OFRI eNews: March 2024

Focusing on workforce development

With spring right around the corner, there’s a lot going on at OFRI right now. Topics such as reforestation, forest health and wildfire are all featured in this month’s eNews (among others). Soon, OFRI will also be putting a renewed focus on workforce development.


One of the four main priorities in OFRI’s 2023-2028 strategic plan is to support forest sector workforce development. And with the Senate’s passage of a new omnibus education bill (SB 1552) during the 2024 legislative session, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission will also be working on this important issue.


If we are to realize the vision laid out in our strategic plan — ensuring Oregon’s forests and forest sector are healthy, sustainable and thriving — then making sure we have a strong and vibrant workforce will be critical for our state.


Stay tuned in the coming months (and years) as OFRI engages in efforts to help Oregon develop our forest sector workforce in a more comprehensive way. This critical effort will help sustain the social, environmental and economic benefits of our forests for generations to come. 

For the forest,


Jim Paul

Executive Director

Videos explain reforestation process

A new three-part educational video series from OFRI explores what it takes to reforest Oregon’s timber-producing forests.

Each three-minute video in the Reforestation in Oregon series focuses on a different part of the reforestation process, such as growing and collecting seeds from the native and genetically bred trees, or hand-planting seedlings on steep terrain and in brutal weather during Oregon’s replanting season.

The first video focuses on the J.E. Schroeder Seed Orchard, which provides genetically superior tree seeds for Oregon’s forest landowners. The second video visits a Weyerhaeuser tree nursery that grows seedlings for reforestation in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. The last video in the series follows planting crews working to reforest timber harvests on Starker Forests land in western Oregon. All three videos can be viewed on OFRI’s YouTube channel.

The release of the video series coincides with the start of OFRI’s spring educational advertising campaign, which kicked off March 11 and features multiple spots highlighting the importance of reforestation to sustain Oregon’s forests for future generations.

Visit the OFRI YouTube channel

OFRI board to hold public hearing

The OFRI board of directors will discuss the Institute’s proposed budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year at a virtual meeting March 14. This will be followed by a public hearing on the proposed budget and a proposed administrative rule change at the board’s April 18 meeting in Salem.

The March 14 meeting will start at 9 a.m. An agenda with a link to attend the Zoom meeting is available on OFRI’s board meetings and materials webpage.

The April 18 public hearing for the proposed budget will start at 9 a.m. during the board’s meeting at the Northwest Wine Studies Center, 215 Doaks Ferry Road NW. The public hearing will also include an opportunity for the public to provide comments to the board on a proposed Oregon administrative rule change regarding when the board annually establishes the rate for the dedicated forest products harvest tax that funds OFRI.

View the proposed OFRI budget and rule change

Lectures to focus on forest conservation

The 2024 Starker Lecture Series, hosted by the Oregon State University College of Forestry, kicks off next month with a focus on forest conservation.

The theme of the 2024 series is “Forest Conservation: Then & Now,” and the first lecture will take place on April 3 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Starker Forests Classroom at OSU’s Peavy Forest Science Center, 3100 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis. It will highlight the legacy of Aldo Leopold, a forester and conservationist, to celebrate the 75th publication anniversary of his book, A Sand County Almanac. Aldo Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker will deliver the lecture, titled “Land Ethic: A Sand County Almanac 75th Anniversary,” and plans to discuss Leopold’s special role in forestry and conservation.

The series will continue April 10 with a lecture by OSU College of Forestry Dean Tom DeLuca, called “Digging Into Forest Soils,” and an open house at Peavy Lodge, 8392 NE Peavy Arboretum Road, Corvallis. The event will start at 5 p.m. with a reception, followed by the lecture at 5:30 p.m. and the open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. DeLuca’s lecture will highlight the nature of soil ecosystems, their complexity and biodiversity as it relates to forest health and function, and the sustainable management of soils.

Both lectures are free and open to the public and will be available to attend via Zoom. More information about the events is on the Starker Lecture Series webpage.

The Starker Lecture Series is sponsored by the Starker family, in honor of TJ and Bruce Starker; OFRI; and the OSU College of Forestry.

Learn more about the Starker Lecture Series

Oregon Garden hosting Earth Day event

The Oregon Garden in Silverton is offering free admission to the 80-acre botanical garden and OFRI-managed Rediscovery Forest on April 20 in celebration of Earth Day.

Earth Day at The Oregon Garden is an all-ages event celebrating the planet that will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature a variety of exhibitors focused on environmental stewardship, including OFRI, offering educational activities for event attendees.

More information about the event is available on The Oregon Garden website. 

Learn more about Oregon Garden Earth Day
In other news...

Upcoming OFRI board meetings 

The OFRI board of directors has two upcoming meetings: a virtual meeting on March 14, and an in-person meeting on April 18 in Salem. Meeting information, agendas and materials are available on OFRI’s board meetings and materials webpage. All OFRI board meetings are open to the public and include the opportunity for public comment.  

Recordings of forest health webinars available  

More than 400 people registered for the State of the State 2024: Forest Health in Oregon webinar series that OFRI helped organize last month. Fortunately for those who missed attending or would like to view the webinars again, recordings are now available through the Partnership for Forestry Education’s YouTube channel. Access a playlist of each webinar here

New art exhibit on view at World Forestry Center 

The World Forestry Center’s first art exhibit of the year brings to full color the detailed aftermath of a wildfire. The State of the Forest exhibit now on view at the center’s Discovery Museum in Portland features paintings printed on fabric by artist Suze Woolf depicting fire-carved snags, known as “totems,” from all over the North American West. Learn more about the exhibit on the World Forestry Center website

Tillamook Forest Center reopens for spring

The Tillamook Forest Center reopened this month after its annual winter closure. Located in the heart of the Tillamook State Forest, the interpretive and educational center showcases the legacy of the Tillamook Burn and the massive reforestation effort that followed. The center is open Wednesday through Sunday. Learn more about the Tillamook Forest Center on its website

Webinars focus on forest fire resiliency 

The Oregon State University Extension Service is holding a webinar series through this spring that will delve into topics related to fires, fuels and density management for a variety of forest types and management objectives across central and eastern Oregon. Webinars in the series will be held on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. through May 2. They are free to attend, but registration is required. 

Mass Timber Conference coming to Portland  

The International Mass Timber Conference is returning to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland this month. Billed as the largest gathering of mass timber experts in the world, the eighth annual conference for professionals across the forest, manufacturing, design, development and construction industries will be held March 26-28. It will feature speakers, exhibits and tours focusing on the entire mass timber industry supply chain. Learn more on the Mass Timber Conference website

Upcoming events

OFRI Board Meeting

March 14, Zoom

International Mass Timber Conference

March 26-28, Portland 

Starker Lecture – Land Ethic: A Sand County Almanac 75th Anniversary

April 3, Corvallis

Introduction to Forest Management Plans Webinar Series

April 8,15 and 22, Zoom

Starker Lecture – Digging Into Forest Soils

April 10, Corvallis

OFRI Board Meeting

April 18, Salem 

Earth Day at The Oregon Garden

April 20, Silverton 

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The Oregon Forest Resources Institute supports the forest sector and the stewardship of natural resources by advancing Oregonians’ understanding of the social, environmental and economic benefits of our forests.



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