Report: High-quality tap water starts in forests

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s forests provide high-quality source water for public water providers across the state, according to an extensive science-based review of the effects of forest management on drinking water led by Oregon State University’s Institute for Natural Resources and funded by a grant from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI).

The Trees to Tap report is the product of two years of work by faculty from the OSU College of Forestry, who were guided by a statewide steering committee. As a companion piece, OFRI has published Keeping Drinking Water Safe, a 24-page publication summarizing the report’s key findings.

The highest-quality source water comes from forested watersheds versus other land uses, the Trees to Tap report concludes. This includes forests managed for timber production. Because logging, forest roads and the use of herbicides can affect water quality, the report emphasizes that best management practices, laws, regulations, monitoring and scientific research are all needed to safeguard the quality of drinking water sourced from Oregon’s forests.

“The continually improving, science-based forest practices highlighted in Trees to Tap, along with the care taken by those who work in Oregon forests, are helping keep our drinking water safe,” says OFRI Executive Director Erin Isselmann.

Digital copies of Trees to Tap and Keeping Drinking Water Safe are available to download at Print copies of Keeping Drinking Water Safe can ordered at The OSU Extension Service will publish Trees to Tap in hard copy this fall.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) was created by the Oregon Legislature 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.


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

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