May 2017

Join us for a walk in the woods

If I had a quarter for every time I've heard members of the forest sector remark, "We just need to do a better job telling our story," I'd be so rich I could move to a dryer climate.
 
A new organization, made up of diverse stakeholders in the forest sector throughout the United States and Canada, is taking on that challenge. By bringing stakeholders together around a unified vision and messaging platform, the North American Forest Partnership (NAFP) believes we can influence the influencers, taking them on a figurative walk in the woods to tell the "whole story" of the forest sector.
 
Because we've lacked the willpower, know-how and cohesion to tell our story effectively, we've let others define us. We've hunkered down. Others have created friction around forest products and policies. Our sustainability story is hard to find. And businesses, policymakers and consumers are often negative or confused.
 
So why will NAFP's approach work where others have failed? First of all, it's the first effort of its kind to pull in the entire forest sector. It's backed by research and the experience of other sectors.
 
Secondly, this is an entirely new approach, one that depends on using social media to engage other folks - not just in a one-way communication, but in a two-way dialogue where people outside the sector can talk with real people, like you, to get honest answers to their questions about forests, forest management and forest products.
 
Another reason this will work is that we are a partnership of more than 100 organizations united by common values, a shared ethic of forest stewardship, and a commitment to managing sustainable, healthy forests.
 
NAFP is one of the best opportunities I've seen in my 25 years with the sector. We have to make it work. I don't want to come back in another 25 years and say again, "We just need to find a better way to tell our story." NAFP is the way. We just need to do it.
 
For the forest,

Paul Barnum
Executive Director



Southern Oregon team wins 2017 Envirothon

A team from Medford-based Logos Public Charter School earned first place at Oregon Envirothon 2017, an annual high school natural-resources knowledge competition that OFRI hosted earlier this month.
 
Some 200 students from 16 high schools participated in this year's competition, held May 5 at The Oregon Garden in Silverton. Thirty teams, each made up of five students, competed in the areas of aquatic ecology, forest ecology, soils and land use, wildlife ecology and a current environmental issue. The statewide competition served as a qualifying round for students seeking to advance to the North American Envirothon and compete against teams from across the United States and Canada.
 
Newberg High School's "FFA Team" took second place. Third place went to a team from Amity High School. Two teams from Sutherlin High School finished in fourth and fifth place.
 
During the competition, students rotated through a series of outdoor stations, participating in hands-on activities to demonstrate their knowledge of natural-resources skills, including identifying tree and wildlife species, taking forest measurements and testing soil composition. Other components of the competition included taking written tests and giving oral presentations.
 
"It was really fun, but in the moment it was kind of stressful," said Hannah VonHolle, a Logos Public Charter School sophomore and member of the winning "Southern Oregon E-Team."
 
Her teammate, Logos senior Dana Baughman, said she has participated in Oregon Envirothon throughout her high school career and was excited to compete one more time this year. 
 
"It was just a great learning experience," she said. "I really enjoy learning about all the different aspects of environmental science."
 
As the first place winner of Oregon Envirothon, the Logos team now has the opportunity to compete for cash prizes at the North American Envirothon this July in Emmitsburg, Md.



New website tells forest sector story

To help the general public better understand the work of North America's forest sector, a new coalition comprising diverse segments of the sector has launched a website dedicated to telling the story of the community responsible for stewardship of the continent's forests.
 
The North American Forest Partnership (NAFP), which represents U.S. and Canadian timber companies, trade associations, government agencies, universities, conservation groups, nonprofit organizations and others that share a commitment to sustainable, healthy forests, debuted the site walkinthewoodswith.us in early May. It highlights the forest sector's innovative forest stewardship and invites users to take a virtual walk in the woods to learn more about North America's forests, the future of these forests, and the social, economic and environmental benefits they create.
 
"Our goal is to engage those who are passionate about the future of our forests in an ongoing conversation and provide honest answers to the questions we know people have about what we do and why we do it," says NAFP Executive Director Will Novy-Hildesley.
 
Using curated content from more than 100 NAFP members, the new site features answers to questions the public has about forest practices, as well as stories from forest professionals and landowners plus information on how innovation and technology are reshaping the forest industry. OFRI is an NAFP member and has contributed videos and other content to the website.
 
NAFP will collaborate with its members to regularly update the site's content, all of which is easily sharable via social media. In addition to the new site, NAFP has launched a Facebook page and Twitter account so the public can join the conversation about North America's forests. 



Forest species guide updated for landowners

OFRI has updated and redesigned its guide to priority forest plants and animals, specifically to assist forest landowners and land managers in creating and maintaining habitat for species that fall under state or federal protection.
 
A Guide to Priority Plant and Animal Species in Oregon Forests focuses on species with special status that are found in Oregon's forested habitats, and groups them by taxa. This includes species that are federally or state-listed under the Endangered Species Act, protected by the Oregon Forest Practices Act or part of the Oregon Conservation Strategy.
 
The spiral-bound field guide serves as a handy reference for landowners and managers to help determine which species to include in the forest management plans that are required for various forest sustainability certifications.
 
"It's a great resource for forest landowners seeking to better understand the needs of specific plant and animal species, and the forested habitats where they're likely to be found," says Julie Woodward, OFRI's senior manager of forestry education.
 
The guide is designed to be used in conjunction with OFRI's "Wildlife in Managed Forests" series, a collection of educational booklets that inform landowners and forest managers about protecting a variety of forest wildlife such as songbirds, fish, beavers and deer.
 
Although an original version of the guide was used by teachers for educational purposes, the updated publication is now targeted to forest landowners and managers. OFRI's K-12 Education Program plans to publish a plant and animal species guide for students and teachers in 2018.
 
Print copies of A Guide to Priority Plant and Animal Species in Oregon Forests are available to order for free through OFRI's website, OregonForests.org . Digital versions of the publication are also available to download .


Oregon forest educator awarded "Gold Star"

Oregon Natural Resource Education Program Director Susan Sahnow has been recognized for her involvement with Project Learning Tree (PLT), the American Forest Foundation's national forestry education program for preschool through 12th grade.
 
Sahnow, who serves as the Oregon PLT state coordinator and oversees the delivery of natural resources programming to more than 1,000 educators across the state every year, received the PLT Gold Star Award last month at the 31st Annual Project Learning Tree International Coordinators' Conference in Louisville, Ky.
 
The annual award is the highest honor PLT bestows on individuals and partnering organizations. It acknowledges the recipient's enduring and unflagging dedication to the mission and goals of the PLT program as demonstrated by years of exemplary service to the organization.
 
"Susan steps up to help PLT be all the best it can be," says Kathy McGlauflin, PLT executive director and senior vice president of education with the American Forest Foundation. "She is directly responsible for creating important and positive changes for educators and students in her state, as well as the national PLT program."
 
Last month's PLT conference also featured a number of presentations where Oregon forest education initiatives were discussed. This included OFRI's work developing the Oregon Forest Literacy Plan to serve as a framework for educators to develop forest-related curricula and lesson plans. OFRI Director of K-12 Education Programs Norie Dimeo-Ediger attended the conference and took the stage for multiple panel discussions where she offered advice on creating a statewide forest literacy plan, among other topics. 



OSWA to host annual meeting

The Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) will host its 2017 Annual Meeting June 15-17 at the Three Rivers Casino in Florence.
 
The event kicks off with an OSWA Board meeting on June 15, followed by a full program on June 16 that includes educational talks by representatives from the Oregon Department of Forestry and others, an annual membership meeting, an awards banquet and a silent auction.
 
This year's meeting is being held in Lane County to coincide with the Oregon Tree Farm System's Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year tour on June 17. The tour will visit forestland south of Florence owned by Oregon's 2016 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year Dave and Dianne Rankin.
 
For more than 40 years, the Rankins (above) have owned a 194-acre forest, which contains a mix of Douglas-fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, Sitka spruce, red alder and coastal redwood. They manage the land for income, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat. As winners of the Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year award, the Rankins were honored for their work enhancing a riparian area on their property to improve both water quality and fish habitat. They also actively promote sustainable forest management in their community and host a forest field day for sixth-grade students from Mapleton schools that focuses on forest ecology and hydrology.
 
More information about the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Tour and the OSWA Annual Meeting, which is open to non-members, is available on the OSWA website



Regional economic summit coming to Portland

A regional economic summit taking place in Portland this summer will feature sessions on forest-sector-related topics.
 
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) will hold its 27th Annual Summit July 23-27 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront hotel. PNWER is a nonprofit organization created in 1991 by the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, along with the Yukon and Northwest Territories, to increase the economic well-being and quality of life for all citizens of the region.
 
The summit will bring together leaders from across the Pacific Northwest to discuss opportunities for growth within the region and address major challenges to its economy and environment. This year's summit is expected to attract more than 500 legislators, business leaders, academics and government representatives.
 
Summit sessions will cover a variety of topics of interest to the region, including agriculture, energy and the environment, forestry, invasive species, tourism and water policy. OFRI is co-sponsoring the summit and OFRI Director of Forest Products Timm Locke is helping plan the forest-sector-related sessions. American Forest Resources Council President Travis Joseph and Oregon State University College of Forestry Dean Thomas Maness have been heavily involved in organizing the summit's forestry sessions.
 
More information about the summit and registration is available on the PNWER website.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute ·  OregonForests.org 
The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute 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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Copyright © 2017, Oregon Forest Resources Institute. All Rights Reserved.

On the blog 

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Career trading cards feature forest professionals

Two Oregon forest professionals - wildlife biologist Jenniffer Bakke and lands manager Joe Newton - each have their own trading card in a deck aimed to get students excited about pursuing careers that involve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
 
The Business Education Compact (BEC), a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships among local businesses and schools to help students prepare for the workforce, produced the trading cards to highlight the wide variety of STEM-related career paths. The two-sided cards feature photos of Oregon STEM professionals and their answers to a set of questions about their jobs.
 
Through a partnership between OFRI and BEC, the deck includes Bakke, who works for Hancock Forest Management, and Newton, who works for Lone Rock Timber Co. Bakke and Newton are also part of OFRI's Find Your Path video series about forest careers.
 
Volunteers will distribute the decks while visiting Oregon classrooms to promote STEM careers.

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Summit to focus on fires in PNW
A summit for forest managers and fire professionals will focus on the latest science and research on fire regimes for forests, woodlands and grasslands west of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington.
 
"Fire in the Pacific Northwest - Past, Present, & Future" is scheduled for May 24-25 at the Downtown Hilton in Vancouver, Wash. The event is targeted to federal, state and private land managers, fire and fuel specialists, and members of forest collaborative groups. OFRI is a co-sponsor.
 
The registration cost for the summit is $225. 

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Teacher tour to highlight sustainable forestry 

OFRI is hosting a free tour for high school instructors this summer in Tillamook that will provide a hands-on professional development opportunity to learn about the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainable forest management.
 
The June 19-21 tour will feature visits to forests and mills in Tillamook County. It will offer connections between the information teachers receive on the tour and applications in the classroom using OFRI's forestry curriculum  and related resources.
 
Tillamook Bay Community College, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Stimson Lumber, Hampton Lumber and Tillamook High School are among the organizations partnering with OFRI on the tour.
 


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Children's film festival to celebrate Oregon's forests
The third annual Eugene Children's Film Festival will highlight and celebrate one of Oregon's most incredible resources: its forests.
 
High school students can win a $1,000 college scholarship for making the best film about Oregon's forests, and earn the chance to be among the top films screened during the Aug. 19 festival at the Richard E. Wildish Community Theater in Springfield.
 
OFRI is a co-sponsor of the competition, which is open to all Oregon high school students. Contest entries will be judged on how well they incorporate Oregon's forests creatively into a short film. All films must be submitted online by Aug. 8.
 
More information and submission details are available at www.aacfoundation.org .
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Natural Resources Leadership Academy taking registrations
Registration is now open to graduate students and natural resources professionals for Oregon State University's Natural Resources Leadership Academy.
 
This year's academy will take place June 18-23 and June 26-30 on the OSU campus in Corvallis. It will offer the opportunity for participants to enhance their leadership skills through hands-on experience in engaging coursework and off-site field study, as well as connect with others studying or working in the natural resources field. Educational tracks can be taken for professional development or as credit toward a graduate degree.
 
Academy registration is available online.

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Get Out:
Canyon Creek Meadows 

The 4.5-mile Canyon Creek Meadows loop is one of the easiest hikes to take in the High Cascades' spring wildflower meadows. Hikers with more stamina can continue up a rocky trail to Cirque Lake and a stunning viewpoint beneath Three Fingered Jack.