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.

New report details impacts of 2017 fire season
01.16.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s 2017 fire season will be remembered as one of the worst on record, with large blazes such as the Chetco Bar fire requiring huge expenses to suppress. But there’s more to the story than the millions of dollars spent fighting this conflagration in southwestern Oregon, the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge, and the many other expansive wildfires that burned across the state.

A new report from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) outlines many of the other costs of a fire season that blanketed the state in smoke, forced the closure of roads and highways, and caused the cancellation of outdoor events.

Titled “Impacts of Oregon’s 2017 Wildfire Season – Time for a Crucial Conversation,” the 25-page report details the far-reaching effects of last year’s wildfire season. These include negative impacts to public health, transportation, tourism-reliant businesses, school athletics and iconic Oregon economic sectors such as the wine and timber industries. The report calls on the state’s leaders, scientists and policymakers to chart a course wherein Oregonians can co-exist with fire while simultaneously mitigating how it affects our economy and health.

“Fire plays an important role in Oregon’s fire-adapted forest ecosystems,” says OFRI Executive Director Paul Barnum. “Since we’ll never be ‘fire-free,’ it’s crucial for state leaders to discuss how we can lessen the impacts wildfires have on our communities. This new report is intended to bring attention to why such a conversation is needed now.”

Read the full report here.

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.

OFRI board welcomes new members
01.04.2018

PORTLAND, Ore.Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty has appointed two new members to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute board of directors, and reappointed a current member for a second three-year term.

Jerry Anderson, the northwest Oregon region manager for Boston, Mass.-based Hancock Forest Management, and Casey Roscoe, senior vice president of public relations with Eugene-based Seneca Family of Companies, officially join the OFRI board this month. At the same time, Jennifer Phillippi, who co-manages her family’s Cave Junction-based forestland business, Perpetua Forests Company, is starting her second board term.

Roscoe and Anderson are replacing outgoing OFRI board members Dave Furtwangler, the president of Cascade Timber Consulting, and Jim Hunt, an area manager for Campbell Global LLC, both of whose terms expired.

Anderson is responsible for all operations on 216,000 acres of forestland managed by Hancock Forest Management. Before his current position, he was chief area forester for Boise Cascade. Roscoe manages Seneca’s public affairs and community outreach efforts. Before joining Seneca, which her grandfather founded in 1954, she worked in media and marketing.

The 13-member OFRI board includes representatives of forest products producers of varying size that pay harvest taxes to support OFRI’s programs. The board also contains one member representing small woodland owners and one representing forest-sector employees. Ex officio members include a public representative and the dean of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

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.

New video celebrates forest-sector support of Habitat for Humanity build
11.30.2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – After some less-than-ideal living situations, Springfield resident Nayeli Navarrete Bravo and her daughter, Alitza, recently became homeowners thanks to a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the Oregon forest products industry. A new video produced by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) tells their story.

Build a House – Frame a Future highlights the forest sector’s contributions to the Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity project sponsored by the American Forest Resource Council. AFRC is a trade association representing lumber manufacturers, loggers and forest landowners in five Western states, all of whom donated locally produced wood products, volunteer hours or cash donations to help build a new home in east Springfield for Nayeli and Alitza. The year-long project was completed this past summer.

“This project embodies what the forest products industry is all about,” says Travis Joseph, president of AFRC, who was born and raised in Springfield. “We work in the woods, help care for our public lands, and make products every Oregonian depends on every day – including the lumber in our homes. Our members care deeply about the communities in which they live, work and play, and this home is another reminder of that commitment.  We are honored and thrilled to be using our industry’s local products and expertise to build a home for Nayeli and her daughter Alitza – they could not be more deserving.”

To create a four-minute video about the project, OFRI documented the construction process and the forest products industry’s support for the new home, from the groundbreaking through the dedication ceremony. This included filming at a Springfield plywood mill run by Swanson Group, a major donor to the project. Other companies and groups that made substantial contributions to constructing the new home include Timber Products Company, Roseburg Forest Products, D.R. Johnson Lumber Co., J.W. Bamford Inc., Oregon Women in Timber and Freres Lumber Co.

“Donors and volunteers are key to building Habitat homes,” says Don Griffin, Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity executive director. “Nayeli’s success is possible because of AFRC and the generous contributions of its members.”

AFRC is now sponsoring a second Habitat for Humanity house being built outside Olympia, Wash. The project broke ground in October and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2018.

Watch Build a House – Frame a Future on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1RQDlIEhU4

 

About the American Forest Resource Council:

AFRC is a regional trade association whose purpose is to advocate for sustained yield timber harvests on public timberlands throughout the West to enhance forest health and resistance to fire, insects, and disease. AFRC does this by promoting active management to attain productive public forests, protect adjoining private forests, and assure community stability. It works to improve federal and state laws, regulations, policies and decisions regarding access to and management of public forest lands and protection of forest lands. The ultimate goal of AFRC’s programs and initiatives is to advance its members’ ability to practice socially and scientifically responsible forestry on both public and private forest lands.

About Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity:  

Habitat is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Since 1990, S/E Habitat has built 56 houses and completed 17 home repairs. S/E Habitat is one of nearly 2,000 affiliates worldwide that have built over 800,000 houses serving over four million people in need of safe, decent, affordable housing. In January 2018, S/E Habitat will merge with Cottage Grove Area Habitat for Humanity, to form a new affiliate known as Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane.

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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