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About the Santiam State Forest
History of the Forest
Logger that is working in the Santiam State Forest

Private timber companies harvested most of the forest in the Santiam Canyon between 1880 and 1930.  By the 1930’s and 1940’s with the land either logged over or burned by wildfire, many of the timber companies which owned the land saw little value in the forest.  Some of the landowners let their land return to the counties for delinquent taxes while others sold it to the county for a minimal amount. 
 
The Forest Acquisition Act, passed in 1939, encouraged counties to deed the foreclosed lands to the Oregon Department of Forestry in exchange for a share of future timber harvest revenues, giving rise to the state forest system we have today.  Since then, the Oregon Department of Forestry has managed the land.
 
By the time the state took ownership, much of the forest already was naturally restocked with a native mix of seedlings.  The only part of the Santiam State Forest that was planted by the Department of Forestry was the area burned by the 1951 Sardine Creek Fire, which burned approximately 21,400 acres northeast of Mehama. 

 

The Santiam State Forest Today
A view from a ridge in the Santiam State Forest

The Santiam State Forest encompasses more than 47,000 acres in the foothills of the Cascades. It is managed by the North Cascade District, within three counties: Clackamas, Marion, and Linn. The State Board of Forestry sets management direction and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) manages the forest. 
 
Forest managers actively manage the forests in a sound environmental manner by providing sustainable timber harvest, maintaining and restoring aquatic habitats, protecting, maintaining, and enhancing native wildlife habitats, protecting soils, water, and air, and providing outdoor recreation opportunities while generating revenues to the state, counties, and local taxing districts, and at the same time maintaining the lands as forest lands.
 
 
Management Strategies – Greatest Permanent Value
 
The Board of Forestry has directed the Department of Forestry to manage State forest lands to secure the Greatest Permanent Value (GPV) to the citizens of Oregon. GPV is defined as healthy, productive and sustainable forest ecosystems that over time and across the landscape provide a full range of social, economic and environmental benefits to the people of Oregon.
 
The Santiam State Forest implements GPV through a tier of management plans. At a broad scale, the Northwest Oregon Forest Management Plan (FMP) provides overall management direction. The local District has completed an Implementation Plan for the FMP, which is revised as needed. Annual Operation Plans (AOP’s) set forth the specific activities to be accomplished on the Santiam Forest each year. Each level of planning provides formal opportunities for public input. Comments and suggestions to State Forest planning are welcome and encouraged. 
 

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