Media Room

Oregon Mass Timber Summit
REMARKS AS PREPARED

March 27, 2017
 
Good morning. I’m Governor Kate Brown, and it is my privilege to welcome you to the first-ever Oregon Mass Timber Summit.
 
Thank you all for being here. I want to give a special welcome to all of our international guests here today. Welcome to Oregon.
 
Oregon’s economy was born from our natural resource-based industries, lumber in particular. Today, the economy and political landscape looks different. Yet, wood products continue to play a strong role in a thriving and ever-innovating Oregon economy.
 
We’ve made an intentional decision here in Oregon to not stand idly by as consumer demands shift and the global economy and climate changes.
 
While Oregon’s economy holds the top GDP growth in the nation, low unemployment levels, and record export growth, we must be diligent and ensure that economic growth reaches all corners of the state, particularly in our rural communities.
 
As science and shared best practices guide us toward more effective, collaborative strategies to preserve and protect Oregon’s diverse habitats and species, we know our natural resource-based industries will continue to be a mainstay of the Oregon economy.
 
Oregon’s forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon, expanding opportunity for communities hit hard by the decline of the natural resource economy.
 
Mass Timber presents a new opportunity for Oregon, an opportunity we are perfectly suited to take on.
 
Our forests grow the most desirable species for use in Cross Laminated Timber and other Mass Timber products. As Mass Timber starts to catch on as a building material—it makes sense for it to emerge from our state than any other.
 
This creates a great opportunity for both rural and urban Oregon alike.
 
In 2015, I made a 350-thousand-dollar state investment in a family-owned, rural Oregon company – D-R Johnson. They are now the first certified, commercial producer of Cross Laminated Timber in the United States.

I’ve also worked with Oregon State University and the University of Oregon to create the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design. I secured $2.6 million dollars in state funds and leveraged an equal commitment in federal funds for research and wood-product testing right here in Oregon.
 
Being on the forefront of a supply chain for an emerging technology is a valuable position for Oregon to be in as we all work to create a robust and globally connected, statewide economy.
 
Oregon has the raw material, industry infrastructure, and know-how to lead in wood innovation. Our success in this endeavor would not be possible without the commitment of Oregon’s timber industry to propel the development of advanced wood manufacturing. Thank you.
 
By fostering the innovation that grows and develops the advanced wood manufacturing industry, we have a chance to reinvigorate the natural resources based economies that once made our rural communities strong.
 
This first annual Oregon Mass Timber Summit is part of how we seize the opportunity.

Join us as we discuss with industry experts from around the globe how to pair our innovation with our natural resources to become the U.S. Mass Timber leader.
 
Thank you.