Forestry Dept. begins statewide forest assessment plan

Contact: Kevin Weeks,
Oregon Department of Forestry

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is beginning work on a project to assess Oregon’s current forest resources and is seeking public involvement in the process during a meeting in July. The 2010 State of Oregon Statewide Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy is designed to identify Oregon’s current forest resources, develop a strategy for managing forests that are identified as priority areas in the state, and report on the effectiveness of how federal funding was used to address those priorities.

The Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy plan is crucial for meeting 2008 Farm Bill requirements for federal cooperative programs. In addition, the document will serve as a cornerstone for the Oregon Board of Forestry’s 2011 update of the Forestry Program for Oregon and determine future priorities for ODF’s operating programs.

The plan is being developed by ODF’s Stewardship Coordinating Committee. The Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday July 14, 2009 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at ODF’s headquarters, 2600 State Street (Operations Building D – Santiam meeting room) in Salem.  Public members are welcome to attend the meeting.

The key themes of the 2010 Forest Assessment are:

* Conserve Working Forest Lands
* Protect Forests from Harm
* Enhance Public Benefits from Trees and Forests

The 2008 Farm Bill passed by Congress contained an amendment to the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act which required states receiving Farm Bill funding perform the assessment study by mid-2010, with updates at five-year increments after that. The Farm Bill funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture which in turn provides funding for many ODF services through the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program.

One-half of Oregon’s 61 million acres are forested, with 60 percent of Oregon’s forests under federal ownership, 35 percent privately-owned while state, tribal or local government ownership accounts for the remaining five percent.

Oregon’s forests are among one of the state’s most valued resources, providing a balanced mix of environmental, economic and social benefits.


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