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Climate change

Climate Change and Carbon Plan

ODF is starting to develop a Climate Change and Carbon Plan for the agency. There will be a pre-decisional workshop about the plan in September.

The plan will position Oregon forestry as a regional leader in climate-smart forestry, including both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. The goals are to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration (i.e. storage of carbon in trees), and positively benefit climate-impacted and resource-dependent communities. Under the plan, ODF will become a leader in promoting climate-smart forest policies and actions.

View the final Climate Change and Carbon Plan (Approved by the Oregon Board of Forestry on 11/3/2021)

General comment can be submitted to the agency by filling out this comment form.

Informational webinar

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Climate change and Oregon forests

The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the air keeps increasing. As amounts of these gases rise above pre-industrial levels, they are causing higher average temperatures and other effects on climate across the planet and in Oregon. Greenhouse gases are released into the air from human activities that rely on burning carbon-rich fuels, such as oil and natural gas, for transportation, power, industrial activity, farming, and heating and cooking.

Oregon's forests are already being affected by changes in climate. There is evidence fire seasons have become longer and more intense, with more acres burned. Where some plant species grow is also starting to change.

If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced soon, predictions are for even bigger changes. For example:

  • Forest wildfires are expected to become more frequent, severe, and burn even larger areas.
  • Tree deaths are expected to increase from droughts, insects, and disease.

Forests are a key part of our planet's carbon and water cycles. Huge amounts of carbon are stored in forests because trees pull carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis. They use that carbon to grow roots, trunks, branches, and leaves. In the process, large amounts of oxygen and water vapor are released into the air. A fully grown tree in one day can release hundreds of gallons of water, helping cool its surroundings. Wildfires, droughts, and heat waves can greatly reduce these functions, which people and the planet depend on for comfort and survival.

Oregon Department of Forestry has been committed for over 100 years to preserve and sustainably manage forested ecosystems. The agency considers climate change a major threat to those goals. We have been actively collaborating with agency partners to develop effective policies to help mitigate and adapt to the predicted changes.

Keep up on current research and knowledge of climate change in Oregon through the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. 

Our climate change vision

The Oregon Board of Forestry and ODF provide national leadership in climate-smart and socially equitable forest policies that promote climate health, resilient forests, community wellbeing, and a viable forest products industry.

Workshop archives

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