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.

OFRI welcomes new executive director
08.25.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) board of directors has named Jim Paul, a former Oregon Department of State Lands director who also spent more than a decade working for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), to serve as the Institute’s new executive director. 

Paul, who was most recently the assistant director of the Administrative Services Division at the Oregon Department of Corrections, will join OFRI on Sept.15. He began his public service career at ODF in 1996 and would go on to become the agency’s hydrologist and later serve as the chief of two of its three operational divisions. He then worked at the Department of State Lands, where he rose to the position of director before joining the Department of Corrections. 

The OFRI board voted to hire Paul on Aug. 25 after an extensive search for a new executive director to lead the Institute and replace Acting Executive Director Mike Cloughesy, who is returning to retirement this month. 

“Over the course of his career, Jim Paul has gained extensive forestry and natural resources leadership experience in the public sector,” says Jerry Anderson, OFRI board chair. “The board believes his forestry knowledge combined with experience working for other state agencies makes him uniquely qualified to lead OFRI’s forest and forestry education programs for the public, landowners, and K-12 teachers and students.”

Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Whitman College, attended Duke University’s College of Forestry, and received a master’s degree in forest hydrology from the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. 

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. The state agency is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.
 

Updated website details Oregon’s forest laws
08.23.2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s forest protection laws are changing. To help Oregonians learn about recent changes to the Oregon Forest Practices Act, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) has updated its OregonForestLaws.org website detailing the state’s forest-related laws and regulations.

OregonForestLaws.org provides an overview of current state laws governing forestry practices on private and state forestlands that aim to protect clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, and other forest resources. The newly updated site is part of OFRI’s latest educational media campaign to inform the public about how Oregonians recently came together to create new forest rules that expand habitat protections around streams for salmon and other aquatic wildlife. An OFRI-produced video airing on digital and social media directs viewers to the site.

The updated site includes a page about the Private Forest Accord, a cooperative agreement to make changes to the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Other new additions to the site include a section on public notification detailing new state-run notification systems for forest management activities such as helicopter pesticide application.

The site also includes pages explaining forest laws related to protecting water and fish, requirements to replant trees after logging, wildlife habitat protections, limits on clearcutting and chemical use in forests, forest road regulations, and special rules for logging trees along scenic highways

Hyperlinks and resources throughout the site allow users to dig deeper into many topics. A new questions and answers page includes a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding Oregon’s forestry regulations, as well as the option for site visitors to “ask a forester” and submit their own questions to be answered by professional foresters. 

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.
 

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.

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