Simple Facts – Oregon Forestry
The Simple Truth About Oregon Forestry & Logging
Open this link for a great overview about Oregon’s forestry and forest products industry: Oregon Forest Facts & Figures 2013.
Logging Your Tree Every Year
It now takes one tree every year for every man, woman and child to meet their needs
for paper, packaging, fiber compounds, lumber and panel products. Annually, every
American uses a tree 16 inches in diameter by 100 foot tall. Your tree--if harvested
in Oregon--is logged using the most careful environmental protections in the world.
Before advances in forest technology and recycling over the past decade, you used
more than one tree.
Recycling Does Not Save Trees -- It Makes More Paper for Your Children
A growing American population uses 2% more paper each year--more than the rate of
increased recycling. Americans now recover over 46% of all paper used. To make your
paper, Western paper mills use primarily waste wood, recycled fiber, and logs too
small or defective for other uses.
Special Forests Already Preserved -- How Much is Enough?
About 11 million acres of Oregon Forestland (40% of forests, all ownerships) is
now preserved from commercial timber harvest in old growth reserves, stream corridors,
wetlands, wildlife habitats, natural areas, recreation zones, wilderness, parks,
some roadless areas, and other withdrawals.
Oregon Reforestation Tops in Nation
Strict forest laws assure trees are planted and growing to replace timber harvested.
Oregon has the highest private land reforestation compliance rate in the nation
-- averaging 97%. For example, Oregon's landowners planted trees on a total of 150,879
acres in 1996 -- over half of this reforestation was done by private owners. More
than 40 million seedlings were planted. That's 12 seedlings for every Oregonian.
Wood: The Miracle Resource
Wood is produced by trees in a forest, using free energy from the sun, carbon dioxide
from the air, plus water and nutrients from the soil. Healthy managed forests generate
far more pure oxygen, returned to the atmosphere, than do old slow growing forests.
Wood -- beautiful, strong, natural, renewable, recyclable, energy efficient, easy-to-use
wood. No other resource on earth can match its environmental advantages. Clearly,
the world should be using more wood, not less.
America's Forests Growing Greater
More trees are growing in the nation's forests than at any time since the early
1900's. In 1900, forest growth rates were a small fraction of harvest. Today, annual
forest growth exceeds harvest by 33%. Net annual growth has increased 55% since
1952, and growth per acre has increased 62%. Nationally, standing timber volume
per acre in US forests is 33% greater than in 1952. In national forests, annual
growth now exceeds harvest by more than 100%.
Growing & Harvesting Our Daily Wood
Every day, each of the earth's 5.4 billion inhabitants each consume an average of
a half-gallon equivalent wood volume. Americans each use about 4 pounds daily. Where
will our wood come from? America already imports 38% of its lumber and 15% of its
paper products. Conservation and technology can help make our timber supply go further.
Yet, creating more forest preserves and harvest prohibitions will only deprive future
generations of the wood they need, forcing increased use of other non-renewable
wood substitutes that pose a far greater risk to the environment than forestry ever
has, or ever will. The US must make a major commitment to manage our productive
forests, to grow & harvest our daily wood, just as we grow our daily bread.
Because by the year 2020, US Forest Service researchers project American's annual
demand for wood fiber will increase by 50%
Wood Products Is an Important Part of Oregon's Economic Diversity
Oregon's future does not require a trade-off between wood products and the new growth
industries, such as high-tech. Oregon needs both. In fact, to favor either at the
expense of the other is to imperil statewide economic diversity.
Sustainable Growth Exceeds Projected Harvest
Former Oregon State University forest economist Dr. John Beuter, in his 1995 report,
Legacy and Promise, found that Oregon can sustain an ample harvest AND protect other
forest values. Beuter asserts that properly managed Oregon forests could support
a sustainable annual harvest of at least 5 to 7.5 billion board feet with much less
environmental impact than occurred in the past, and a significant improvement in
the protection of wildlife habitat, watersheds, and scenery. Oregon State University
studies in 1976 & '89 concluded that Oregon forests could maintain their 8 billion
board foot harvest level (1970's) indefinitely, because growth and timber volumes
exceeded this rate.
Clearcutting is Forest Renewal
A majority of forest scientists, ecologists and biologists agree that clearcutting
is among several tools carefully applied to renew aging or damaged forests. In Oregon,
only 14% of the area harvested each year is done by clearcutting, and 86% of the
area harvested each year is done by thinning. Industrial and small woodlot owners
clearcut (15%) about the same rate as public forest managers (11%). Today's modern
clearcut retains several standing and downed trees to provide diversity.
Harvest Depression Unprecedented
Since 1994, Oregon loggers harvested only 4 billion board feet of timber annually,
enough wood fiber to produce 4 million tons of paper products and build 267,000
homes. Although Oregon forest growth exceeds timber harvest and we have more timber
than we did in 1952, conflicting federal laws and logging prohibitions have stalled
harvest. Oregon harvest this low is unprecedented since the depression-era 1930's.
Between 1940 and 1990, Oregon harvest averaged 7 to 9 billion bi-annually.
More Than a Few Forest Professionals
Who decides when and how trees are harvested; and who does all the work to "manage"
a forest? During the course of a single harvest and reforestation operation, as
many as 33 forest professionals may be directly involved in planning and implementation
in a 5-year period. Here's a list of a few forest stewards who care for Oregon's
forest during a logging operation, but not limited to: owner/manager, preparation
forester, silviculturist, hydrologist, fish biologist, wildlife biologist, ecologist,
soil specialist, geo-technical engineer, road engineer, logging engineer, archeologist,
entomologist, pathologist, fuels specialist, recreation planner, landscape architect,
surveyor, land use specialist, professional loggers (timber falling, yarding, trucking),
cruiser, appraiser, road construction contractor, road maintenance operator, contractors
forester, forest practices forester, forestry service contractor, tree planting
contractor, fire contractor, and monitoring provider.