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Grant County landowner named to Forestry advisory committee
March 8, 2010
Contact: Kevin Weeks (503) 945-7427
A forest researcher based near the Grant County community of Long Creek has been named to the Committee for Family Forestlands, an advisory group that provides information about the concerns and interests of small-acreage and family forest owners to the Oregon Board of Forestry.
Dr. Roje Gootee co-owns and manages Rush Creek Ranch, 2443 acres of forest and rangeland in the foothills of eastern Oregon’s Blue Mountains. Purchased in depleted condition in 1997, the property is responding to ongoing forest, range, and riparian restoration efforts, and in 2004, earned American Tree Farm System (ATFS) certification for forest management standards. Dr. Gootee works as an independent consultant specializing in natural resource stewardship and policy.
Membership of the 10-person Committee includes family forest landowners, forest industry representatives, environmental community and public members, and staff representing the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. Dr. Gootee’s appointment to the Committee was approved by the Oregon Board of Forestry at the Board’s March 3rd meeting in Salem.
Dr. Gootee holds a baccalaureate degree in Forest Management from Utah State University and a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University. Her research focuses on the social and legal interface between private forests and environmental regulatory policy. Dr. Gootee’s research results have been presented in a variety of professional and academic settings including Yale University and international conferences in Ireland and France. She is committed to improving public understanding of environmental issues and working toward socially and ecologically sustainable policy solutions.
Dr. Gootee assumes a Committee seat representing forest landowners in eastern Oregon, replacing Klamath County resident Ned Livingston at the conclusion of Livingston’s term on July 1, 2010.
Small-acreage private woodland owners and forest-owning families manage 4.7 million acres of Oregon’s forests, about 15 percent of the state’s forest footprint. More than half of Oregon’s family forest owners are over 65, with many in their 70’s and 80’s. Many thousands of acres of Oregon’s forest land are poised to change ownership within the next decade, with economic pressures driving both new and long-time forest owners to consider converting their forest to other uses, including residential development or commercial land.