Peter Daugherty (center) during a Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency meeting on August 4, 2017 in Grand Ronde. Photo: Chas Hundley

The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet Thursday, May 20 to discuss the appointment of an interim State Forester and a recruitment process to select a permanent replacement for State Forester Peter Daugherty, who announced his resignation May 7.

Daugherty’s last day in the position will be May 31. 

“Tomorrow’s discussions will be the starting point for building out the recruitment plan,” said ODF’s Public Affairs Manager Joy Krawczyk in an email to this newspaper.

The public meeting will be livestreamed on the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Youtube channel beginning immediately after a 9:05 a.m. closed Executive Session to discuss “information or records that are exempt from disclosure by law, pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(f)” ends. 

While no live testimony from the public will be taken at the meeting, the general public can submit comments before or after the meeting by email to [email protected]

The meeting agenda can be found on the ODF website.

As reported by the Oregonian, Daugherty’s resignation comes as the struggling agency he heads grapples with significant financial issues. His leadership has been questioned publicly by Jim Kelly, the chair of the Oregon Board of Forestry, a seven-member board that oversees the policies of the Oregon Department of Forestry and hires the State Forester. Kelley was appointed by Governor Brown and confirmed by the Oregon Senate.

In his resignation letter, Daugherty noted that he spoke with Brown’s office prior to resigning. 

“We have concluded that it is in the best interest of the Board and Department of Forestry to allow the Board to select a new State Forester to lead in the coming years,” Daugherty wrote in his resignation letter. “This decision will put the Board and Department in the best position to move forward on the climate change work, revision of the Forestry Program for Oregon, and implementation of the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response and MGO recommendations.”

Daugherty’s last effective date in the office is May 28, though he plans to stay on as a state employee until July 30.

Daugherty was appointed to the position by the Oregon Board of Forestry on September 7, 2016. He has worked for ODF since 2007. He was selected over Forest Grove District Forester Mike Cafferata, who had also applied for the position. 

In a message to this newspaper on May 19, Cafferata said he didn’t plan to seek the position of State Forester. 

“At least that is what I'm thinking right now,” Cafferata said.