FOC’s mission is to provide integrated programs that generate jobs, improve forest and watershed conditions, and increase educational opportunities. Our vision is a “Healthy Forest, Healthy Community.” Our programs recognize and address the need for both conservation and restoration of the forests, while maximizing the value of all materials removed from the forest for economic development and sustainability.
In the last century, our surrounding forests consist primarily of lodge pole pine, as well as other softwoods that have reached the end of their life cycle and are dying of old age, disease and mountain pine beetle infestation. Regretfully, timber management on the national forest lands has been reduced while wildfire danger from dead timber has increased and the forest has become unhealthier each year. The results have been economic decline, catastrophic wildfires, and deteriorating forest health conditions which have created a climate of frustration in both public and private sectors.
FOC believes the solution to reversing these problems is collaboration and Partnership, tools not only essential, but a method that create a far more effective path to success than an the existing adversarial climate. We focus on the development and usage of better management practices, existing and new technologies, and reinforcing the capacity of the community. Being good stewards of the forest strengthens ties to the land, improves the natural resources our community depends on, utilizes life skills and experiences, and promotes best use – best value of those resources that ultimately provide the food, clothing, shelter and social fiber of our rural communities.
Framing Our Community’s Board believes we must be proactive and set a new course to break the cycle of degrading forests and rural poverty. They also recognize that in hard times lay many opportunities and early efforts have produced projects that range from construction of an outdoor learning center, Senate and House of Representatives testimony, water quality improvement, forest restoration, Rural Community Development Forums, feasibility studies and a business plan for a Small Business Incubator and a Biofuels Plant. Early years have seen the formation of the “Jobs in the Woods,” the “Artists in the Woods” programs and construction of the Elk City Small Business Incubator.