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.

Oregon Envirothon returns to in-person competition; Logos Public Charter School wins
05.23.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time since 2019, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) hosted the Oregon Envirothon earlier this month at The Oregon Garden in Silverton. More than 140 high school students, representing 13 schools from across the state, participated in the annual environmental sciences competition, which had been conducted virtually the previous two years. 

The winners of the 2022 Oregon Envirothon were announced at a virtual awards ceremony on May 20, but with many pandemic-related school travel restrictions lifting, students were able to convene in person at The Oregon Garden on May 6 for the competition itself. Small teams of students completed a series of tests to demonstrate their skills in various natural resource disciplines, including aquatic, forest and wildlife ecology, as well as soils and land use. Students also gave oral presentations and were tested on their knowledge of this year’s current issue, “Waste to Resources,” which focused on how to responsibly manage waste produced by communities to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect the environment and natural resources.

A team of students calling themselves “The Rogue Pack” from Logos Public Charter School in Medford received the highest score, making them the outright winner of the 2022 Oregon Envirothon and earning them a spot at this year’s national Envirothon competition, planned for July 24-30 in Oxford, Ohio. 

In addition to an overall winner, multiple teams were recognized with honors from the Oregon Future Natural Resource Leaders (FNRL) and Oregon FFA, including Career Development Event (CDE) awards. Team Piglets from Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point was selected for the FNRL-Oregon Envirothon CDE award. Team FFA 1 from Sutherlin High School in Sutherlin received the Oregon FFA Environmental and Natural Resources CDE award. 

The top two teams in the competition’s oral presentation category gave their Waste to Resources presentations in person May 6, in front of a judges panel made up of waste management and recycling experts. The judges selected the Sustainable Salamanders from Churchill High School in Eugene as the oral presentation winner. 

OFRI is the sole sponsor and main organizer of Oregon Envirothon, in collaboration with a number of partners in natural resources and agricultural education. These include The Oregon Garden Foundation, the City of Salem, Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, Future Natural Resource Leaders, Oregon FFA, Bureau of Land Management, Nature Resources Conservation Services, Metro, Northwest Farm Credit Services, National Wildlife Federation and AmeriCorps.

The complete list of winners includes:

Overall:
•    First Place: The Rogue Pack from Logos Public Charter School
•    Second Place: Sustainable Salamanders from Churchill High School
•    Third Place: Team FFA 1 from Sutherlin High School 
•    Fourth Place: Quiet Coyotes from Churchill High School 
•    Fifth Place: Team Piglets from Crater Renaissance Academy 

Station Winners:
•    Aquatic Ecology: Team FFA 2 from Sutherlin High School 
•    Soils and Land Use: The Rogue Pack from Logos Public Charter School 
•    Forest Ecology: Team FFA 1 from Sutherlin High School 
•    Current Issue: Team Muskrats from Crater Renaissance Academy 
•    Oral Presentation: Sustainable Salamanders from Churchill High School
•    Wildlife Ecology: Cartwright Crawdads from Mohawk High School 

The Future Natural Resources Leaders Career Development Event Awards:
•    First Place: Team Piglets from Crater Renaissance Academy
•    Second Place: Team FSF from Tillamook High School 
•    Third Place: Western Red Pirates from Neah-Kah-Nie High School 

The FFA awards for Environmental Sciences Career Development Event:
•    First Place: Team FFA 1 from Sutherlin High School
•    Second Place: Team A SSC from Sabin-Schellenberg Professional Technical Center 
•    Third Place: Valor Blue from Valor Christian School International 
•    Fourth Place: Central Linn FFA from Central Linn High School 


About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:
The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and encouraging sustainable 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 opens search for executive director
05.03.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The State of Oregon is seeking an experienced leader to serve as the executive director of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI)

The OFRI executive director oversees the state agency, ensuring the Institute’s forest education programs for the general public, K-12 teachers and students, and forest landowners achieve its mission to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry. 

OFRI has opened a search for a permanent executive director to replace Acting Executive Director Mike Cloughesy, who plans to return to retirement this summer. The new executive director will be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of OFRI’s 13-member board of directors

A full job announcement for the OFRI executive director position, including salary range, benefits, minimum qualifications, desired skills and attributes, and a description of duties, is available here

To apply for the position, current State of Oregon employees must apply through their Workday account. External candidates will need to create a Workday profile to apply. All applications must be received by May 31, 2022. A current cover letter and resume are required.

The State of Oregon commits to equity and diversity in all we do. We are an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members and others, to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:
The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and encouraging sustainable forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

Timber industry, environmental groups collaborate on new laws to protect fish habitat
03.09.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Private Forest Accord, a coalition representing both the timber industry and multiple major environmental organizations, has helped usher in substantial upcoming changes to Oregon’s forest practices regulations. The changes are part of a legislative package negotiated and proposed by the diverse group that passed this month in the 2022 Oregon legislative session.

Gov. Kate Brown convened what would become known as the Private Forest Accord in 2020 to avoid Oregon citizens being faced with competing ballot measures on forestry regulations that year. A new webpage developed by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) offers detailed information about the accord and a timeline of significant events related to it.

The webpage also provides information for Oregonians about new laws associated with the accord. Three successful bills were the result of nearly a year of mediated discussions between timber and conservation stakeholders; they will change logging and other forest practices regulations for private forestland under the Oregon Forest Practices Act, with the goal of better protecting forest stream habitat for fish and other aquatic species. 

The Oregon Board of Forestry is now tasked with integrating the regulations outlined in the bills into the Oregon Forest Practices Act. These include expanded restrictions on logging along streams to protect fish habitat, new standards for private forest roads, and creating a new modeling system to mitigate the effects of logging on steep slopes to reduce landslide risk. 

To learn more about the Private Forest Accord and how Oregon’s forest practices regulations are changing, visit OregonForests.org/private-forest-accord.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and encouraging sustainable 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
01.13.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) Board of Directors welcomes three new members this month.

Jennifer Beathe, a forester with Corvallis-based Starker Forests, will fill a Class 2 position on the board, representing medium-size timber producers. Her responsibilities at Starker include managing culvert and bridge construction projects, public outreach and engagement, and public affairs.

Gordon Culbertson will serve on the board as a representative for small woodland owners. He and his wife, Gail, own Whitewater Forests LLC, managing three tree farms certified under the American Tree Farm System. In 2019, they were chosen by the Oregon Tree Farm System as Oregon Tree Farmers of the Year.

Brian Trenholm, the southern Oregon region manager for Weyerhaeuser, will fill a Class 3 position for large timber producers. He has worked at Weyerhaeuser for 21 years, holding multiple positions in the company, including stints as the Oregon marketing manager, harvest manager and log sales manager. 

Beathe, Culbertson and Trenholm are replacing outgoing board members Casey Roscoe, Audrey Barnes and Steve McNulty, respectively. 

The state forester appoints the 11 voting members of the 13-member OFRI board to serve three-year terms. The voting members 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. The board has two ex officio members, the dean of the Oregon 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. 

The OFRI board will hold its next meeting virtually on Jan. 20. The meeting, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, is open to the public. The meeting agenda and link to attend via Zoom are available on OFRI’s Oregon Forests.org website on the board meeting and materials page


About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:
The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to support and enhance Oregon’s forest products industry by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and encouraging sustainable 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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