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Forests

Idaho: Meet Joyce Dearstyne

“The Selway Middle-Fork Clearwater CFLR project is a critical tool for us to maintain the historic way of life here in the Clearwater Basin." Joyce Dearstyne

Joyce Dearstyne’s first memories in the Clearwater Basin of Idaho are of helping raise an outdoor timber frame classroom. The timber for that frame came from value-added wood products, and helped highlight the opportunity to diversify the timber-based economy of her declining town.

She loves her town of Elk City for its scenic beauty within the Nez Perce National Forest. The forest is home to majestic elk, moose, and mountain lions, spawning streams for salmon, steelhead and bull trout, and nesting areas for Snow and Canadian geese.

The Clearwater Basin is also important for people, as headwaters to the Columbia River Basin and water supplier to Portland, Oregon and other towns. Of course, the Clearwater Basin provides places for people to enjoy their outdoor Idaho lifestyle, too.

Joyce is working to keep those memories alive as the Executive Director of Framing Our Community (FOC), a member of the Clearwater Basin Collaborative (CBC), and the Selway Middle-Fork Clearwater Collaborative Forests Landscape Restoration program. FOC is a non-profit that provides programs that create jobs, improve forest and watershed conditions, and increase educational opportunities for people in the Clearwater Basin.

“I have found my passion and can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Joyce. “These forests have provided a haven for wildlife on the lands and waters, income for those who work in its mountains, and serenity for those who live within their confines.”

“The Selway Middle-Fork Clearwater CFLR project is a critical tool for us to maintain the historic way of life here in the Clearwater Basin,” said Joyce. “It is putting people to work with fuels reduction, replanting trees, improving fish habitat by reducing sedimentation, lowering stream temperature, and removing pathogens, and eradicating invasive species of plants.”

“I have seen the first-hand benefits to people, water, and wildlife that this program is doing, which I hope future generations will be able to share with their own families," Joyce adds.

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