Managing Oregon’s forests
It is a common misconception that the best way to protect a forest is to be hands-off, but with generations of forest management and harvesting experience, we’ve learned that it’s not always best to simply walk away. All forests need some form of management to ensure their health and sustainability.
This does not mean that all forests are managed the same way. Oregon’s forests generally fall into one of three management classifications:
- Reserve – managed primarily for environmental attributes, such as old-growth habitat
- Multi-resource – managed for multiple uses including recreation, water, wildlife habitat and some timber production
- Wood production – managed primarily for timber production, while protecting water quality and habitat
Active forest management may include planning, thinning, prescribed burning, harvest and replanting.
Foresters and forest landowners have established plans that specifically address their forest objectives regarding the well-being of wildlife, quality of watersheds, health of the trees and plants and reduction of fires, insect infestations and diseases.
Anytime you provide for recreational use, suppress a fire or accommodate urban growth, it alters the natural cycle of a forest. Active forest management helps balance a forest’s environmental social and economic values, providing the wood products and recreational access that society desires.