore and maintain habitat and other ecological conditions necessary for the conservation of these and other culturally important, rare and native, threatened and endangered, plants and animals. On this field trip, we will be looking at fire effects from Fall 2015 prescribed burning in prairie and oak savanna managed by The Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private lands enrolled in the Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation Service Wetland Reserve Programs.
The cost of the field trip is $55/person and includes transportation, lunch, snacks, water and wine tasting.
Tour the facilities of Columbia Helicopters to get an up close and personal look at the nations fleet of heavy helicopters that are used in aerial firefighting.
Participants will be able to get valuable knowledge on accessories (buckets, tanks, etc.) that are currently used by helicopters on fires and get up close with many of the helicopters that could be on a fire and is using a helicopter resource.
Columbia Helicopters will invite other operators who currently work on fires to participate as well as Simplex, a local vendor who builds fire tanks for most helicopters and SEI, a vendor who provides the Bambi Bucket.
Industry experts will be available to answer any questions.
The tour will leave the Oregon Convention Center at 8:30 am and return around 12:30 pm. Columbia Helicopters is located at the Aurora Airport, 10 miles South of Portland, Oregon.
The cost of the field trip is $10 and includes transportation.