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A new strategy for Oregon's forest cluster
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Distribution:  Major Media
November 24, 2008
Contact: David Morman, 503-945-7413
 
 
A newly developed economic development strategy for Oregon’s forest cluster will be presented on Dec. 10, from 1-4 p.m., at the World Forestry Center in Portland. Members of the public and interested stakeholders are invited to attend.
 
Oregon's forest cluster includes firms and organizations that support or benefit from the primary and secondary wood products sectors, and a broad spectrum of forest ecosystem services.
 
Oregon’s forest cluster faces vigorous global competition, and Oregon is losing wood products manufacturing facilities. The forest cluster may soon no longer be able to significantly contribute to Oregon’s rural economies; provide the people, equipment, and wood products market access needed to ensure the economic viability of private forestland ownership; or supply the infrastructure needed to restore overstocked forests susceptible to uncharacteristic wildfire and forest health risks.
 
A group of public and private partners have developed a strategy that addresses these concerns.  The goal of the strategy is to create and maintain a favorable investment climate for environmentally sensitive, socially responsible, and globally competitive forest-based businesses throughout Oregon.
 
These businesses will then generate high-quality, value-added products; family wage, high-skilled jobs; increased forest products exports; and increased revenues to private landowners – landowners who, in turn, provide public benefits from their forestlands for all Oregonians including clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, and carbon storage.
 
The strategy focuses on three key areas: federal forests restoration, forest cluster vitality, and the forestry workforce. At the Dec. 10 briefing, public and private sector representatives will discuss each component and recommended actions. An opportunity for feedback and discussion will follow, and the briefing will end with a hosted reception. The event is free, however registration is required. More information on the Dec. 10 briefing, including the registration form, is available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/RESOURCE_PLANNING/forestclusterstrategy.shtml.
 
On Dec. 11, the strategy will also be presented and discussed at the seventh annual Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit – a gathering of Oregon’s top business and elected leaders. The summit, which will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, will focus on the economic development, employment outlook, and sustainability of various industry clusters – including a discussion of the forest cluster during the morning plenary session. For more information on the Oregon Leadership Summit – including registration – visit: www.oregonleadershipsummit.org/.
 
The forest cluster strategy has been created by a working group of public and private partners – the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and Oregon State University College of Forestry, along with private sector representatives.
 
More information on the forest cluster strategy is available online on the department’s website at www.oregon.gov/ODF/RESOURCE_PLANNING/forestclusterstrategy.shtml 
 
 
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