January 2013 - Issue 11
Tree Farm "Inspector of the Year" award bestowed on ODF employee
Oregon Department of Forestry's Jamie Knight received the Oregon Tree Farm System (OTFS) "Inspector of the Year" designation at the OTFS's annual awards luncheon held in November at The World Forestry Center in Portland.
An Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) forester working in LaGrande, Knight has a long history of Tree Farm volunteering and other activities in support of family forest landowners and stewardship of Oregon's forests; she completed 11 inspections in 2012.
With regards to her volunteer Tree Farm efforts, Knight says: "I became involved with Tree Farm because there weren't a lot of inspectors in Union County, and it fit well with the work I was doing. I've stayed involved in Tree Farm because I like the benefits to not only the particular landowner, but all private forestland owners in the country."
In addition to the many Tree Farm landowner visits and inspections, Knight has also played a major role in assisting the two recent Oregon Outstanding tree Farmers of the Year from northeast Oregon - Chris and Donna Heffernan and Harry Merlo - host tours and complete their applications for Western Regional Tree Farmer of the Year.
Knight performs a variety of duties for ODF in northeast Oregon, including manager of the Blue Mountain Western Larch Cooperative Orchard. This project is still in its infancy. The concept is to grow grafted larch in an orchard setting and meet the seed shortfalls being felt in Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington.
Congratulations to Knight for her accomplishments and recognition with OTFS!
Two new members appointed to the Oregon Board of Forestry
Last month the Oregon Senate confirmed Governor John Kitzhaber’s appointments of Tom Imeson as chair and Michael Rose as a member of the state Board of Forestry.
They fill vacancies left by current chair John Blackwell and board member Steve Wilson, whose terms expire at the end of December. Both Blackwell and Wilson asked that Kitzhaber not reappoint them, so that they could pursue other personal and professional interests.
Imeson, of Portland, is currently public affairs director at the Port of Portland. He has extensive experience in state and federal government, with a focus on natural resources and energy. He worked for 15 years on U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield’s personal staff and on the staffs of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources and Appropriations committees.
He was chief of staff for Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, and later became vice-president for public affairs and communications with PacifiCorp. He has served on a number of civic and state boards, including the Land Conservation and Development Commission and the Board of Higher Education.
“I have a deep appreciation of the critical role Oregon’s forests play in our state,” he said, “including their importance to our economy, and their contributions to wildlife habitat, recreation and other values.”
Rose, of Elkton, has represented forest industry workers for 36 years, through the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers/Woodworkers District Lodge in Gladstone, and the International Woodworkers of America Local Lodge in Reedsport.
Kitzhaber said Imeson and Rose will bring valuable leadership, skills and perspectives as the forestry board continues with significant work, including charting future management of state-owned forests for the greatest benefit to Oregonians.
“Tom has a rich background in public service, particularly in forest policy at the state and federal levels,” he said. “Managing all of our forests with sound policies is essential to Oregon’s economic recovery and long-term wellbeing.”
He also praised the work of Blackwell and Wilson. “The board is in a good place and is working well,” he said. “The board, the Department of Forestry and the state as a whole are better off because of John’s leadership.”
The board consists of seven citizens serving four-year terms. Functions include appointing the state forester, providing broad oversight of the department, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base.
For more information:
In November, Governor Kitzhaber released his recommended 2013-2015 budget, which he will submit to the Legislature when it convenes early this year. In his remarks, the Governor mentioned forestry as part of the foundation of Oregon’s well-being and economic recovery, and his budget includes some key forestry investments.
Among them is the Wildfire Protection Act, a reform crafted over many months by a range of stakeholders with strong support of the Department and Board of Forestry. The Act increases investments where we know they are most effective: up front, in firefighting assets that we can position when and where fire danger is most severe. This keeps more fires small, and reduces costs in the long run for landowners and for the public.
The Act also moves towards a 50-50 sharing of large fire costs, which landowners have paid fully in most years. And it provides an offset for fire protection on lower-productivity, fire-prone eastside lands, a measure that can help keep those lands viable as working forests.
Acknowledging the importance to Oregon of federally-owned forestlands, the Governor’s budget also provides lottery funds to support collaborative groups developing projects that enhance forest health while also providing raw materials for mills. The budget also includes authorization for lottery-backed bonds to be used in purchasing 20,200 acres to complete acquisition of the Gilchrist State Forest, which we began several years ago. This will mark an important milestone for the Department, Oregon’s state forest system, and the state as a whole.
New resource guide published for family forestland owners
Anyone who owns forestland - even a small parcel - likely has questions about how to manage and protect it while still achieving their goals and objectives.
Fortunately, to help family forestland owners find answers, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute has published a 16-page booklet: Family Forests: A guide to technical, financial and educational resources for family forest landowners.
"The idea behind the resource guide is to introduce small woodland owners to an active community where they can learn and get help from peers and experts," says Mike Cloughesy, OFRI director of forestry.
The new publication can be ordered or downloaded for free from OFRI's website, at www.OregonForests.org.
Grant funding available for northeast Oregon woody biomass projects
Have an idea for using woody biomass from northeastern Oregon forests to produce heat, electricity or fuel? You may be eligible for grant funding from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to help with your project. ODF has $60,000 in federal grant funds to award to applicants whose projects would help restore overgrown forest timber stands by putting this excess woody material to work in a cost-effective manner.
Marcus Kauffman, ODF’s biomass resource specialist, said the grant opportunity provides public funds to explore the economic and technical feasibility of new biomass utilization projects.
“We seek to encourage the construction of new biomass heating, co-generation and biomass manufacturing facilities here in the region with these grant dollars,” he said. “There is a clear relationship between fuel buildup in our forests and severe wildfires. Fuels-reduction activities and woody biomass utilization can help break that link.”
Provided to ODF by the U.S. Forest Service, the grant funds can be used by private and public entities to pay for feasibility studies, and the design and engineering of forest biomass projects. Individual awards of as much as $20,000 and up to 75 percent of project costs may be made.
For more information:
Technical questions about the grant: Marcus Kauffman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about the application process: Patricia Morgan, email@example.com
South Fork Camp provides State Capitol Holiday Tree
The South Fork Forest Camp, an inmate facility located in the Tillamook State Forest and co-managed by the Oregon departments of Corrections and Forestry, provided the Holiday tree, a Noble fir, for the State Capitol this year.
For more than 60 years, South Fork inmates have provided management services for the state-owned forests and fire protection for all forestlands of the state.
Questions or comments?
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