Juniper is a native Oregon species. But decades of fire suppression and grazing have allowed the tree to spread voraciously over Eastern and Central Oregon. That's a problem because juniper consumes sage grouse habitat and sucks up a lot of water.
The Oregon Legislature passed two bills at the end of the session to help boost juniper harvest, HB 2997 and HB 2998.
The bills provide funding to boost the state's fledgling juniper harvest industry.
Gerard Joseph LaBrecque operates a milling and harvesting company out of Hines that targets juniper.