What's happening in the forest sector?

It's Tree School time

Spring break has traditionally been the time for Oregon forest landowners to attend Tree School. Sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Service, Tree Schools provide an opportunity for small woodland owners, Christmas tree growers and other rural residents to take classes on a variety of natural resources-related subjects.

This year OFRI is teaching classes and having an OFRI display at Tree Schools in Oregon City and Roseburg. The Oregon City Tree School is scheduled for March 25 at Clackamas Community College. About 700 landowners attend this every year, partaking in 60 different classes that include hands-on courses covering topics such operating chainsaws. More information can be found here. On March 31, Tree School – Umpqua will take place at Phoenix Charter School in Roseburg. More than 200 landowners attend this Tree School and partake in 28 different classes. An online course catalog is available here.

At both these Tree Schools, OFRI Public Outreach Manager Inka Bajandas and I will be teaching a class called "Talking Forestry.” Drawing from our experience in public outreach, journalism and educating audiences with minimal forestry knowledge, we’ll offer strategies for talking to family, friends, neighbors, media and the public about forest management, in easy-to-understand terms. We’ll use the latest OFRI public survey data, the new Oregon Forest Facts 2017-18 Edition booklet, mock interviews and social media tips to help you share your stories.

At Tree School – Umpqua, I’ll also teach a class on writing forest management plans. These important documents are required for Oregon Tree Farm System participation, help qualify forest landowners for cost-share funding, and form the foundation for sustainable forest management. A plan is an invaluable communication tool and can help forest landowners focus their work and see whether they are accomplishing their goals. Writing a plan that suits your needs takes a little time, but you gain a wonderful communication tool and a deeper understanding of your property. This class will help participants understand the components of a management plan, identify available resources and get them started on articulating their goals and objectives.

I’m looking forward to teaching at Tree School and hope you’ll consider taking one of our classes.

For the forest,

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry

Love Oregon's forests? Stay connected with OFRI

Oregon has seen some record rainfall recently, and after a snowy and ice-filled winter, some signs of spring – or at least a dry spell – would be more than welcome.

Despite the dampness, the winter rains remind me why I love Oregon. The temperate climate and abundant rainfall combine to make this state one of the best places in the world for forests to flourish. Oregon’s forests provide us with timber for the wood products we use every day, as well as many other amenities such as clean air and water, and fish and wildlife habitat. Plus, nothing beats a walk in the woods as a way to find sanctuary from the stresses of daily life.

OFRI’s work to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products all hinges on the fact that in Oregon, we grow trees. The rain – along with sustainable forest management practices and our state’s forest protection laws – makes it possible to grow them in perpetuity.

To learn more about the economic, social and environmental benefits of Oregon’s forests, check out OFRI’s wide range of educational websites, publications and videos that provide information on forest management practices, wood products and the state’s forest-based economy. You’ll find electronic versions of our publications and a wealth of other online resources related to forests and forest management on our main site, OregonForests.org, as well as on our sites for K-12 educators, LearnForests.org, and forest landowners, KnowYourForest.org. Be sure to visit our newest website, OregonForestFacts.org, for the latest data about Oregon’s forests, including forest ownership, forest-based employment and timber harvest levels.

As always, OFRI is planning many exciting and interesting projects, programs and events this year. And there are many ways to stay connected to us, see what we’re up to, and join the conversation about Oregon’s forests:

Thanks for showing an interest in OFRI. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our programs and publications.

For the forest,

Paul Barnum

Executive Director

New website features data on Oregon's forests

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute produces many educational reports and publications. Our most popular has probably been Oregon Forest Facts, the little book that’s big on facts, charts and stats, but small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag.

While updating the 2017-18 edition of Oregon Forest Facts, we thought perhaps the information could stand by itself as a small website, for those looking to learn about and share the most current data on Oregon’s forest sector. So we made one: OregonForestFacts.org.

We’ve used the data, charts and graphs from Oregon Forest Facts to make the handy new website. It’s divided into six sections that correspond to the information in the new publication: forestland ownership, harvest and production, sustainability, watershed protection, fire, and employment.

OregonForestFacts.org has a responsive content design, which means it works just as well on your smartphone or tablet as it does on your computer browser. We’ve also included social media sharing functions on each of the charts, tables, maps and graphs so that if you see something you would like to send to a colleague, or share to your network on Facebook or Twitter, you can do it with a single click.

So check out the new site and share it with anyone who might have an interest in the latest information about Oregon’s forest sector.

Jordan Benner
Senior Public Outreach Manager 

Webinars to focus on silviculture

Timber harvest in Oregon is not just a random event, but is driven by the complexities of examining the forest and determining which trees to harvest and when they should be harvested. Making these determinations involves silviculture.

Silviculture is defined as the art and science of growing trees to meet the needs of the public and landowners. How do foresters decide which silviculture methods to use when harvesting timber?

A four-part webinar series I’m hosting next month will help answer that question. It will feature presentations and discussions on different silvicultural methods used for timber harvesting in the Pacific Northwest.

The live webinars geared to foresters, loggers and woodland owners will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on March 1, 8, 15 and 22. Panelists include foresters, silviculturists and forest engineers with private timber companies, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. We’ve also invited silviculture professors from Oregon State University to share their expertise. The various presenters will compare and contrast major Pacific Northwest timber harvest methods such as clearcutting, variable-retention and selection harvesting, and share their varying approaches to planning and conducting harvest operations.

The seminar series is sponsored by OFRI along with the BLM, the Forest Service, the Western Forestry and Conservation Association (WFCA) and the Emerging Technology Accelerator.

Registration is available online. I hope you’ll join us next month.

For the forest,

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry


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