Small-acreage forest owners in Oregon will have an additional voice in forest policy following a decision made by the Oregon Board of Forestry.
By Oregon Department of Forestry
The Board of Forestry, at its March 9, 2011 meeting, adopted an Oregon Department of Forestry recommendation to add a non-voting seat on the Committee for Family Forestlands designated for the Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA), a membership association representing Oregon landowners with between one acre and 5000 acres of forest ownership in the state.
The Committee for Family Forestlands advises the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester on ways to improve the vitality of Oregon’s family forestlands, evaluate the impact of forest policy and regulatory changes on family forest owners, and expand opportunities for landowners to manage and market their timber, forest product and other economic resources.
Twelve positions, seven voting members and five seats in non-voting roles, currently form the Committee. Voting members include family forest owners, an environmental community representative, a representative of Oregon’s forest products industry and a citizen-at-large representing the public. Representatives of the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University, forestry-related industry associations and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute serve in a non-voting capacity. The Committee will add a thirteenth seat with the addition of OSWA.
“It is great for OSWA to have the opportunity to be an ex-officio member of the Committee,” said Jim James, executive director of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association. “OSWA’s Board has also approved that a member of the Committee for Family Forestlands be an ex-officio member of our Board. I believe this will bring additional small-acreage landowner representation to the Committee, and better communication to the Board of Forestry about issues of concern to OSWA members. With the many challenges facing small-woodland owners in Oregon, I see this as a win-win for helping achieve the objectives of both groups.”
The next meeting of the Committee for Family Forestlands is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Thursday March 31, 2011 at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters in Salem.
OSWA was started in 1960 when a group of Oregon small-acreage forest owners in Lane County formed a Small Woodlands Association to advocate on issues of concern to small forest owners. Landowners in other counties joined the group, which was renamed the Oregon Small Woodlands Association in 1966.
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