Oregon’s forests define sustainability

Oregon was the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive law regulating forest practices and safeguarding water, fish and wildlife habitat. That was 1971. The law is known as “The Oregon Forest Practices Act.”

The rules protecting Oregon’s forest resources have been updated nearly 40 times to reflect the most current science and conditions. One of the latest changes was a 2017 rule requiring bigger buffer areas around cold water streams that host salmon, steelhead or bull trout. Read more about that change in a blog posted by the Oregon Forest & Industries Council.

State law requires private landowners to completely replant their property within two years of a timber harvest. Within six years, the replanted area must contain enough healthy trees to outgrow grass and competing brush.

Live trees, standing dead trees and fallen logs must be left in harvest areas to provide wildlife habitat.

In order to protect fish and clean drinking water, Oregon law restricts timber harvesting, road building and the use of chemicals close to streams.

More about The Oregon Forest Practices Act is available from the state’s Department of Forestry.

Oregon’s forests define sustainability. Trees are planted. Grown. Harvested. Planted again. That’s the Oregon way.