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State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee meets March 18 in Salem

  March 15, 2010
Contact: Kevin Weeks (503) 945-7427
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will update coordinating committee members this week on a project to assess Oregon’s current forest resources.
The 2010 State of Oregon Statewide Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy is designed to identify Oregon’s current forest resources and develop a strategy for integrating federal, state and private forestry programs to address concerns including wildfire, keeping forests working as forests, diversity of forest habitats for fish and wildlife, prevention of invasive species and managing climate change. The Statewide Forest Assessment will identify high priority areas within Oregon for taking action. 
The discussion about the Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy project will occur Thursday March 18, 2010 from 9:30am to 12:30pm at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters in Salem, 2600 State Street (Operations Building D, Santiam meeting room) during a meeting of the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee.
The agenda includes review of a draft product for the Oregon Forest Atlas project and discussion for identifying priority landscapes for interpreting forest data in the Statewide Forest Assessment.
Members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the meeting. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Questions about accessibility or special accommodations for the meeting can be directed to the Oregon Department of Forestry at 503-945-7368.
The 2008 Farm Bill passed by Congress contained an amendment to the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act requiring states that receive Farm Bill funding perform the forest assessment study by mid-2010, with updates at five-year increments after that. States are also required to report on the effectiveness of how federal funding was used in priority regions.  The Farm Bill funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which in turn provides funding for many ODF services in urban and community forestry, forest health protection, forest stewardship and state fire assistance through the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program.
Oregon’s forests are among one of the state’s most valued resources, providing a balanced mix of environmental, economic and social benefits.