The Oregon State University College of Forestry invites community members to participate in a listening session Monday, Nov. 7, regarding the development of a new management plan for the McDonald and Dunn research forests.
Combined, the two forests owned by OSU cover roughly 12,000 acres in the Coast Range foothills northwest of Corvallis and provide an outdoor living laboratory and classroom for students and researchers. Many areas of the forests are open to the public as well and are used for a range of recreational activities.
The forests are managed by the College of Forestry under a plan developed in 2005 whose goals include providing student learning, discovery and engagement; demonstrating sound stewardship; providing opportunities for research; promoting forest resilience; serving as working demonstration forests; providing opportunities for recreation; fostering community connections; showcasing financial sustainability; demonstrating accountability; and striving for continuous improvement through adaptive management.
The college’s vision for the forests is to serve as a model for an actively and sustainably managed forest system that advances forestry through scientific inquiry, education and the application of new knowledge to inform best practices of forest management. Revenue generated through timber harvesting within the research forests is used to meet these objectives, as well as to support the college’s education, research and outreach mission.
A few months after starting as the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean in 2020, Tom DeLuca formed a College Research Forests Advisory Committee to create an updated draft vision, mission and goals statement for the forests, and to develop a process for updating the management plan.
Community members will have the opportunity to share their ideas, experiences and hopes related to the McDonald and Dunn research forests as the plan is developed through listening sessions and through an online comment submission form.
The session is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. People can attend in person in Room 117 of Peavy Forest Science Center, 3100 SW Jefferson Way, and also via Zoom.
Those wishing to attend are asked to register online. A Zoom link will be provided to those who select the virtual option.
The college describes the listening session as an opportunity for anyone who uses the forests or is interested in their future to share thoughts on:
– What they value about the forests.
– What could be done to increase the ability of the forests to provide learning opportunities.
– What should be prioritized to ensure sound forest management in the face of shifting conditions such as increased recreational use, wildfire risk and climate change.
The listening session will be structured for a one-way flow of information from community members based on responses to the above prompts, rather than in a format where college leaders and faculty reply to questions by those in attendance.
People attending in person should park in the lot labeled B3 behind Richardson Hall and enter Richardson Hall, which is connected internally with Peavy Forest Science Center. Room 117 is on the first floor on the north side of the building.
Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to Ann Van Zee, [email protected].
The Nov. 7 session is the second of four the college is planning; the first was held Aug. 31. The dates of the third and fourth sessions will be announced in the future.
The listening sessions are part of a collaborative input-gathering process that also involves an external Stakeholder Advisory Committee and internal Faculty Planning Committee, DeLuca said.
The committees kicked off the process with a joint meeting in June and will work in tandem for the next several months to assist in the development of the new forest management plan.
About the OSU College of Forestry: For a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates more than 15,000 acres of college forests.
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