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Criterion 7 Summary
Criterion 7 and its associated indicators examine the national and state policy framework as it relates to forests. Is it a framework that can facilitate the conservation and sustainable management of forests? This criterion looks at the conditions and processes of the larger society. Although this framework is external to the forest itself, it may affect efforts to conserve, maintain, or enhance one or more of the conditions, attributes, functions, and benefits captured in criteria 1-6. No priority or order is implied in the listing of the indicators.
Oregon has over 28 million acres of forestland, mostly owned by the federal government or private landowners. Other governments own the balance (state - 898,000 acres; local governments - 146,000 acres; tribes - 416,000 acres).
Oregon’s Forest Land Base
Thousand Acres
Other Government
The rules for forest lands vary, depending on who owns the forest. In general, there is one set of rules that applies to most federal forest lands in the state of Oregon, and a second set of rules that applies to private, state, and local government forest lands. Within the categories shown in the table above, there are 13 different classes of ownership, each of which potentially has different rules. These rules form a legal, institutional, and economic framework that governs the rights and responsibilities of forest landowners.
Since different sets of rules apply to different landowners, the entire framework is very complex. It is not our intent to cover every detail in this document, but to concentrate on the largest landowners and on the most important legal and institutional components that affect the greatest portion of the forest land base.
Federally managed forests comprise a majority of the forest lands in Oregon. The federal forests are managed primarily by two agencies: the national forests are managed by the U.S. Forest Service (an agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture); and the revested O&C Railroad lands and some additional federal lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (an agency in the U.S. Department of the Interior). The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are responsible for national parks and wildlife refuges in Oregon; these areas include some forests, and are managed for special environmental values.
The Oregon Forest Practices Act and the Oregon Land Use Planning Laws are the major rules affecting the rights and responsibilities of private, state, and local government landowners.