Partnership celebrates 10 years
08.27.2020

In Oregon forestry, 2010 was a troubled year. The housing bubble had burst, the timber market was down, state budgets were way down, and organizations that provided education to forest landowners were understaffed and struggling to do their job. In response, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) and our forestry education partners, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Program, the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, the Oregon Tree Farm System, Associated Oregon Loggers, the Oregon Society of American Foresters and a host of other organizations, came together to form the Partnership for Forestry Education (PFE), and successfully applied for a grant from the U.S. Forest Service to provide educational programming for Oregon forest landowners.

The Partnership developed a uniform forest management planning system; established a forest landowner website, KnowYourForest.org; created a forest landowner database; sponsored classes and tours; and generally upped the game for forest landowner education in Oregon. We also developed a strategic plan and identified our audience as family forest landowners, natural resource professionals, and loggers and other forest operators.

Since its founding 10 years ago, the Partnership has grown to include 16 member organizations. We now hold an annual members meeting to discuss our individual and joint projects, and produce a biennial resource guide for Oregon forest landowners called Resources for Family Forests.

We recently released the 2020 version of Resources for Family Forests. Spearheaded by OFRI’s Julie Woodward and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Ryan Gordon, the guide provides an excellent overview of the many technical, financial and educational resources available to Oregon’s family forest landowners across the state. 

In its tenth year, the Partnership is facing an unusual challenge: how to deliver landowner education during a pandemic. With COVID-19 forcing partners to cancel in-person educational events, OFRI and other members of the PFE hosted a webinar series called Tree School Online this spring and summer. The webinars featured experts who’d planned to present at the canceled 2020 Tree School Clackamas, OSU Extension’s largest annual educational event for forest landowners. These experts covered topics such as managing for forest health, writing a forest management plan, planting trees, dealing with forest pests, restoring watersheds and conserving forest wildlife habitat.

Through the end of July, we’ve produced 28 Tree School Online webinars, which were attended by 1,900 people. An additional 2,860 have since watched video recordings of the webinars, for an impressive total of 4,760 participants. The webinars will start up again on Sept. 15, and be held every first and third Tuesday starting at 3:30 p.m. through June 15, 2021. Information is available at KnowYourForest.org/TreeSchoolOnline. A big thank-you goes to the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Forest Service, which both provided a grant to fund these webinars.

Finally, we recently developed a logo for the Partnership to appear on our new resource guide, webpage and webinars. The logo reflects a collaborative process, as shown by the circle of “arms” that form a tree in the logo’s negative space. The embracing circle also represents support, help and learning, which is the focus of the Partnership.

Happy anniversary to the Partnership for Forestry Education. May you long continue to educate Oregon’s forest landowners, managers and operators.

For the forest,

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry

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