OFRI eNews: December 2023

What a year it's been for OFRI!

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute had a busy and productive 2023. Our three major programs — focused on public, K-12 and landowner education — were able to continue to expand their reach and level of in-person programming aimed at helping Oregonians learn about our forests. Here are just a few highlights from our year:


In our public education program, we started the year by releasing Oregon Forest Facts 2023-2024 Edition. This is OFRI’s most popular publication each year, containing the latest facts and figures on Oregon’s forests. Later in the year, we followed up with a deep dive on the Private Forest Accord with our special publication Finding Common Ground on this historic agreement for forestry in Oregon.


In May, our K-12 education program worked with high schools from across the state to organize the 2023 Oregon Envirothon, an annual natural resources knowledge and skills competition. Over 90 students from a dozen high schools gathered at The Oregon Garden in Silverton to compete, with this year’s special portion of the competition focused on a defining topic of our times: “Adapting to a Changing Climate.” Students were joined by more than 40 volunteers and the entire OFRI staff, all dedicated to making it a memorable day.


In our landowner education program, we’ve advanced work on our fourth edition of Oregon’s Forest Protection Laws: An Illustrated Manual, the most significant update in the last 20 years to this popular publication. The program also recently released Wildlife in Managed Forests: Native Bees, the newest publication in OFRI’s Wildlife in Managed Forests series, offering scientific research-backed guidance on managing forests to support healthy wildlife populations. (See the story about this new publication below.)


And, of course, a final highlight of the year was the OFRI board recently adopting our new strategic plan for 2023-2028. With updated mission, vision, values and reputation statements, plus four major priorities with associated measures and actions, it positions OFRI well for success in the coming years.


As we say a happy holidays to all and head into 2024, we look forward to continuing to provide essential support for the forest sector and the stewardship of our natural resources by advancing Oregonians’ understanding of the social, environmental and economic benefits of our forests.

For the forest,


Jim Paul

Executive Director

OFRI hires manager of landowner education

Certified forester Margaret Miller has joined OFRI staff as the new manager of landowner education.

Margaret, who most recently worked as an air quality planner and forester for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), is responsible for providing forestry education to Oregon’s forest landowners through OFRI’s landowner education program, as well as overseeing management of the Institute’s demonstration forest at The Oregon Garden in Silverton.

She has experience working as a forester in the public sector and as a private consultant. At DEQ, she led the agency’s smoke management and biomass utilization regulatory portfolios and acted as a liaison to the Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.

Margaret is a former wildland firefighter and has earned both a graduate certificate in forest carbon science, policy and management, and a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Michigan State University. She is a certified forester with the Society of American Foresters and a certified plan writer with the American Tree Farm System.

In her free time, Margaret enjoys hiking and backpacking with her husband, Dan, and their German shorthaired pointer, Banjo. When not in the woods, she enjoys exploring new restaurants and playing soccer in various adult travel leagues.

Eastside forest stream diagrams booklet

OFRI has developed and released a set of diagrams to help eastern Oregon private forest landowners follow new state regulations aimed at protecting aquatic habitat during timber harvests.

The Eastside Forest Stream Protection Diagrams booklet, a companion to OFRI’s Westside Forest Stream Protection Diagrams, details expanded protections for fish and amphibian habitat under the Oregon Forest Practices Act resulting from the Private Forest Accord agreement.

All private forest landowners will be required to follow the new forest practice rules starting Jan. 1, 2024, although qualified small forest landowners may choose either to follow the “standard practice” option required for large forest landowners or to leave narrower no-cut buffers along streams on their property under the small forest landowner “minimum option.”

Each diagram in the Eastside Forest Stream Protection Diagrams booklet illustrates a different scenario in which two streams intersect in an eastern Oregon forest, showing the width of the inner and outer zones of streamside habitat protection required for each stream based on its size and whether it contains fish (or certain species of fish). The booklet is intended to assist landowners in interpreting Oregon’s stream protection rules, not to replace the rules.

Eastside Forest Stream Protection Diagrams, which is a digital-only publication, can be downloaded here. It’s also available to download from KnowYourForest.org

Download Eastside Forest Stream Protection Diagrams

Arboretum's new signs designed by OFRI

The C.J. Reed Arboretum at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s main district office in Astoria now has 40 new interactive tree identification signs designed by OFRI and funded by a grant from the Society of American Foresters (SAF).

The project to install the new signs, which were made by Oregon Corrections Enterprises, was completed by members of the SAF Tillamook-Clatsop Chapter. Each sign has a QR code that leads to a website with more information about specific tree species.

The C.J. Reed Arboretum was developed in the 1960s by Department of Forestry foresters and is named after Chet Reed, who served as district forester in Astoria from 1955 to 1978. The arboretum and demonstration forest trails are open to the public year-round. More information about visiting the arboretum can be found in the Clatsop State Forest Recreation Guide

Publication focuses on native bees

A new educational publication produced by OFRI’s landowner education program highlights the vast variety of native bees found in Oregon’s forests, and the ways in which forest landowners and managers can support them.

Wildlife in Managed Forests: Native Bees is the newest publication in OFRI’s Wildlife in Managed Forests series, which offers scientific research-backed guidance on managing forests to support healthy wildlife populations. The Native Bees booklet provides context for better understanding the roles managed forests play in providing habitat for native bees. The reader will learn about threats to Oregon’s native bees, current research findings regarding these bees’ reliance on forest habitats and forest management techniques that provide habitat for native bees.

Print and electronic versions of Wildlife in Managed Forests: Native Bees are available to order or download free of charge through OFRI’s website, OregonForests.org.

Download/order Native Bees publication

2023 Operator of the Year announced

Three regional advisory committees to the Oregon Board of Forestry have selected two loggers and a forestry consultant as Operator of the Year for their respective regions of Oregon.

The 2023 Operator of the Year for eastern Oregon is Leigh Ann Vradenburg (pictured, left) with the Klamath Watershed Partnership in Klamath County. The northwest Oregon honoree is Ron Staley (center) of Lebanon-based Ron Staley Enterprises Inc. Wally Plikat (right) of Roseburg-based Plikat Logging Inc. was selected as top forest operator for southwest Oregon.

The Operator of the Year award recognizes forest operators who, while harvesting timber or doing other forestry work, protect natural resources at a level that consistently meets or goes above and beyond the requirements of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. This year’s honorees will be recognized next month at a Board of Forestry meeting in Salem.

Videos about each of the three Operators of the Year, plus five Merit Award winners, can be viewed on the Oregon Department of Forestry website.

In other news...

Environmental educator interviewed on radio

Tune into the mid-Willamette Valley community radio station KUMZ for the Conservation Spotlight segment on Dec. 20 to hear a conversation with OFRI Environmental Educator Rikki Heath about her work helping youth learn about the natural environment and Oregon’s forests. The segment, produced by the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, will air at 8 a.m. Learn more about the upcoming episode of the Conservation Spotlight featuring Rikki here

OFRI has a new strategic plan

OFRI has a new five-year strategic plan, which the Institute’s board of directors approved in October. The full plan and a one-page strategic summary sheet are both available to download from OFRI’s website

Director of forestry featured in podcast 

OFRI Director of Forestry Julie Woodward was recently featured on the At the Core With Sarah Friend podcast, which focuses on women in professional leadership roles. In the podcast episode, she discusses her work for the Institute serving as its lead forester, as well as her experience as a woman working in the traditionally male-dominated field of forestry. Listen to the episode featuring a conversation with Julie here, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Yamhill County SWA to host presentation on OFRI 

The Yamhill County Small Woodlands Association will host a presentation by OFRI Executive Director Jim Paul on Jan. 24 about goals for the Institute moving forward. The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oregon State University Extension Service office in McMinnville and will include the option to attend via Zoom. More details here

Oregon landscape resiliency strategy released

The Oregon Governor’s Office, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and other state and federal agencies recently released a 20-year landscape resiliency strategy for Oregon. It outlines ways to meaningfully reduce wildfire risk and improve landscape resiliency in the face of climate change. Read about the core components of the strategy here.  

Training on new forestry rules continues

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is continuing to provide training for private forest landowners and managers to cover new rules for stream protection and forest road construction and maintenance that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024. A recording of a recent public training session covering these new rules and a fact sheet summarizing key dates and recent changes to the Oregon Forest Practices Act are available on the ODF website 

Upcoming events

Free Sunday at World Forestry Center

Dec. 17, Portland 

Forests Today & Forever 2024 Annual Meeting

Jan. 19, Eugene

Douglas County Small Woodlands Association Annual Members Meeting and Dinner

Jan. 23, Roseburg

Yamhill County Small Woodlands Association – Goals for OFRI

Jan. 24, McMinnville

Oregon Logging Conference

Feb. 22-24, Eugene 

Tree School Clackamas

March 23, Oregon City

International Mass Timber Conference

March 26-28, Portland

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  
Oregon Forest Resources Institute

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute supports and enhances Oregon’s forest products industry

by advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products.

A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.



Click here to add or remove an email address.

Copyright © 2023, Oregon Forest Resources Institute. All Rights Reserved.