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Forest inventories in Oregon include more than trees
Date:12/3/2008

PORTLAND, Ore. December 3, 2008. The first 5-year forest inventory report for Oregon's private and public lands is now available to the public: Oregon's Forest Resources, 2001-2005: Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis Report.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Oregon's forests span about 30 million acres; about half of Oregon's total land area of 61 million acres.
  • Forest land is being converted to other uses particularly near urban areas. The rate of conversion had slowed in the past decade, but it's not clear what protections will remain on rural forest and agricultural land.
  • The majority of old-growth forest is now found on federal land, although the current percentage is estimated to be less than half of that existing before Euro-American settlement.
  • Data spanning 1953 to 1987 show a decrease in timberland area and volume, but inventories in the late 1990s and 2001-2005 suggest recent increases in timberland acreage and volume.
  • Economic activity increased in the forest products industry, with an 8-percent increase in harvest since 2003.
  • Private landowners provide most of Oregon's wood products, industry jobs, and timber revenue.
  • Ownership is rapidly changing as some industry owners sell their lands to timber investment management organizations (TIMO) or real-estate investment trusts (REIT) who may manage the land for a variety of purposes.
  • A single fuel-management prescription does not fit all landscapes in Oregon. Less than half of forested lands are predicted to develop crown fires, and an even smaller fraction can be expected to develop active crown fire.
  • Oregon's forests are a net sink for carbon. More carbon is sequestered in growing wood than is emitted in decaying wood.

The data from the FIA reports are used by state, federal, and private land managers, investors, and others for a variety of purposes including the
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Contact: Sherri Richardson Dodge
srichardsondodge@fs.fed.us
503-808-2137
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert  

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