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.