Nearly half of Oregon is covered in forests. These forests provide many social, environmental and economic benefits to the state and its residents, including clean air and water, recreational opportunities, jobs and the wood products that we use every day. It is important that all Oregonians have the opportunity to learn more about the forests where we live, work and play.
In 1991, the Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry. The state agency provides forest and forest management education programs for the general public, K-12 teachers and students, and forest landowners.
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute supports and enhances Oregon’s forest products industry by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products.
Revenue to support the Oregon Forest Resources Institute’s educational programs comes from a portion of the forest products harvest tax, which is levied on forest landowners and is based on the amount of timber that they harvest. The Institute does not receive state general fund money.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Oregon State forester appoints the Oregon Forest Resources Institute board’s 11 voting members. By statute, these include nine representatives of timber producer classes, with three each from small (Class 1), medium (Class 2) and large (Class 3) producers; one member representing small woodland owners; and one representative for forest industry employees.
Ex officio members required by statute include the dean of the Oregon State University College of Forestry and a public member appointed jointly by the president of the Oregon Senate and the speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.
An Oregon Department of Forestry liaison assists the board.
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute achieves its mission by providing forest education programs and materials for the general public, K-12 students and teachers, and forest landowners. Almost all of OFRI’s educational programs, publications and other resources are provided to the public free of charge.
Through the following programs, OFRI provides information about forest-related topics of broad public interest, including the benefits of wood products, clean water, responsible sustainable forest management, minimizing fire risks, carbon and climate change, and the protection of wildlife habitat.
Public education programs
- online and printed resources exploring Oregon’s forests, forest management and forest products
- tours demonstrating contemporary forest practices
- displays, interpretive programs and tours at the Rediscovery Forest, a 15-acre demonstration forest OFRI manages within The Oregon Garden in Silverton
K-12 education programs
- classroom and field programs for K-12 students
- professional development, curriculum and classroom materials for teachers
- bus reimbursement for field trips to public and private forests across Oregon
Visit LearnForests.org to download or order forest-related educational materials for students and teachers, and learn more about OFRI’s K-12 forest education partner programs.
Landowner education programs
- publications and resources for forest landowners and managers
- workshops and webinars that help landowners manage their forests according to best practices
- conferences and scientific research in partnership with leading universities and research institutions
Visit KnowYourForest.org to download educational resources for forest landowners and learn more about OFRI’s landowner education partner programs.