|The Oregon Department of Forestry announced this week that annual revenue payments to 15 trust land counties totaled $42.5 million, and the statewide school fund received $13.5 million.
The revenue comes from timber harvests on forestlands managed by ODF from July 2008 through June 2009.
A decline was seen in the revenue going to counties. The $42.5 million in 2009 is under the five-year average of $51.5 million, and the 10-year average of $47.6 million. While the stumpage prices dropped about one-third from five- and 10-year averages, the volume harvested, at 236.7 million board feet, remained about the same as the averages over time.
The 15 counties receive timber revenue because they deeded cutover or burned lands to the state many decades ago with the understanding that once the forestland began to produce again, they would receive a percentage – now set at two-thirds – of the revenue. The revenue is distributed based on where – in which county – harvesting took place.
The $13.5 million generated from Common School Forest Lands was deposited directly into the Common School Fund, which helps support public education statewide in Oregon. The federal government granted these lands to the state at the time of statehood in 1859.
There are about 658,000 acres of county-deeded forestlands and about 124,000 acres of Common School Forest Land (federally granted land) managed by ODF.
(Note to Editors: Charts follow that show 1) total revenue transfers over the past 10 years, and 2) a break down of the distribution of revenue to individual counties.)
Over the past five years, $257.5 million was sent to trust land counties, which in turn distributed much of the revenue to schools and local taxing districts within their counties. During that same time span, $64.7 million was placed in the Common School Fund.
An ODF report that includes revenue distribution was presented last month to the trust counties. A similar report also was presented last month to the State Land Board, owners of the Common School Forest Land.
ODF’s State Forests Division uses about a third of the total timber revenue to manage state-owned forestland for economic, ecological and social benefits. No general fund tax dollars come to the program.
One social benefit is recreation. In addition to generating timber revenue, these forestlands have hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and off-highway vehicles. There are campgrounds and places for fishing, hunting and picnicking – practically all paid for by timber revenue (from ODF’s one-third share).
The state’s investment in these forestlands also extends to the environment. The timber harvesting on state forests is carried out in a way that encourages development of a range of habitat for native fish and wildlife.
Currently, upwards of half of the forests are managed to grow into structurally complex (older) forest stands. Periodic thinning speeds up the growth of trees left after harvest; and it lets in sunlight for new trees and shrubs.
Well-planned clear-cuts mimic natural disturbances such as fire, disease or insect outbreaks, and provide open areas for foraging deer and elk.
Areas along streams get special protection, and logs often are placed in streams to improve fish habitat.
In addition to leaving live trees after harvest, state forest standards call for setting aside some standing dead trees and some decaying logs on the forest floor. These are signs of a healthy forest ecosystem, with places for birds and animals to hunt for food and live.
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ODF’s State Forests Revenue Distribution – 2000-2009
Fiscal year County Share CSL Revenue Transfer
2000 $43,486,541 $24,377,943
2001 $36,450,034 $16,787,101
2002 $42,690,822 $13,671,493
2003 $49,801,650 $ 8,550,000
2004 $47,918,084 $15,360,073
2005 $48,589,600 $19,092,180
2006 $57,997,327 $ 9,656,593
2007 $57,306,159 $12,590,076
2008 $51,183,661 $ 9,841,438
2009 $42,472,866 $13,569,087
5-year Average $51,509,922 $12,949,875
10-year Average $47,605,239 $14,349,598
County Share – About two-thirds of timber revenue generated from this state forestland goes to counties where harvest activity occurred. Counties originally deeded these lands to the state. About 658,000 acres.
CSL – Common School Land. Federal government granted these lands to Oregon at time of statehood. Revenue goes to Common School Fund for K-12 public education. About 124,000 acres.
State Forest Timber Revenue on County-deeded Lands
County Share of Revenue for Fiscal Year 2009
County Acres 2009 5-Year Average 10-year Average
Benton 8,194 $ 1,120,464 $ 1,116,979 $ 1,292,440
Clackamas 7,266 $ 421 $ 304,755 $ 601,400
Clatsop 147,012 $16,344,910 $17,329,091 $17,201,285
Columbia 6,459 $ 375,044 $ 1,098,694 $ 1,018,965
Coos 7,220 $ 248,306 $ 408,457 $ 299,769
Douglas 8,625 $ 540,037 $ 498,987 $ 449,344
Josephine 2,482 $ 14,597 $ 5,717 $ 16,514
Klamath 26,912 $ 1,245,889 $ 1,278,512 $ 1,235,757
Lane 24,734 $ 1,793,781 $ 1,761,004 $ 1,443,964
Lincoln 15,488 $ 1,034,619 $ 1,059,849 $ 1,060,334
Linn 21,357 $ 2,058,517 $ 3,067,094 $ 3,376,284
Marion 18,329 $ 1,785,519 $ 2,919,883 $ 1,781,282
Polk 6,122 $ 77,085 $ 170,577 $ 250,545
Tillamook 310,624 $11,508,426 $14,183,875 $11,858,314
Washington 46,886 $ 4,325,251 $ 6,306,449 $ 5,719,043
Total 657,710 $42,472,866 $51,509,922 $47,605,239
A variety of factors contribute to annual harvest levels and corresponding revenues. A multi-year average compensates for “up” or “down” years and provides a clearer, long-term view of forest management.
The data for the fiscal year 2009 county share of revenue is taken from the state financial management application (SFMA.)