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Forestry Department to celebrate century of service on Feb. 23
Picture of Oregon Dept. of Forestry staff in 1947
Oregon Department of Forestry Salem staff, 1947
Contact: Rod Nichols, (503) 945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us
 
Oregon’s forest heritage will be the theme when the Oregon Board and Department of Forestry celebrate their  centennial on Feb. 23 at the State Capitol.
 
Displays featuring Oregonians’ close ties to the state’s 30 million acres of forestland from pre-settlement times to present will be available for viewing in the Capitol Galleria throughout the event, scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) retirees will be on hand to answer questions and share anecdotes about forest management as it has evolved over the years.
 
A 1 p.m. ceremony will feature remarks from Board of Forestry Chair John Blackwell and State Forester Doug Decker. A proclamation signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, recognizing the Board and Department for a century of service, will be presented.
 
Following the ceremony, a cake decorated with ODF’s centennial logo will be served.
Throughout the event, attendees can purchase a collectible: an envelope with a genuine postal cancelation mark depicting the 100th anniversary. Aumsville Postmaster Ray Berg will be on hand to do the honors.
 
Sale proceeds will help defray the costs of the centennial celebration.
 
Kids are invited to decorate tree cookies at a table in the Galleria. The “cookies” – round slices of wood – are branded with ODF’s centennial logo on one side. Young artists can personalize the other side with rubber stamps and felt markers. The tree cookies are free.
 
The evolution of forest firefighting will be portrayed by two wildland fire engines on display across Court Street from the Capitol. A modern engine will be parked beside a vintage 1930 engine. ODF firefighters will be available to discuss forest fire suppression then and now.
 
Bear hugs will be offered throughout the day by (who else?) Smokey Bear, courtesy of the Keep Oregon Green Association, ODF’s longtime partner in wildfire prevention. The association will host a table in the Galleria with information on how to prevent forest fires.
 
“We especially want this to be a ‘kid-friendly’ event,” ODF’s Dan Postrel said. “It’s an opportunity for young people to learn about the role forestry has played in Oregon’s history – and have fun doing it.”
 
The Galleria is on the main floor of the Capitol building, at 900 Court St. in Salem.