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.

Wildfire prevention campaign doubles investment with grant from Oregon Forest Resources Institute
05.12.2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – As Oregon enters another fire season still reeling from the impacts of last year’s devastating Labor Day wildfires, the Keep Oregon Green Association’s longtime efforts to prevent human-caused wildfires are getting a substantial boost from an Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) grant that will double the investment in Keep Oregon Green’s annual wildfire prevention campaign.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, so the $200,000 grant to ramp up wildfire prevention outreach could not come at a better time, says Keep Oregon Green Executive Director Kristin Babbs. The nonprofit organization, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2021, is partnering with federal, state and local fire agencies this month to encourage the public to create defensible space around their homes and prevent careless, unwanted wildfires this summer.

“This year has already produced nearly three times the average number of fires to date, and we’re just entering fire season,” Babbs says. “More than 97% of Oregon is abnormally dry or worse, so it’s imperative that Oregonians do all they can to help to prevent wildfires this summer. A fire prevented is a fire that does not need to be put out, and that saves lives, property, resources and millions of dollars.”

The OFRI grant will allow Keep Oregon Green to greatly expand its annual wildfire prevention campaign, encouraging Oregon residents and tourists to practice basic wildfire safety. Funding from OFRI will broaden Keep Oregon Green’s publicity and public outreach, through public service announcements on digital streaming services in addition to advertisements on TriMet buses, MAX trains, shelters and benches across the Portland metro area. The grant will also fund sponsorships for wildfire prevention messages delivered by metro-area television news anchors and meteorologists, and allow Keep Oregon Green’s messaging to reach more stations in the Eugene-Springfield area and central Oregon.

As part of Keep Oregon Green’s “Oregon, Our Oregon” campaign, stunning photos of Oregon’s iconic landscapes will be used to encourage everyone to protect the state’s scenic recreation areas. Using the hashtag #OregonOurOregon, Keep Oregon Green is asking the public to share photos of their favorite natural areas and their thoughts for keeping Oregon free of wildfire.

“OFRI is providing this important additional funding to Keep Oregon Green because we share the common goal of informing the public about the importance of preventing wildfires to protect Oregon’s forests and other natural landscapes,” says OFRI Executive Director Erin Isselmann. “As we prepare for what could be another challenging fire season, it’s a more-than-appropriate time to help extend the reach of Keep Oregon Green’s efforts to reduce the number of easily preventable wildfires.”

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1991 to support the state’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.

About the Keep Oregon Green Association:

For 80 years the Keep Oregon Green Association has been educating the public on how to prevent wildfires. Beginning its efforts in April 1941 after a public outcry over the human-caused Tillamook Burns, roughly 250 Oregon leaders came together to form Keep Oregon Green (KOG). KOG’s mission is to promote healthy landscapes and safe communities by educating the public about everyone’s shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires. 
 

Study to examine economic impacts of 2020 fires
04.06.2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2020 Labor Day wildfires that burned more than a million acres across western Oregon heavily affected the state’s forest-dependent businesses and industries. The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) has commissioned a study that will look at the economic impacts of those fires on Oregon’s forest sector, ranging from lost timber and logging equipment to forest restoration efforts made more difficult by a shortage of loggers, tree seedlings and tree planters.

Experts from the natural resource consulting firm Mason, Bruce & Girard, in partnership with the forestry economic analysis and forecasting firm Forest Economic Advisors, will produce a report, scheduled to be completed in late June, that will look at various ways forest landowners and businesses such as logging companies and sawmills were affected by last year’s fires. 

The analysis will focus on the fires’ impact in terms of acreage burned and timber lost across public and private forestland, the economic value of timber lost in the fires, the potential to salvage timber burned in the fires, and the long-term impact on future timber supply to the state’s wood products manufacturing sector. The study will also investigate the scale and costs of needed post-fire forest restoration, including infrastructure repair, erosion control, stream protection and reforestation. Other topics that will be covered in the report include the value of federal timber under contract to be harvested that burned before it could be logged, and an estimate of the impact of the fires on Oregon’s forest-related employment. 

OFRI plans to publish the full report, along with a shorter report summarizing its findings, this summer.

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 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. 

New report examines carbon in Oregon’s forests
10.07.2020

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) report highlights the major role Oregon’s forests play in keeping carbon out of the atmosphere, underscoring the importance of using strategies that enhance these forests’ carbon-sequestering superpowers to combat climate change.

The vast forests that cover nearly half the state capture and store significant amounts of atmospheric carbon, both in growing trees and wood products sourced from those forests, according to the Carbon in Oregon’s Managed Forests science review report. The report synthesizes the latest scientific findings on carbon sequestration in Oregon’s forests, including managed forests, also called working forests, which are primarily managed for timber production. Authored by experts in carbon and forestry as well as the life cycle assessment of wood products, the 120-page report and an accompanying 12-page summary are intended to help the public better understand how forests and wood products sequester and store carbon.

“As we work to solve the climate crisis, this report will inform Oregonians about ways we can harness our forests’ natural carbon-storing abilities in the fight against climate change,” says OFRI Director of Forestry Mike Cloughesy, who served as one of the report’s technical editors.

Digital copies of the Carbon in Oregon’s Managed Forests science review and its summary report are available to download at OregonForests.org/Carbon. Print copies of both documents can be ordered at OregonForests.org/publications.

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.

 

 

Report: High-quality tap water starts in forests
06.23.2020

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 OregonForests.org/TreesToTap. Print copies of Keeping Drinking Water Safe can ordered at OregonForests.org. 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.

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