Trees open up to reveal a clear cut and newer growth in the Tillamook State Forest. Photo: Chas Hundley

SALEM - Public input is sought on the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan at a roundtable discussion scheduled in Salem on Friday, April 12.

The discussion will begin at 1 p.m. in the Tillamook Room at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, located at 2600 State St., Salem.

According to a press release from ODF, the discussion will primarily focus on the processes and timelines for two state plans, the Forest Management Plan revision and the Western Oregon Habitat Conservation Plan exploration.

In Oregon, state forests, such as the Tillamook State Forest are managed under a concept known as “greatest permanent value,” according to ORS 530.050 which states, in part, that the “State Forester shall manage the lands acquired … so as to secure the greatest permanent value of those lands to the state.”

Currently, Peter Daugherty fills the role of Oregon’s State Forester, a position he has held since his appointment in 2016.

State Forester Peter Daugherty (center). Photo: Chas Hundley

How "greatest value" is defined, however, is often a source of disagreement between industry, environmental and recreation groups, who all seek to elevate their respective use and roles in Northwestern Oregon’s state forests.

With state law enshrining uses ranging from traditional forest industry practices to recreation, providing habitat for wildlife and more, plans such as the Western Oregon Habitat Conservation Plan seek to establish how the state will fulfill its mandate to provide the greatest value while juggling the demands of its own bureaucracy, private industry groups, advocates for the environment, and many more who seek control over how state land is used.

More information can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/AboutODF/Pages/Initiatives.aspx