Woodland Information Night provides forest owners with trio of updates

Mar 19, 2023 | Author: Mike Barsotti, LCSWA President | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

Woodland Information Night returned from the pandemic-caused pause with presentations on the emerald ash borer, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) role in implementing the Private Forest Accord (PFA), OSU Extension’s Forestry & Natural Resources Fire Program, and current log prices.

The workshop for family forest landowners was held March 1 at Oregon State University’s Peavy Forest Science Center.

The latest information about the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) was provided by Hazel Daniels, an Oregon Department of Forestry monitoring specialist. Daniels has a PhD in Forest Health from Oregon State. She covered the impact the EAB has on ash trees in the United States, its spread, life cycle, and steps landowners can take when managing risks on their land. Daniels provided the following list of web sites for additional information on the EAB.

Mike Kroon, ODF’s deputy division chief for the All-Lands Unit, provided background information on the development of the Private Forest Accord (PFA) and the role the department is preparing to play in the implementation of the PFA. Rule changes have been completed for The Oregon Forest Practices Act that define harvesting activities adjacent to streams. Kroon stated that these rules go into effect on large forest ownership July 1 and for small forestland ownership January 1, 2024. Additional ODF foresters have been hired to assist small forestland owners learn more about the new rule effect on their forest activities. Small forestlands are defined as 5,000 acres or less.

Carrie Berger, manager of OSU Extension’s Forestry & Natural Resources Fire Program, covered how this program uses education and outreach to foster communities and landscapes resiliency to wildfire. She began her presentation asking the landowners present to share what they have done to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Berger noted that she was standing in for Kayla Bordelon, the Fire Program Extension agent who covers the Willamette Valley area. Bordelon was not able to attend the meeting but is eager to assist local organizations learn ways to better prepare for wildfires.

The workshop’s final speaker, Van Decker, a Benton County OSWA member and logger, provided a status report on the log market. Prices are down a bit from last fall’s highs. Decker also reported that California-based Sierra Pacific, which purchased Seneca in the fall of 2021, has plans to double the Eugene sawmill’s capacity.

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