Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
2015 Madrona Avenue, Salem, OR

Welcome to the Associated Oregon Loggers

Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc. (AOL) is the statewide trade association representing some 1,000 member companies engaged in the harvest and sustainable forest management of Oregon’s 30 million acres of forestland. “Logger and Proud of It!”

Introduction to AOL

Recent News

The Rest of the Story

Jim Geisinger - AOL Executive Vice President

On July 27, 2019 The Oregonian placed an article authored by reporter Rob Davis on the front page of the newspaper excoriating the Oregon State University College of Forestry for its alleged mismanagement of the college’s McDonald-Dunn forest. The issue was the harvesting of a 15.7 acre unit of mature forest that allegedly contained a tree 420 years old. The 15.7 acre unit generated over $420,000 for the college to fund its budget.

A local retired high tech executive and jogger/mountain bike enthusiast decided to make an issue of the project and the press was off to the races. Mr. Davis called on ex-OSU professor Norm Johnson, one of the architects of the Northwest Forest Plan, to offer his criticism of the college’s management practices. But there is a little background information The Oregonian failed to address that I think is very important.

OSU’s McDonald-Dunn College Forest was created by a substantial private contribution from Mary McDonald in 1927 to the Oregon Agricultural College. Having no children of her own, her goal in making the donation was to help youth of the future learn more about the natural resources that interested her. She and her late husband had accumulated substantial timber holdings in northern California and in Oregon.

When the McDonald Forest was established, it was a savannah type ecosystem resulting from years of Native American and early settlers burning and grazing activities. Those practices created an attractive environment for Douglas fir to establish a forest where none ever existed. According to OSU’s website, "the forest has been almost completely ‘cut over’ at least once." That is not to say that there were not some old trees on the site which seems to be the source of controversy today.

Fast forward to 2019 when high tech executives living in expensive homes (built of wood!) surround the McDonald-Dunn OSU College Forest. These homes were nowhere to be found when the college forest was established. I don’t believe it was ever Mary McDonald’s intent to create a private playground for the well-to-do to jog and mountain bike through the private real estate she donated to the college. That is not to say that recreation isn’t an appropriate use of the land for local residents, but the purpose of the private donation was to benefit the College of Forestry and its students, period.

Oregonian reporter Rob Davis attempted to demonize the relationship between the College of Forestry and the forest products industry. Well, why wouldn’t the forest products industry have a relationship with one of the premier forestry schools in the world? Forestry is what we practice. The college is a source of the latest research to help us manage our forests sustainably.

Does anyone not think the agricultural industry has a relationship with the College of Agriculture; or does the construction industry have a relationship with the Engineering School; or does the high tech industry invest in the Computer Sciences School? I think these are very logical and healthy relationships.

And to add a little perspective, Oregon is blessed with some 30 million acres of forest land. Over 60 percent is owned by the federal government and most of that is off limits to logging. Dr. Norm Johnson, of all people, (one of the architects of the Northwest Forest Plan) should know that tens of thousands of acres of new old growth is being created every year on the millions of acres designated as "late successional reserves" in the plan he created. The notion that "once it is gone, it is gone forever" is just untrue.

So, 15.7 acres of mature timber harvested off of the McDonald-Dunn College forest, to support the college and its students, is going to destroy our way of life? I don’t think so and I don’t think Mary McDonald would agree either.