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2017 Operators of the Year: helping people and protecting natural resources - 01/16/18

News Release

Date: Jan. 16, 2018

Contact:
Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-945-7248
Kyle Abraham, Private Forests Deputy Division Chief, 503-945-7473


SALEM, Ore.--The 2017 Operator of the Year awards go to Lane Parry Forestry Consulting of Baker City, Denali Logging of Coos Bay, and Morisse Logging of Astoria. The Board of Forestry gives the Operator of the Year Awards to recognize those who conduct forestry work that goes above and beyond the laws to protect natural resources.

To encourage sound forestry, the board honors operators who consistently meet or exceed the Forest Practices Act. The law requires people to: replant forests; harvest responsibly; protect and enhance habitat; reduce landslide risks; and protect streams and water quality.

Private Forests Division Chief Lena Tucker said, "These operators set the example. They show how operators can both manage forests and protect natural resources. We're pleased to honor their exemplary work."

Lane Parry Forestry Consulting Inc. earned the Eastern Oregon Operator of the Year award for helping landowners after the 2015 wildfires. Lane's team worked with 14 landowners in Baker County and multiple operators to perform salvage harvests. His leadership ensured both successful harvesting and replanting. (Video: https://youtu.be/p_akKepy_Kw)

Denali Logging Inc. earned the Southwest Operator of the Year award for its diligent planning and harvest. While doing forestry work, Denali protected streams, stream buffers and fish habitat. Denali also reduced impacts to the public. Their careful planning included listening to and working with neighbors. Throughout the harvest Denali kept the electricity on and the roads open to meet the neighbors' needs. (Video: https://youtu.be/U723vLHHOSw)

Morisse Logging Inc. earned the Northwest Oregon Operator of the Year award for protecting streams and improving fish habitat. Morisse's extra effort included coordinating work to improve safety along Highway 26 during and after the harvest. His team also brought civic groups to the harvest site to share about forestry and stream improvements. (Video: https://youtu.be/WDgLuMBh2Bk)

Nominees must exceed the Forest Practices Act, which helps improve Oregon's forests. Regional committees select operators of the year and merit award recipients. The Southwest Regional Forest Practices Committee issued a Merit Award for excellent work to Zuber & Sons Logging LLC for protecting water quality and streamside buffers.

The Board of Forestry will present the Operator of the Year Awards at its March 7 meeting. The Associated Oregon Loggers, the Oregon Logging Conference and the Oregon Small Woodland Association will also provide special recognition.

In 1971, Oregon enacted the Forest Practices Act, the nation's model forest management laws which focuses on forest operations and protecting natural resources. Many states followed Oregon's lead. The Act remains current through updates based on science, facts and values to create a balanced approach to natural resource management.

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Nominations for Urban and Community Forestry Awards wanted by Feb. 15th - 01/16/18

SALEM, Ore. - In celebration of Arbor Day, the Oregon Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Assistance Program (ODF) and Oregon Community Trees (OCT) board are seeking nominees from Oregon for the 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Awards. Nominations must be received by Feb. 15, 2018.

The awards recognize inspirational individuals and organizations for promoting tree planting and quality tree care, engaging citizens, raising awareness and knowledge about urban trees and forests, and protecting Oregon's urban forests.

"Such work improves the quality of life in towns and cities around the state," says Kristin Ramstad, manager of Oregon Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, which supports the goals of the awards program. "For over 20 years, this awards program has recognized people and groups who do the often "unsung" work of making our communities better places to live due to their community forestry efforts."

Individual category: Nominations for the individual award recognize citizens, volunteers, or non-profit, government or business employees.

Organization category: Nominations for the organization award recognize citizen groups, non-profits, public agencies, municipalities, and businesses.

Citizens are vital to the nomination process. "We greatly depend upon the eyes and ears of Oregonians to assist us in identifying and recognizing worthy community tree projects put forward by groups and individuals across the state each year," says Eric DeBord, OCT President.

All award nominations must include:
* Name of the individual or organization being nominated, and contact information
* Name and contact information of the nominator
* A brief, 250-words or less, description of the accomplishments and reason for the nomination

Submit nominations here: http://oregoncommunitytrees.org/awards

For more information about Oregon Community Trees visit: www.oregoncommunitytrees.org

Land exchange between Oregon Department of Forestry and Tillamook County topic of Jan. 30 public hearing - 01/16/18

Salem, Ore -- The Oregon Department of Forestry will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed land exchange between Tillamook County and ODF. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at the Tillamook County Courthouse, Commissioners Meeting Room A and B (Top Floor), 201 Laurel Ave. The public is invited to attend and provide input.

Written public comments on the exchange will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2018. Comments should be sent to the Oregon Department of Forestry, Attn: Patty Cate, 2600 State St., Bldg. D, Salem, OR 97310 or by email to patty.s.cate@oregon.gov.

ODF and Tillamook County propose exchanging lands of similar values that will provide public benefit and allow for more efficient management. If approved, Tillamook County would transfer 154.4 acres of lands at the Sprague Memorial Wayside to ODF. Tillamook County would receive 87 acres that are currently part of Trask Park. The value of both parcels was equalized at $589,000.

Per mutual agreements, ODF is currently managing the county-owned Sprague Memorial Wayside, while the county is managing Board of Forestry-owned lands in Trask Park. Trask Park currently has camping sites for recreational vehicles and tents. Sprague Memorial Wayside is currently operated and maintained by ODF as a day-use site for travelers.

The exchange removes an obstacle for Tillamook County as it seeks out grants to invest in infrastructure upgrades at Trask Park. Likewise, ODF ownership of the Sprague Memorial Wayside provides public recreational and social benefits while also streamlining management of the wayside.

If special materials, services, or assistance is required, such as a sign language interpreter, assistive listening device, or large print material, please contact our Public Affairs office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting via telephone at 503-945-7200.

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Committee for Family Forestlands meets January 16 - 01/12/18

SALEM, Ore.--The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet Tuesday, January 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The meeting will be in the Tillamook Room at the Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street, Salem. The committee will receive and discuss information about:

* General updates from the Private Forests Division deputy chief
* Enforcing aerial herbicide use laws (ORS 527.672)
* The Forest Practices Act compliance audit
* Agency strategic initiatives
* Marbled murrelet rule analysis update
* Forest and natural resource incentives programs update
* Land use planning

This is a public meeting, everyone is welcome. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resource and forestry benefits. The committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and State Forester based on its findings. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/CFF.aspx.

Emergency Fire Cost Committee to meet Jan. 2 in Salem - 12/27/17

SALEM, Ore. -- The next Emergency Fire Cost Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 2 in Salem. The meeting will take place in the Santiam Room of Building D on the campus of the Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street. The public is invited to attend. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. with an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting.

The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by contacting Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

Among agenda items are:
* The financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
* ODF's wildfire insurance policy for the 2018 fire season
* ODF's 2017 fire season finances
* The setting of district deductible rates for the 2018-19 fiscal year
* Approval of the audit report for the 2014 fire season
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Board of Forestry sets Jan. 3 for first 2018 meeting - 12/22/17

Salem, Ore. -- Establishing guiding principles for the Oregon Department of Forestry's 2019-21 Agency Request Budget is a key agenda item when the Board of Forestry holds its first 2018 meeting on Jan. 3 in Salem. The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Tillamook Room of ODF's Salem campus, located at 2600 State St.

Other topics will include:
* Discussing 2019 legislative concepts
* Discussing the 2018-19 draft Board Work Plans
* Hearing a report on the State Forests Management Plan Project
* Hearing an update on the Eastern Oregon/Siskiyou rule review

On Jan. 2, the board's Federal Forest Subcommittee will meet to affirm and consider the subcommittee's focus given the current context and existence of ODF's Federal Forest Restoration Program. The subcommittee will discuss its role and purpose to promote the continued increase in pace, scale and quality of restoration on federal forests in Oregon.

The subcommittee will meet from 3 -- 5 p.m., in the Clatsop Room on ODF's Salem campus.

If special materials, services, or assistance is required, such as a sign language interpreter, assistive listening device, or large print material, please contact our Public Affairs office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting via telephone at 503-945-7200.

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Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews, engines will return from Southern California just before Christmas - 12/22/17

SALEM, Ore. -- Over 60 firefighting personnel from Oregon Department of Forestry districts and Coos and Douglas Forest Protective Associations will be returning to Oregon this holiday weekend from Southern California, where they have been helping battle the Thomas Fire. That fire is now reported as 60% contained. The firefighters will be returning in the same 25 fire engines in which they traveled to California.

The ODF and association firefighters have been engaged on the fire northwest of Los Angeles for almost two weeks. During that time, the Thomas Fire has grown to more than 272,000 acres, almost equal to the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego, which has stood as the largest wildfire in California in modern times.

Oregon sent the largest contingent of fire engines and personnel from out of state to help California with the massive blaze, which began on Dec. 4. Earlier this week some 300 other Oregon firefighters deployed to California through the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal were demobilized.

Unusually prolonged Santa Ana winds spread the fire through rugged terrain in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The lack of significant rainfall in the area since February provided ample dead and dry fuel that carried the fire deep into the Los Padres National Forest as well as nearby communities.

The ODF and association firefighters dug control lines and put out spot fires during their assignment.

Their mobilization was part of a mutual-aid agreement that this summer saw California firefighters travel north to help during an especially intense outbreak of wildfires in Oregon.

At the peak of the Thomas Fire, the ODF and association firefighters were part of a virtual army of more than 8,400 firefighters assigned to the fire. Wind-driven flames forced the evacuation of thousands of area residents and destroyed more than a thousand structures, according to Cal Fire's official information website.

"We're proud of the job our firefighters did helping our neighbors to the south," said Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty. "Other states, including California, were there when Oregon needed help over the past few years and we're glad we're able to reciprocate. Wildfire is a common threat across the Western states, and sharing resources when they can safely be spared is a key way to meet the challenge."

For the latest information about the Thomas Fire, visit Cal Fire's incident information page at http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents.

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Piling leaves against trunks can harm trees - 12/21/17

SALEM, Ore -- After autumn's end comes the problem of what to do with all those fallen leaves. Far too often, homeowners rake the leaves into big piles surrounding the trunks of their street and yard trees. Some of these piles resemble leaf volcanoes. Unfortunately for trees, those piles can be just as destructive as a volcano, according to ODF Community Assistance Forester Katie Lompa.

"Leaf volcanoes trap moisture against a tree's trunk, allowing fungi to flourish," said Lompa. "Peel back wet leaves that have been left against a tree trunk and you may see tell-tale white patches revealing the initial stages of rot."

The solution? "Leave a ring at least three or four inches from the trunk free of leaves," said Lompa.

Leaves are great for mulching around plants but first consider shredding or composting them, Lompa added. A thick layer of whole leaves can become compacted and create a barrier to air and water reaching the soil and plant roots. Mulching with organic material that is already broke down into smaller particles allows for more air and water movement, which helps reduce the risk of rot and other fungal diseases.

"Because leaves can drift in winter winds, some homeowners may choose to bag up their leaves. Before doing so, consider contacting your city or homeowners' association. Many Oregon communities have an urban forestry program that might include community yard debris composting. Even if you won't be using your leaves, someone else can."

Finally, certain diseases can overwinter on fallen leaves, Lompa noted. "So if you noticed powdery mildew or leaf spotting during the summer or fall on your deciduous trees, consider disposing of the old leaves to reduce the risk of infecting new leaves in the spring."
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