Oregon Logging Industry Facts
THE ART OF FORESTRY
"People often ask me, "Why aren't our forests sustainable? Aren't we replanting after we cut?" My response is that a forest is not a plantation. A forest is a mosaic, including ancient trees, venerable giants providing shelter for wildlife. A forest is clear, pure water, rivers alive with trout and salmon. A forest is a wildness, silence. A forest is tall, straight trees for house beams and logs. A forest is a wellspring of value for rural people. A forest is the deep, rich, soil soaking and storing water and nutrients."
"The fact that we can grow young trees where all this once stood does not mean we have perpetuated the forest. The task of protecting and restoring the forest is more complex. It demands all the skill, imagination and dedication of foresters. This is the art of forestry."
By Henry H. Carey "Forest Trust: Two Year report, 1987-1988"
Fun and Interesting
- It takes one tree every year per person to meet their needs for paper, packaging, lumber, fiber compounds and panel products.
- Oregon's most abundant tree is the Douglas-fir, which is also Oregon's state tree. 80% of all trees West of the Cascades are Douglas-firs.
- One of the largest wildfires in Oregon was the Tillamook Burn that occurred between 1933 and 1951. The combination of the four fires in this time destroyed 360,882 acres.
- Despite the rapid growth of agriculture, the development of cities, highways, industrial areas and electric transmission lines there is nearly the same amount of Forestland today as there was 300 years ago.
- Oregon sells its wood and paper products in all 50 states and approximately 40 countries. This includes lumber, panels and engineered wood products, millwork, household, pulp and paper products.
Stats and Figures
- 28 million out of Oregon’s 62 million-acre land base is forestland, or about 46% of the state’s total landmass.
- The forestry products industry is the second largest industry in Oregon generating sales of approximately 13 billion dollars and employing 75,000 Oregonians. This includes, but not limited to, logging and trucking companies, sawmills and pulp and paper manufacturing operations.
- About 57% of all forestland in Oregon are owned by the federal government. In 2005, more than 2.5 million tree seedlings were planted on federal government lands.
- In Oregon growth rates exceed harvest rates by a wide margin. The long-term sustainable timber harvest is approximately 7.5 billion board feet a year, according to a study by Oregon State University.
- Every timber harvest in Oregon generates funds to be used by local, county and state governments. Currently, 60% of revenues from state timber sales go to local counties and schools.
Laws and Regulations
- Reforestation is required to start within 1 year after every harvest and it must be completed within 2 years.
- Within a single ownership clearcuts are limited to 120 acres. Clearcuts also cannot take place within 300 feet of another clearcut under the same ownership until the area is successfully reforested.
- Oregon Forest Practices Act (1971) - Regulates forest operations to protect a wide range of resources, including water quality, fish and other wildlife. Oregon practices this regulation by performing the following:
- Provide comprehensive riparian area protection
- Assure water quality, fish habitat and wetlands are guarded
- Protect wildlife habitat and diversity by retaining sensitive sites, snags and down-wood
- Promote landscape structure and aesthetics by limiting regeneration harvest unit size
- Reforest within two years after harvest with a mix of native tree species
- Maintain forest productivity by minimizing soil disturbance and promote growth
- Minimize resource impact of road by applying strict construction and maintenance standards
- Requiring permits before harvesting
- Common School Lands – When Oregon became a state in 1859 the federal government granted 124,000 acres (16%) of forestland located primarily in the Elliott State Forest. The Oregon Department of Forestry manages the forests through an agreement with the Department of State Lands. Revenue generated from these lands goes to the Common School Fund, which goes towards public education in Oregon.