The Oregon Solutions Southern Oregon Gorse Project laid the foundation for the mitigation of the highly flammable and invasive gorse plant in the Southern Oregon coast region. Gorse was responsible for fire that burned the entire city of Bandon in 1936 and notable subsequent fires in 1980, 1999, 2007, and 2015.
Gorse is a state rated “B” noxious weed found mainly along the coast of Oregon. Gorse is highly invasive, extremely flammable, and able to colonize a wide variety of habitats. This flammable plant poses a serious risk to coastal communities in southern Oregon, as well as native flora and fauna. Controlling gorse is time consuming, expensive, and difficult; it covers steep coastal bluffs and grows in dense, thorny thickets. The Gorse Action Group is currently running an education and outreach campaign, a mapping project, and several demonstration projects in an effort to obtain funding to return lands to workable and usable condition. The Gorse Project will focus early action on removal of gorse in an area called the “donut hole” where gorse covers 60 percent of 250 acres of land surrounded by homes in the city of Bandon.
The Southern Oregon Gorse Project coordinated existing efforts by state and local government, federal agencies, tribes, private businesses, and environmental groups, including the Gorse Action Group, and helped identify opportunities to leverage investments for the mitigation of gorse.