Who are Oregon's woodland owners?


Part of OFRI’s agency mission – and my personal mission – is landowner education. In order to educate people, you need to know who they are and what they want to learn. The National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS) is a tool that helps us in this task. The periodic nationwide survey of woodland owners was last conducted in Oregon in 2013, with results published this summer by the U.S. Forest Service.

The NWOS estimates there are about 44,000 woodland owners who own 10 or more acres of forestland in Oregon, for a total of 3.3 million acres. The ownership breakdown shows that about 75 percent of the ownerships are between 10 and 49 acres, but these only represent about 21 percent of the total acreage. About 2 percent of the ownerships are 500 or more acres, representing nearly 40 percent of the acreage.

The survey asked participants why they own woodland. The top reasons for family forest ownership in Oregon are beauty, privacy, nature, wildlife, water, recreation, investment, family and timber production.  

The top landowner concerns identified in Oregon are trespassing, wildfire, vandalism, forest pests and water quality.

The survey asked woodland owners what management activities they have done in the past five years and plan to do in the next five. Identified activities included reducing invasive plants and fire hazards, cutting trees for personal use, improving wildlife habitat, constructing roads and trails, harvesting timber and selling firewood.

Surveyed woodland owners said they have received advice on managing their forests from several sources in the last five years. Leading sources include state and local government, federal government, private consultants, other landowners and family members

Finally, woodland owners indicated how they would prefer to receive information about forestry and forest managment.  The following ways were included: written materials, conversations, forester visits, conferences/workshops and online.

OFRI is using this information to design our landowner education programs, and is sharing it with our partners.

For more information, visit the National Woodland Owner Survey website

Survey findings from Oregon are summarized in USDA Forest Service Research Bulletin NRS-99

For the forest,

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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