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Oregon Board of Forestry hosts virtual public meeting on April 21 - 04/08/21

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21. In compliance with Gov. Kate Brown’s directive on social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, this will be a virtual public meeting.

The meeting will be a set of information sessions. The morning session will serve as an orientation for the Board’s new members, while the afternoon will include a tour collaboration with Port Blakely, family-owned forest products company, and Bauman Tree Farm in Lane County.

The Board business agenda includes:

  • New Board member introductions
  • Department executive team, division overview, and major Board topics for 2021
  • Forestry program for Oregon goals and planning cycles

The Board virtual tour includes:

  • Forest practices incentives – Stewardship Agreements
  • Port Blakely: A stewardship story
  • Advancing shared stewardship

View the agenda for additional topics to be discussed at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/pages/bofmeetings.aspx.

Members of the public are invited to view the meeting and virtual field tour online at the link below. There will not be a live public comment opportunity, but you are welcome to send written comments to oardofForestry@oregon.gov" target="_blank">BoardofForestry@oregon.gov.   

The board packet and livestream option are available at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/pages/bofmeetings.aspx.

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. More information about the Board is available at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/pages/aboutbof.aspx.

Milwaukie has been honored for its commitment to urban forestry by being named Oregon Tree City of the Year for 2021.
Milwaukie has been honored for its commitment to urban forestry by being named Oregon Tree City of the Year for 2021.
Milwaukie is named Oregon Tree City of the Year for 2021 - 04/07/21

MILWAUKIE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in partnership with Oregon Community Trees (OCT) has named Milwaukie as Oregon Tree City of the Year for 2021. Each year, ODF and OCT select one of Oregon’s nationally recognized Tree City USA communities statewide to award for that city’s commitment to its urban forest. Last year’s Oregon Tree City of the Year was Grants Pass.

OCT President Samantha Wolf said the award is intended to highlight communities delivering best urban forestry practices to their residents. “Residents of Milwaukie have an improved quality of life because they live in a healthy urban forest. This award recognizes the efforts the City of Milwaukie makes to ensure its urban forest continues providing a wide range of social, health and ecological benefits far into the future.”

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba said of his city receiving the honor, "It's deeply gratifying that all the hard work that Peter Passarelli, our public works director, Julian Lawrence, our urban forester, and our tree board have done to preserve our existing trees and meet our goal of nearly doubling our tree canopy, has been recognized with this important award.”

According to ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad, “Milwaukie is a fine example of what a Tree City USA can be. They have only been a Tree City USA for five years and already they’ve earned two Tree City USA Growth Awards for building their community forestry program. For example, the Milwaukie Public Works Department created a dedicated natural resource team, including an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, to provide technical expertise and guidance. The team closely collaborates with the Milwaukie Tree Board, a community member-staffed advisory committee created in 2017 to assist the city council on tree actions.”

Ramstad said Milwaukie’s urban forest team has worked nonstop in recent years to reach Milwaukie’s canopy goal. “The city has developed new urban forest webpages to provide resources and educational materials on trees to the community, and to connect interested volunteers with local organizations improving habitat and ecosystems in Milwaukie.”

She said the city’s urban forest team hosts a popular Arbor Day celebration each year, featuring tree giveaways, ceremonial tree plantings, and community plantings with local organizations, such as Friends of Trees.

“Also popular on Arbor Day are tours of the city’s new greenhouses, where Milwaukie’s urban forester grows experimental tree species whose seeds he collected on a trip to California in search of climate-change adapted trees,” Ramstad said.

Especially important has been the amount of work the city has done to put tree preservation and planting at the forefront of planning documents.  All of these efforts contributed to Milwaukie being named Oregon Tree City of the Year.

“Milwaukie has prioritized trees in our city vision, our Climate Action Plan and our recently passed Comprehensive Plan,” said Mayor Gamba. “We recognize that trees increase property values, reduce heat island effect, absorb storm water, store carbon and improve human health and well-being.  We are investing, at unprecedented levels, in our tree canopy for future generations of the residents of Milwaukie.

“I'd like to thank Oregon Community Trees and the Oregon Department of Forestry for this recognition," Mayor Gamba said.

                                                             # # #

Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee meeting on April 9 canceled - 04/06/21

The Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee’s scheduled meeting for April 9 has been canceled by Chair David Yamamoto.

The next meeting of the FTLAC is scheduled for May 28, and is set to be held virtually.

Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee meeting on April 9 canceled - 04/06/21

The Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee’s scheduled meeting for April 9 has been canceled by Chair David Yamamoto.

The next meeting of the FTLAC is scheduled for May 28, and is set to be held virtually.

Saving these street trees around the Midtowne Project in Eugene helped earn Essex General Construction an Urban and Community Forestry Award from Oregon Community Trees and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Saving these street trees around the Midtowne Project in Eugene helped earn Essex General Construction an Urban and Community Forestry Award from Oregon Community Trees and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Essex General Construction in Eugene is honored by Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees - 04/01/21

EUGENE, Ore. – Essex General Construction, with offices in Eugene and Lake Oswego, is being recognized in 2021 by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit organization Oregon Community Trees (OCT) for urban development projects that support tree preservation wherever possible.  

OCT Vice President Teresa Gustafson chairs the committee that reviews nominations for urban and community forestry awards. She said Essex, a general contracting firm which was started in Eugene in 1987, was enthusiastically nominated by the City of Eugene’s urban forestry staff.

Eugene Urban Forestry Management Analyst Scott Altenhoff wrote in the nomination that, ”Over the last 15 years that I've been working for the City of Eugene, I've been so impressed with Essex General Construction team. They are a municipal arborist's/urban forester's dream come true. Their company's commitment to doing the right thing and going the extra-mile for trees and green infrastructure is truly exceptional.”

Altenhoff stated that at all stages of a project the Essex team showed an enthusiasm for protecting existing trees or planting new, high-quality trees.

As an example, Altenhoff cited the Midtown project, a mixed-use, multi-story building in downtown Eugene.

“The design and construction teams worked tirelessly to retain as many street trees as possible at this site (most other developers would have removed them all). Also, they were super diligent about protecting the trees to be retained, and they even milled and repurposed two street trees that had to be removed for the project (and integrated the wood into the ceiling of the ballet studio on the ground floor),” he wrote.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Kristin Ramstad, who manages the agency’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, said the award recognizes the importance of developers seeing the value of retaining healthy, non-invasive large trees during redevelopment.

“If a builder takes appropriate measures to protect root zones and avoid soil compaction, these mature trees provide an immediate asset to the people who move into the new housing or commercial spaces,” said Ramstad.

Others honored by Oregon Community Trees this year are Tony Mecum, urban forester in Grants Pass, and City Councilor Charlotte Lehan in Wilsonville.

                                                                   # # #

Street trees were saved by Essex General Construction during the building of the Midtowne Project in Eugene, helping earn the firm an Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Award from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees.
Street trees were saved by Essex General Construction during the building of the Midtowne Project in Eugene, helping earn the firm an Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Award from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees.
The 2021 Oregon urban and community forestry awards honor construction firm and people in Grants Pass, Wilsonville - 04/01/21

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit organization Oregon Community Trees (OCT) have announced this year’s Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Award honorees. They are:

  • Essex General Construction, with offices in Eugene and Lake Oswego
  • Grants Pass Urban Forester Tony Mecum
  • Wilsonville City Councilor Charlotte Lehan

Eugene Urban Forestry Management Analyst Scott Altenhoff nominated Essex because, “Their company's commitment to doing the right thing and going the extra-mile for trees and green infrastructure is truly exceptional.”

Altenhoff stated that at all stages of a project the Essex team shows an enthusiasm for protecting existing trees or planting new, high-quality trees. As an example, he cited the Midtown project, a mixed-use, multi-story building in downtown Eugene.

“The design and construction teams worked tirelessly to retain as many street trees as possible at this site (most other developers would have removed them all). Also, they were super diligent about protecting the trees to be retained, and they even milled and repurposed two street trees that had to be removed for the project and integrated the wood into the ceiling of the ballet studio on the ground floor,” he wrote in his nomination.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Kristin Ramstad, who manages the agency’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, said the award to Essex recognizes the importance of developers seeing the value of retaining healthy, non-invasive large trees during redevelopment.

“If a builder takes appropriate measures to protect root zones and avoid soil compaction, these mature trees provide an immediate asset to the people who move into the new housing or commercial spaces,” she said.

Oregon Community Trees Vice President Teresa Gustafson chairs the committee that reviews nominations. Of Lehan’s, Gustafson said, “City Councilor Lehan is a stalwart and tireless advocate for Wilsonville’s urban forest, as well as trees throughout Oregon. This award recognizes her extraordinary dedication to protecting and preserving significant trees.”

As Wilsonville’s mayor in the 1990s, Lehan implemented the city’s first tree protection ordinance. She founded Wilsonville’s Heritage Tree Program to recognize trees having historical significance, and continues to serve on the Program’s Committee. She also serves on the state-level Oregon Heritage Tree Committee, where she has successfully nominated three Oregon Heritage Trees. Lehan also helped Metro select important natural sites to protect, leading to creation of the Graham Oaks Nature Park – where an oak-pine savanna has been recreated on former farmland.

Of Mecum’s nomination, Gustafson said, “We could see from the volume of material submitted with his nomination that, in just one year, Tony has become a well-respected resource to Grants Pass staff, City Council, the Urban Tree Committee and the public.”

She added that, “City staff in Grants Pass note that the City gets more compliments from the public about Tony than anyone else. Staff attribute that to how calmly and helpfully he handles his interactions, explaining the tree code and offering expertise to find solutions to tree-related issues.”

Mecum’s long list of accomplishments in office includes:

  • starting Grants Pass’s first citywide tree inventory
  • helping create a prequalified arborist list for landowners needing tree care
  • increasing the number of species on the city’s approved tree list by 100%
  • conducting appraisals of trees lost in car accidents so the City can receive restitution
  • helping create an urban forestry webpage for all things tree related in Grants Pass                                                          # # #

Grants Pass urban forester is honored by state tree organizations for achievements in his first year - 04/01/21

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Tony Mecum didn’t waste much time when he became urban forester for Grants Pass a little over a year ago. The Yale School of the Environment graduate hit the ground running. He accomplished so much over the last year that he is one of three people being recognized in 2021 by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the non-profit organization Oregon Community Trees for strengthening urban forestry.

 

OCT Vice President Teresa Gustafson chairs the OCT committee that reviews nominations. “We could see from the volume of material submitted with his nomination that, in just one year, Tony has become a well-respected resource to Grants Pass staff, City Council, the Urban Tree Committee and the public.”

 

Gustafson said, “City staff in Grants Pass stressed how Tony takes pride in excellent customer service and responds to citizen inquiries quickly. They noted that the City gets more compliments from the public about Tony than anyone else. Staff attribute that to how calmly and helpfully he handles his interactions, explaining the tree code and offering expertise to find solutions to tree-related issues. He very much deserves this honor.”

 

Gustafson cited a number of Mecum’s accomplishments since he took up his post. Over the last year, he:

• Revamped tree permit applications to reflect current codes and policies, as well as provide information on proper tree planting procedures.

• Standardized the definition of what makes a tree hazardous using the International Arboricultural Society’s Tree Risk Assessment.

• Worked with Engineering to create a prequalified arborist list for landowners looking for qualified people to do to tree work, and recruited three new contractors to the list.

• Created with the city’s web manager a central urban forestry webpage for citizens to visit for all things tree-related (www.grantspassoregon.gov/tree).

• Overhauled the approved tree list by increasing diversity (over 100% increase in approved species), and provided additional information, such as suitable planting strip size (this reduces future infrastructure conflict), and preferred site condition (e.g. whether trees prefer moist soils).

• Drafted development code changes as they relate to tree protections and management.

• Created engineering specifications on tree planting, root excavation, and pruning for projects that have gone out for bid and have been awarded (e.g. Sun Glo street project).

• Started the first citywide tree inventory with the help of over 15 volunteers. Coordinated with Oregon Department of Forestry and the OSU Extension Services office on the project.

• Conducted appraisals of trees lost in car accidents, resulting in the City receiving restitution to buy replacement trees.

• Partnered with District 7 schools to distribute over 100 seedlings to elementary students.

• Incorporated tree code education into the Urban Tree Advisory Committee’s agenda, helping facilitate discussion on potential improvements.

Gustafson said Mecum also shares his tree knowledge through articles he authors for GP Now and interviews he gives to the Daily Courier newspaper and KAJO Radio.

Others honored this year by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees are Wilsonville City Councilor Charlotte Lehan and Essex General Construction with offices in Eugene and Portland.

                                                                                              # # #

Comment on proposed rule clarifying state forester's implementation of forest closures, establishing penalties - 03/30/21

The Oregon Department of Forestry has initiated the administrative rulemaking process to permanently adopt State Forest Closure, OAR 629-625-0091, and amend OAR 629-025-0030 to include language further clarifying that parking fees are not a fee for recreational use.

The Department of Forestry currently does not have rules for the implementation of forest closures. These rules are important to ensure there is a transparent process for implementing a state forest land closure, and to clearly state the penalty associated with violation of a forest closure is pertinent for law enforcement and public awareness.

Information on this rulemaking effort can be found here. A copy of the administrative rule filings for OAR 629-025-0091 and 629-025-0030 is linked here.

Rule summary

OAR 629-025-0091

  • The State Forester may establish portions of state forest land that are closed or limited to specific public uses or activities.
  • The Department of Forestry will identify closures via signage and notices on the ODF website.
  • A person excluded from state forestland can contest the exclusion by filing a written appeal within seven days to the district forester.
  • A person working under contract with the Department of Forestry may be exempt with written permission from the State Forester or their designee.
  • A person who enters a closed area, refuses to leave a closed area, or engages in a restricted activity may be charged with criminal trespass in the second degree, a Class C misdemeanor.

OAR 629-025-0030

  • Clarifies the charge of $5 is a parking fee and not a charge for recreational purposes and not a waiver of recreational immunity.

Public Comment

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered, agreement for or opposition of proposed rule adoption and amendment.

Rulemaking Hearing

In adherence to the state’s social distancing requirements and to slow the spread of COVID-19, the public hearings will be conducted through a Zoom meeting with online and call-in participation.

Two virtual rulemaking hearings have been scheduled for April 15th, at 1 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. To access this public hearing, visit the ODF web page to register in advance at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/aboutodf/Pages/proposedlawsrules.aspx. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

Anyone requesting special accommodation to participate in the meeting should reach out to ODF Public Affairs at least 7 days before the meeting, either by email at estryinformation@oregon.gov" target="_blank">forestryinformation@oregon.gov or by phone at (503) 945-7200. If you have trouble with registering online and need technical assistance, please reach out to the filing contact by email at odf.sfcomments@oregon.gov or by phone at (503) 945-7481.

Written comments must be received by 11:55 p.m. April 30, 2021. Submissions can be addressed to Justin Butteris, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street Bldg. D, Salem, OR 97310 or sent via email to odf.sfcomments@oregon.gov.

If you have any questions related to the department’s rulemaking efforts, please contact the rulescoordinator@oregon.gov" target="_blank">Agency Rules Coordinator or utteris@oregon.gov" target="_blank">filing contact. 

ODF proposes state forest Implementation Plan continuations, opens 21-day comment period - 03/23/21

The Oregon Department of Forestry is opening a 21-day comment period starting Wednesday, March 24 on proposed two-year continuations on implementation plans for five state forest districts. The continuations would maintain current forest management strategies and timber harvest targets through June 30, 2023 while the agency continues to pursue a Habitat Conservation Plan on western Oregon state forestlands.

The comment period begins March 24 and ends April 14. The proposed implementation plan continuations would be for the Astoria, Forest Grove, Tillamook, Southwest Oregon, and West Oregon state forest districts. This includes the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests as well as scattered state forestlands in Lincoln, Polk and Benton counties (West Oregon District) and Curry, Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties (Southwest Oregon District).

ODF will also be hosting a virtual public hearing on the proposed continuations at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1. This will be held on the Zoom platform.

The implementation plans are available on ODF’s website. Comments can be submitted online by using this form, by emailing ODF.SFComments@oregon.gov, or by mailing comments to ODF Public Affairs, 2600 State St., Salem OR 97310.

State forests by law must provide economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregonians, and are managed under long-range forest management plans, mid-range implementation plans, and annual operations plans. Implementation plans describe forest management activities such as timber harvest, road construction and maintenance, reforestation and young stand management, recreation, aquatic habitat restoration, and protection strategies for species of concern. These plans are rooted in the Northwest Oregon Forest Management Plan and the Southwest Oregon Forest Management Plan.

At the direction of the Board of Forestry, ODF continues to pursue a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for these lands and entered the required federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process in March 2021. This marks the beginning of the process NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service use to issue an Incidental Take Permit, and is expected to take two years. During this process, ODF is focusing resources on developing a companion forest management plan and accompanying implementation plans required to implement the HCP. Continuing the current implementation plans would allow the agency to focus limited resources on completing the HCP and policy development processes.

Continuation of current implementation plans would maintain current harvest levels, protections for threatened and endangered species, soil and water conservation practices, and activities to maintain and improve recreational opportunities.

About Oregon’s state forests: The Oregon Department of Forestry manages approximately 730,000 acres of Board of Forestry lands across 15 Oregon counties as well as 33,000 acres of Common School Fund land. This includes the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam state forests in western Oregon as well as the Sun Pass and Gilchrist state forests in Klamath County.

ODF opens public comment period for post-fire activities in Santiam State Forest - 03/22/21

Starting March 23 through April 6, the Oregon Department of Forestry is holding a 15-day public comment period for review of specific post-fire timber sales and projects in ODF’s North Cascade District for fiscal year 2021. The revised Annual Operations Plan can be reviewed on the ODF website.

This is an additional opportunity for the public to learn more and provide input on activities intended to help the Santiam State Forest recover after 16,000+ acres were damaged during the 2020 wildfire season. To view post-fire imagery, maps of post-fire harvests and fire severity, and other information on activities for fiscal year 2021, visit the Santiam Restoration web map. Other information, including the recently approved revised implementation plan for the North Cascade District — is available on ODF’s website.

Comments can be submitted online by using this form, by emailing ODF.SFComments@oregon.gov, or by mailing comments to ODF Public Affairs, 2600 State St., Salem OR 97310.

About the Santiam State Forest: The Santiam State Forest is a 47,465-acre forest managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry spread across Marion, Linn and Clackamas counties in the Cascade Mountain foothills. About 98% is owned by the Board of Forestry, with a small amount of Common School Fund Lands. Board of Forestry lands by law must be managed to be healthy, productive and provide sustainable economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregonians.

Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Tigard and Beaverton are among 14 Oregon towns and cities so recog
Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Tigard and Beaverton are among 14 Oregon towns and cities so recog
Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth award on Tigard and 13 other Oregon urban forestry programs - 03/22/21

TIGARD, Ore. – Tigard, Beaverton and a dozen other Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation – for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020. The honor comes as Tigard celebrates its 20th year as a Tree City USA.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. Some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA in 2020.

The Growth Award program is designed to help communities build upon their Tree City USA status and grow their urban forestry programs. Several activities qualify, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award.  Beaverton has received the honor 17 times.

 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

 

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

 

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries in the program. Oregon’s first Tree City USA – Salem – is celebrating 45 years of holding that status. Medford is marking 25 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

                                                             # # #

 

Urban_forestry_volunteer_pruning_snowbell.JPG
Urban_forestry_volunteer_pruning_snowbell.JPG
Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth award on Grants Pass and 13 other Oregon urban forestry programs - 03/22/21

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Grants Pass and 13 other Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation – for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020. Grants Pass has received the honor 10 times.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. Some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA in 2020 and 67 met the one-year requirement.

The Growth Award program lists several activities designed to help build urban forestry programs, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award. 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

 

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Beaverton – 17

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

 

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries in the program. Oregon’s first Tree City USA – Salem – is celebrating 45 years of holding that status. Medford is marking 25 years and Tigard 20 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

                                                             # # #

Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Salem is one of 14 Oregon towns and cities so recognized over the
Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Salem is one of 14 Oregon towns and cities so recognized over the
Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth award on Salem as the city marks its 45th year as a Tree City USA - 03/22/21

SALEM, Ore. – Salem and 13 other Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation – for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020. The Award comes as Salem marks its 45th year as a Tree City USA. Salem was the first city in Oregon to earn the distinction back in the 1970s.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. Some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA in 2020.

The Growth Award program is designed to help communities build upon their Tree City USA status and grow their urban forestry programs. Several activities qualify, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award. 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

 

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Beaverton – 17

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

 

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries in the program. Medford is marking 25 years as a Tree City USA. Corvallis and Tigard are each at 20 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

                                                             # # #

 

Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth award on Corvallis and 13 other Oregon urban forestry programs - 03/22/21

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Corvallis and 13 other Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation - for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020. The Award comes as Corvallis marks its 20th year as a Tree City USA.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. Some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA in 2020.

The Growth Award program is designed to help communities build upon their Tree City USA status and grow their urban forestry programs. Several activities qualify, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award. 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

 

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Beaverton – 17

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

 

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries in the program. Oregon’s first Tree City USA – Salem – is celebrating 45 years of holding that status. Medford is marking 25 years and Tigard 20 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

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Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Medford is among 14 Oregon towns and cities so recognized over the
Training volunteers to do young street tree pruning is an activity that can earn Tree City USA communities points toward earning a Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Medford is among 14 Oregon towns and cities so recognized over the
Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth award on Medford and 13 other Oregon urban forestry programs - 03/22/21

MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford and 13 other Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation – for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020. The Award comes as Medford marks its 25th year as a Tree City USA.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. Some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA in 2020.

The Growth Award program is designed to help communities build upon their Tree City USA status and grow their urban forestry programs. Several activities qualify, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award. 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Beaverton – 17

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries in the program. Oregon’s first Tree City USA – Salem – is celebrating 45 years of holding that status. Corvallis and Tigard are each at 20 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

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Oregon communities which build their urban forestry programs as a Tree City USA community can qualify for a Growth Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Fourteen Oregon towns and cities did so over the past year.
Oregon communities which build their urban forestry programs as a Tree City USA community can qualify for a Growth Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Fourteen Oregon towns and cities did so over the past year.
Arbor Day Foundation bestows growth awards on 14 Oregon urban forestry programs - 03/22/21

SALEM, Ore. – Fourteen Oregon Tree City USAs have received Growth Awards from a national organization – the Arbor Day Foundation – for showing higher levels of tree care and community engagement with their urban forestry programs and activities during 2020.

To be eligible for the award, a city must have been enrolled as a Tree City USA for at least one year. In 2020, some 69 Oregon towns and cities qualified as a Tree City USA.  

The Growth Award program is designed to help communities build upon their Tree City USA status and grow their urban forestry programs. Several activities qualify, such as:

  • revamping a tree ordinance
  • conducting a tree inventory
  • holding a tree fair for the public
  • improving social equity outreach

Each activity is worth from 1 to 10 points. Communities must describe their activities and add up their points. Communities must score at least 10 points in each category to earn a Growth Award. 

La Grande has received the Tree City USA Growth Award more times than any other Oregon city – 29. Others receiving the award for activities in 2020 and the number of times they’ve been honored were:

Portland – 24

Medford – 19

Beaverton – 17

Eugene – 16

Salem – 15

Corvallis – 12

Wilsonville – 11

Grants Pass – 10

Albany – 4

Cottage Grove – 4

Milwaukie – 2

West Linn – 2

Redmond – 1

Several of the cities are also marking milestone anniversaries as a Tree City USA. Oregon’s first Tree City USA – Salem – is celebrating 45 years of holding that status. Medford is marking 25 years as a Tree City USA, Corvallis and Tigard are each at 20 years, Banks and Brownsville are at 15 years each, and Roseburg and Milwaukie have each reached the 5-year milestone.

The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program Manager Kristin Ramstad is thrilled to see the engagement in Oregon communities around urban trees.

“Even though in 2020 the pandemic was very disruptive, forcing the cancellation of many in-person events, many Oregon cities and towns were still able to get a lot done in terms of improving tree care. And cities became very creative in engaging with the public while keeping social distance,” said Ramstad.

More information about the awards program is here.

                                                             # # #

 

Thousands of Oregon landowners are needing to reforest after the devastating 2020 wildfires. ODF, OSU Forestry Extension and other partners are collaborating to help the replanting effort.
Thousands of Oregon landowners are needing to reforest after the devastating 2020 wildfires. ODF, OSU Forestry Extension and other partners are collaborating to help the replanting effort.
ODF works to promote reforestation after the 2020 wildfires - 03/17/21

SALEM, Ore. – Unprecedented demand for forest tree seedlings after the huge wildfires of 2020, are creating difficulties for forest landowners. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) along with Oregon State University and other forestry organizations can help address some of the issues that make reforesting challenging.

“Seedlings were already in short supply in Oregon before the fires,” explained Kyle Abraham, Chief of ODF’s Private Forests Division. “Now, rough estimates are that somewhere between 80 and 140 million additional seedlings could be needed to reforest just the non-federal lands that burned in 2020.”

Abraham added that while these estimates are still preliminary, the possible range of seedlings needed is two to three times the typical number of seedlings needed each year for reforestation in Oregon. 

Abraham cited three other factors that limit seedling availability.

  • Labor shortages

           It’s hard for nurseries to ramp up production and for landowners to find workers to do replanting.

  • Financial risk

           Seedlings have a short shelf life once “lifted” from a nursery. Nurseries mostly grow for landowners who are regular                 buyers of many seedlings and file orders years ahead of time. 

  • Lack of nursery space

           Few nurseries specialize in forest species to meet the demands for seedlings.

Abraham said availability of seed can sometimes also be an issue. “Trees must be grown from the appropriate seed – seed that is adapted to the area where it will be planted. That generally takes two years. While seed inventories are generally strong for most areas of the state, there are some isolated gaps. We’re also working to help fill those gaps.”

Abraham said landowners with smaller acreages often need help finding the right seedlings for their zone.  In recognition of how hard it is for many landowners to find seedlings, Abraham said they should contact ODF if they need assistance in reforestation. “Our goal is to help landowners reforest,” said Abraham.  “We are being realistic about how feasible that is under the circumstances.”

Working on solutions

OSU Extension and the Oregon Small Woodlands Association have surveyed landowners about their seedling needs. That surveyed group alone needs about 3.5 million trees to fully reforest.

“ODF has convened a working group with representatives from state and federal land management agencies, the forest and nursery industries, OSU Extension, and non-profit associations that serve small-acreage landowners to help address some of these needs,” said Abraham.

He said the group is currently considering some of the following:

  • Immediate options to procure or grow seedlings for smaller landowners.  This strategy includes working with both private and public (USDA Forest Service) nurseries. 
  • Looking at options to increase in-state nursery capacity.
  • Developing the necessary organizational structure to collect and batch seedling orders for smaller-acreage landowners – and to help with some of the storage and transportation logistics.

Because of climate change, seedlings planted today will grow and mature in climate conditions different than exist today.

“It’s more important than ever to get the right species of tree and from the right seed source planted in the right place,” said Abraham. “Landowners should carefully consider what species are likely to do well at the elevation and sun exposure where they will be planted.  Resources that can help are ODF foresters, local OSU Forestry Extension specialists, and online seedlot selection tools, among others.”

On the labor front, Abraham said ODF has lists of current contractors to give landowners who need help planting trees. The agency is also looking at options to help landowners coordinate and work with a single contractor across multiple ownerships to help implement site preparation, planting, and maintenance for family forest landowners. This approach will make better use of limited contract resources.  ODF and OSU Forestry Extension have educational resources and can offer tree planting lessons for people who want to plant trees themselves.

“I encourage landowners to reach out to forestry professionals, neighbors, and associations of woodland owners to identify resources and get answers for successful reforestation,” said Abraham.

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Gov. Brown has declared April as Arbor Month in Oregon, extending the tree fun from one week to four. This gives communities more time for tree plantings like this pre-pandemic planting in Portland's Roseway Park Blocks.
Gov. Brown has declared April as Arbor Month in Oregon, extending the tree fun from one week to four. This gives communities more time for tree plantings like this pre-pandemic planting in Portland's Roseway Park Blocks.
April is proclaimed as Arbor Month in Oregon (Photo) - 03/16/21

SALEM, Ore. — The first week in April was just not enough time to show how much Oregonians appreciate trees. So Gov. Kate Brown has proclaimed all of April as Oregon Arbor Month, allowing plenty of time for all the tree-related activities and commemorative plantings people want. 

“I appreciate Governor Brown declaring April 2021 as Oregon Arbor Month in recognition of the essential role trees play in the lives of Oregonians,” said Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty. “There has long been a broad understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of our forestlands, but this proclamation helps highlight the equally vital social benefits that both rural and urban forests provide to the people of Oregon.”

 

Kristin Ramstad, manager of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, points out that Oregon is a big state with a varied climate. “Tree plantings in the western part of the state are usually finishing up in early April while in many parts of eastern Oregon or at higher elevations, late April is more suitable for holding a tree planting. Extending the focus on trees through the entire month allows activities in all parts of the state to be included," she says.”

The non-profit organization Oregon Community Trees supported the move to a month-long recognition of trees. OCT President Samantha Wolf says the COVID-19 pandemic forced many towns and cities in 2020 to cancel in-person tree celebrations. “This year, people got creative and are planning many tree-related activities throughout the month, either online or with proper social distancing.”

One example Wolf cites is making a pop-up arboretum. “This is where temporary plaques are tied to public trees to identify them and inform passersby of their environmental benefits. Self-guided walking tours using flyers or phone apps are also popular in cities which have conducted inventories of their street or yard trees,” she says.

“April is also National Poetry Month, so some places are considering holding contests for poems on the theme of trees. Others are encouraging tree-related art contests,” Wolf adds.

Ramstad says Arbor Month is the perfect time to reflect on the contribution trees make – to our physical, mental and emotional health, to the livability of our communities, to our safety, the quality and quantity of our air and water, and to our economy.

Trees have always been a vital part of the lives of people in the Pacific Northwest, says Ramstad.  “Long before white settlers arrived, trees were woven into the fabric of Native American life, providing food, clothing, materials for houses and basket-making, canoes, firewood and other necessities,” she says.

Later, when settlers from the east made the long, difficult journey to the Oregon territory, seeds and cuttings of fruit and nut trees were among the precious items they carried in their wagons. And although settlers cleared trees for farming and for wood to build their expanding cities, they also planted trees where they did not naturally grow, such as on the Columbia Plateau, and in the new towns and cities.

“Trees are becoming even more important to the two-thirds of Oregonians who live in cities and towns as climate change raises concerns about dangerous levels of summer heat in urban areas,” says Ramstad. “Many communities are recognizing the value of tree canopy in helping moderate temperatures both with their shade as well as by putting into the air water that they pull from the soil. And with extreme weather events considered more likely, trees are being recognized for the role they play in slowing rainfall runoff and erosion.”

Ironically, climate change is putting trees at greater risk even as we need their services more than ever. “With milder winters, a wider range of tree pests may establish themselves in Oregon. And longer periods of hot, dry weather are stressing and even killing trees, especially those from summer-rainfall regions,” says Ramstad.

“April is usually when people should start giving 10 to 15 gallons of water once a week to young trees three years and under,” she says. “But even older, non-native trees can benefit in summer from occasional deep waterings. They’ll be less stressed and grow faster.”                                                                     

The proclamation was the result of more than a year of collaboration between the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and Oregon Community Trees, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy urban and community forests. Read the full text of the proclamation here

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