News Releases

Stay up to date with the latest OFRI happenings in our news releases, including updates on new publications, programs, conferences, events and board activities.

Report: High-quality tap water starts in forests
06.23.2020

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s forests provide high-quality source water for public water providers across the state, according to an extensive science-based review of the effects of forest management on drinking water led by Oregon State University’s Institute for Natural Resources and funded by a grant from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI).

The Trees to Tap report is the product of two years of work by faculty from the OSU College of Forestry, who were guided by a statewide steering committee. As a companion piece, OFRI has published Keeping Drinking Water Safe, a 24-page publication summarizing the report’s key findings.

The highest-quality source water comes from forested watersheds versus other land uses, the Trees to Tap report concludes. This includes forests managed for timber production. Because logging, forest roads and the use of herbicides can affect water quality, the report emphasizes that best management practices, laws, regulations, monitoring and scientific research are all needed to safeguard the quality of drinking water sourced from Oregon’s forests.

“The continually improving, science-based forest practices highlighted in Trees to Tap, along with the care taken by those who work in Oregon forests, are helping keep our drinking water safe,” says OFRI Executive Director Erin Isselmann.

Digital copies of Trees to Tap and Keeping Drinking Water Safe are available to download at OregonForests.org/TreesToTap. Print copies of Keeping Drinking Water Safe can ordered at OregonForests.org. The OSU Extension Service will publish Trees to Tap in hard copy this fall.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

Oregon Forest Facts updated for 2019-20
01.29.2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new edition of Oregon Forest Facts, one of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute’s most sought-after publications, has been released, complete with the latest data about Oregon’s forests and forest-based economy.

The Oregon Forest Facts 2019-20 Edition is now available for digital download and to order online. The pocket-size booklet offers a detailed reference guide to Oregon’s forest sector, including information, maps, graphs and statistics about forestland ownership, timber harvest, forest-based employment and wood products production. Other topics covered include forest-fire trends, water quality in Oregon’s forests, investments in protecting watersheds and salmon habitat, and acres of Oregon forestland certified by third-party forest sustainability programs.

Oregon Forest Facts offers a broad overview of Oregon’s forest sector, with compelling graphics and fully cited information that will help readers gain a better understanding of Oregon’s forests, forest management and forest products,” says Oregon Forest Resources Institute Director of Forestry Mike Cloughesy.

The latest data from the Oregon Forest Facts 2019-20 Edition can also be accessed online at OregonForestFacts.org. The mobile-friendly site includes the option to easily share charts and graphs containing information about Oregon’s forests, via email or social media.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. OFRI is governed by a 13-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

Oregon celebrates forest products Oct. 21-27
10.24.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown has declared this week, Oct. 21-27, as “Oregon Forest Products Week” in recognition of Oregon’s leadership in manufacturing wood products, developing innovative wood products, and designing and constructing tall wood buildings.

In a signed proclamation, Brown calls on all Oregonians to join in observance of the weeklong celebration of forest products grown and manufactured in Oregon. The declaration coincides with National Forest Products Week, celebrated the third week of October every year. The national event recognizes the many products that come from forests, the people who work in or manage forests, and the businesses that make the forest products we use in our everyday lives.

Forest Products Week has particular significance in Oregon, because for decades the state has not only been the nation’s leader in wood products manufacturing but also forest productivity, forestry education and research, says Erin Isselmann, executive director of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI).

Oregon is also now leading a growing movement to build taller and larger buildings with wood, for environmental, social and economic reasons, Isselmann adds. “With its innovative spirit and sustainable forest resources, Oregon has become the epicenter of the most significant disruption of building technology since steel and concrete altered urban skylines.”

In the proclamation, Brown highlights that Oregon’s forest sector contributes more than $12 billion annually to the state’s economy, employing more than 61,000 Oregonians. She notes that the state’s forest-protection and land-use laws ensure Oregon’s abundant forests are sustainably managed to provide countless benefits to Oregonians. These include clean air and water, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, scenic beauty, forest products, and employment and tax revenue for local communities, counties and the state of Oregon.

OFRI kicked off this year’s celebration of Oregon forest products with an October 19 tour of two mass timber buildings under construction on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. More than 50 elected and appointed officials, policymakers, media and others visited the construction sites for the new Peavy Hall, future home of the OSU College of Forestry, and the Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. Both buildings are being constructed using Oregon-made wood products sourced from within 300 miles of Corvallis. In addition to touring the Oregon Forest Science Complex project, the group visited an OSU research forest and heard a panel discussion about forest collaborative groups, which provide input from a diverse group of stakeholders to help the U.S. Forest Service implement forest restoration projects on Oregon’s federal forests that reflect a range of public values.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

 

New initiative informs forest sector workforce, encourages employees to be “Forest Proud”
07.23.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new educational program from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute aims to help inform the approximately 61,000 Oregonians with forest-related jobs about contemporary forestry practices and instill a sense of pride of their work in the state’s forest sector.

“Forest Proud Oregon is designed for forest-sector employees who aren’t exposed to today’s responsible forest practices because their work doesn’t involve hands-on experience in the forest,” says OFRI Executive Director Erin Isselmann. The program offers a variety of educational materials for sector employers to distribute to their workforce that highlight current forest sector practices and values.

Forest sector companies can use the online Forest Proud toolkit to order or download the materials free of charge to share with their employees. These include fact sheets, a booklet for employees who are new to the sector, posters and slideshows for display in work areas, and infographics for sharing on social media. There’s also a Forest Proud Oregon webpage and Facebook page.

All of the Forest Proud materials reinforce key reasons employees can be proud to work in Oregon’s forest sector, helping give them the confidence to represent the sector to friends and neighbors and recruit new employees into the sector.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

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