Did you know that the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) oversees 10 million acres of forests that can act as a major carbon sink? The Coast Range and Western Cascade forests have some of the highest potential for carbon storage in the world, and they filter our drinking water too. But industrial forestry is limiting carbon storage and polluting drinking water across Oregon.
Unfortunately, ODF’s current leadership is skirting its responsibilities to communities and future generations by doing everything possible to make it easy for the timber industry to liquidate these forests. As reported by Pro-Publica and Oregon Public Broadcasting, Wall Street executives have bought up most of Oregon’s private forests and benefit from weak laws and tax breaks that leave the public to shoulder the costs of industrial logging. Timber interests are even using a tax-funded public relations firm, known as OFRI, to promote the agenda of big timber.
The Oregon Department of Forestry must do better. Recently, Oregon’s Governor signed a Climate Executive Order that seeks to combat climate change in part by protecting more forests. Unfortunately, in its initial response to the Executive Order, Oregon’s State Forester argued for business-as-usual. We need real leadership at the Oregon Department of Forestry, an agency that is charged with the important responsibility of protecting clean water, critical habitat, and healthy forests for our communities. It is time for the Board of Forestry and the State Forester to step up to this task.
What can you do? Oregon needs new leadership to address climate change, wildfire, and the 21st century challenges we now face in the era of climate change. ODF is failing to balance the numerous ecosystem benefits that our forests provide and is instead clinging to outdated and destructive practices and resisting meaningful efforts to combat climate change. The current climate crisis requires departure from business as usual, and yet ODF’s current management plan reflects the same short-rotation, clearcut-style practices that continue to undermine ecosystem stability and our region’s natural climate solution: healthy forests.
Take action. It’s time for a change in the leadership of the Oregon Department of Forestry. Write to the Oregon Board of Forestry, responsible for overseeing ODF and ask them to ensure ODF is doing all that it can to protect our watersheds and climate from unregulated industrial forestry.
Take Action – send to: email@example.com
Oregon Department of Forestry works for you.
Dear Chair Imeson and Board Members:
I am writing today about the lack of balance at the Oregon Department of Forestry and the failure of ODF’s leadership on the climate crisis. Oregon is home to some of the most biomass-rich in the world. They can store more carbon than nearly any other ecosystem on the planet and provide critical services such as filtering drinking water for our communities. Yet, there is strong timber industry-backed resistance to a transition to climate-smart forestry grounded in strong science.
Oregonians need ODF to demonstrate bold leadership to address climate change, wildfire, and other 21st century challenges. It is up to the Board to ensure that this happens – not just for today but for future generations that will inherit the outcomes of the decisions that we make today.
Please use your oversight role to ensure that ODF faithfully implements the spirit and intent of Executive Order 20-04 and commits to a management system that prioritizes long-term carbon storage and climate adaptability for Oregon’s forestlands. As was made clear in the recent letter from the Governor’s office, ODF has yet to propose any meaningful action to implement the EO.
Business as usual is not an option. We urge you to insist that the State Forester lead on addressing climate change. In order to meet 21st challenges – such as climate change, drought, and wildfire – Oregon needs a Department of Forestry that adheres to the best available science and demonstrates bold and timely leadership. Please ensure that ODF is up to the challenge.
Thank you for your service to Oregon’s forests and communities.
Chris, 350PDX Volunteer & Communications Manager
Felice & Leslie, 350PDX Forest Defense