The Tillamook Forest Center. Photo: Chas Hundley

The Oregon Department of Forestry issued an annual report that shows revenue from timber operations in the Tillamook State Forest to Tillamook, Washington and Columbia County totals $31.4 in revenue in the 2020 fiscal year. 

Of that pool, Washington County and local districts received over $8.8 million from forest revenue, while Tillamook County pulled in $22.2 million. A small portion of forestland in Columbia County, administered out of ODF’s Forest Grove District, accounted for $376,759 in revenue for Columbia County. 

The 18-page Council of Forest Trust Land Counties shows more than timber revenues; it highlights statistics — some of them skewed by impacts from the coronavirus — for campgrounds, the Tillamook Forest Center, environmental factors and more. 

The Tillamook Forest Center, which closed in the spring due to the coronavirus, received just 29,472 visitors in 2020. The center remains closed, though ODF staff have been posting videos of archival footage, new programs, virtual hikes, and more on the Youtube channel for the center. 

In 2019, the ODF reported that the center received 53,554 visitors that year. 

A highlight of the report was a fish habitat restoration project along a mile-long stretch of the upper portion of Gales Creek. 

Over the past two years, staff from the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have planted 1,000 western red cedars along a mile-long stretch of Gales Creek in the Tillamook State Forest. 

As trees age, die, and fall into streams, pools and side channels are created by the fallen trees where fish can spawn, shelter, and find calmer waters in the winter flood season. 

According to the ODF, the area suffers from a lack of large, older trees due to wildfires, including the Tillamook Burn which last swept through the Tillamook Forest nearly 70 years ago. 

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“The economic, environmental and social successes detailed in this annual report highlight the broad scope of benefits healthy working forests provide to Oregonians and communities,” State Forester Peter Daugherty said.

In the Tillamook State Forest, 247 miles of trail were maintained, with a total of 389 miles of trails that were worked on in 2020 in state-maintained forests. 

Volunteers work on the Storey Burn Trail in the Tillamook State Forest on March 30, 2019. Photo: Chas Hundley

According to the ODF, counties and local service providers receive about 64% of net revenues from timber harvests conducted on state forests. The rest finances most forest management by the state, going to recreational opportunities, environmental and conservation projects, replanting, and maintaining forest roads. The state’s share in fiscal year 2020 was about $38.3 million. 

In fiscal year 2020, the report said that 238 million board feet of timber was harvested during management activities, 1,015 woodcutting permits were issued, 4.9 miles of fish access was restored and 20 fish barriers were removed.