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Criterion 6 Summary
Introduction
 
Societies need both forests and forest resources, and people have many values related to forests, goods, and services. These values and needs can sometimes be in conflict with each other. Sustainable forest management must find a way to meet competing uses and demands in ways that reflect human values. Some values are direct, such as the production of commodities, source of employment, and source of income. Other values are indirect, such as education, scientific, knowledge, or spiritual uses. Resources that have little or diminishing value to people will inevitably be converted to other uses. Therefore, in order to develop an overall measure of sustainable forest management, it is critical to understand the diversity of values that people find in forests, as well as shifts in values and priorities.
 
Criterion #6 indicators fall under one of five major topic areas: production and consumption; recreation and tourism; investment in the forest sector; cultural, social, and spiritual needs and values; and employment and community needs.

Production and Consumption
 
In Oregon, the volume of wood products manufactured has decreased considerably over the last 10 to 15 years, but the total value of wood products manufactured has been relatively stable when compared with other economic indicators such as timber production or employment. Log flows to mills have decreased and lumber and plywood production per capita has decreased by one-half since 1969. Due to the decrease in lumber supply, new products have been developed to better utilize wood "waste," and the percentage of wood waste recycled is increasing every year.
 
Although the manufacture of timber products has been declining, the harvest of other forest products has been on the rise. Mushroom harvesting is becoming popular and prices are up considerably. Floral and Christmas greens production, although sensitive to changes in demand, has increased during the last 20 years. Other non-wood forest products are beginning to be harvested more widely as well.
 
During this same time period, consumption of wood products has risen dramatically, especially the consumption of new products such as oriented strand board (OSB) and waferboard. Much of this rise in consumption is due to an increase in population and housing starts.

Recreation and Tourism
 
Available data suggests that there is currently an adequate supply of recreational opportunities in Oregon’s forests. All federal lands are available for outdoor recreation (restrictions are placed on motorized recreation), and there is an increasing supply of recreational facilities on public lands in Oregon. Intensively developed sites are projected to increase, while less developed sites are projected to decrease up to 40 percent if current trends continue. However, there is a decline in the amount of privately owned land available for recreation. Studies suggest that the amount of non-industrial private forest land available for public recreation has decreased due to increasingly fragmented ownerships, increased absentee ownership, increasing risk of litigation, and a negative perception of the benefit to owners of public recreational use of private land.
 
The demand is increasing for recreational opportunities in Oregon’s forests. Visits to Oregon state parks, as measured by visitor days, have increased from 23 million annually to 41 million annually since 1970. During the same time, visits to national parks in Oregon have fluctuated with only a small increase.
 

Investment
 
Due to the importance of timber in Oregon’s economy, investment in forest health and management has increased steadily since the mid-1970s. Investment in research and development also increased during this time period. This investment has led to new products such as OSB, laminated veneer lumber, wood I-beams, and glulam beams. Investment in new technologies has increased from $200 million each year in the early 1980s to over $350 million annually in the 1990s.
 
Despite the rise in investment since the 1970s, there has been a decline in overall investment in forests in the 1990s. Most of the decline has been in the amount invested in reforestation, and is the result of declining timber harvests on federal forest lands.

Cultural, Social, and Spiritual Needs and Values
   
Oregon’s forests provide a variety of values, ranging from plants and herbs used in traditional cultural practices, to scenic values and historic places. Many of these values do not have an economic value associated with them but are still very important to people’s spiritual, mental, and social health. These values are recognized by resource managers and provided for through reserved designations such as wilderness areas; national historic sites; national wildlife refuges; and national recreation, scenic, and historic trails. Oregon currently has about 3.5 million acres of cultural and recreational areas.

Employment and Community Needs
   
Oregon’s timber industry employment has been higher than the national average for many years. Although the period 1956-85 saw a decline in Oregon’s wood products work force from 20 percent of total employment to about 8 percent, wood products employment is still well above the 1 percent national average. There are many people and cities, especially in the rural parts of Oregon, dependent on timber for their well-being.
 
Employment has continued to decline in the timber industry since the mid-1980s. Declining timber supplies and increases in efficiency and technology have led to a large decrease in jobs in the logging, saw-milling, and softwood plywood industries. Wages have increased during this same period, with an average $10,000 increase in the forestry, lumber, and paper industries.

Summary
 
Although forest products have declined as a percentage of Oregon’s economy, they remain very important to Oregon. Not only do Oregon’s forests provide wood products and employment, they are also a source of recreation, scenic beauty, and cultural and social value. During the 1990s management emphasis on federal lands has shifted from timber production to environmental and ecological protection, resulting in a greater proportion of lands within reserved categories.

Data Needs
   
There are several pieces of information that would be useful to better quantify some of the indicators in this criterion.
 
Data should be collected on wood products imports and exports to and from Oregon. This information would give a better idea of whether our supply and consumption of wood products is sustainable.
 
There is little information about non-consumptive activities and recreation on forests. It is unknown how much land is managed specifically for different types of recreation, and there is no data on the amount or value of non-consumptive activities or the amount and value of non-wood forest products extracted from Oregon’s forests.