PORTLAND, Ore. December 3, 2008. The first
5-year forest inventory report for Oregon’s private and public
lands is now available to the public: Oregon’s
Forest Resources, 2001-2005: Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis
are some key findings from the report:
- Oregon’s forests span about 30 million acres; about
half of Oregon’s total land area of 61 million acres.
land is being converted to other uses particularly near urban
areas. The rate of conversion had slowed in the past decade,
but it’s not clear what protections will remain on rural
forest and agricultural land.
- The majority of old-growth forest
is now found on federal land, although the current percentage
is estimated to be less than
half of that existing before Euro-American settlement.
- Data spanning 1953 to 1987
show a decrease in timberland area and volume, but inventories
in the late 1990s and 2001-2005 suggest
recent increases in timberland acreage and volume.
- Economic activity
increased in the forest products industry, with an 8-percent
increase in harvest since 2003.
- Private landowners provide most
of Oregon’s wood products,
industry jobs, and timber revenue.
- Ownership is rapidly changing
as some industry owners sell their lands to timber investment
management organizations (TIMO) or
real-estate investment trusts (REIT) who may manage the land for a variety
- A single fuel-management prescription does not fit
all landscapes in Oregon. Less than half of forested lands are
develop crown fires, and an even smaller fraction can be expected to develop
active crown fire.
- Oregon’s forests are a net sink for carbon.
More carbon is sequestered in growing wood than is emitted in
The data from the FIA reports are used by state, federal, and
private land managers, investors, and others for a variety of purposes
including the assessment of fuels and potential fire hazard, biomass
and carbon storage, the effects of insects and disease, growth
and mortality, wildlife habitat, plant diversity, and the supply
of goods and services.
Since the 1930s, the U.S. Forest Service
has conducted inventories of private lands throughout the United
States. In the early days,
inventories focused primarily on trees: how much timber was out
there? Today’s inventory is still about measuring and counting
trees, but it also accounts for understory vegetation, down woody
material, lichens, damage caused by insects and disease, and more.
the original inventory design produced resource bulletins about
every 10 to 12 years from data collected over a 2- to 3-year
inventory in the Western United States is conducted on a 10-year cycle where
1/10 of the field plots are measured annually on public and private forest
land. Data are now posted each year and summary reports are issued every 5
The frequency was directed by Congress through language in the
1998 Farm Bill, according to ecologist Joseph Donnegan, technical
of the Oregon report
and a member of the PNW Research Station’s Forest Inventory and Analysis
Instead of the 10-year timber reports we used to produce, we now
post data annually and write a report every 5 years that covers
a much broader range
of topics that regularly appear in the news. The idea was not only to provide
data on an annual basis, but to be nationally consistent in how we conduct
inventory and monitoring. Previously, different FIA regions were
using different methodologies,” explains
Donnegan. “The results were specific for that region or part of the country,
but comparisons and analyses weren’t easily made owing to the variety
of techniques used. The national Forest Inventory and Analysis Program now
standard measurement and analysis techniques.”
Standardization and the
move to annual data availability occurred through the efforts of client input
via blue-ribbon panels. Congress responded with Farm
Bill directives and by allocating partial funding to begin progress toward
a Forest Inventory and Analysis system that is national in scope.
report was produced by the Pacific Northwest FIA Program which
conducts forest inventories in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington,
Hawaii, and the
There are four FIA Programs in the research branch of the U.S. Forest Service:
the Pacific Northwest, Interior West, Northern, and Southern. The mission
of each of the programs is to provide information on the status and trend
Nation’s forests to resource managers, scientists, conservationists,
investors, and the public.
Joseph Donnegan, Sally Campbell, and Dave Azuma
are technical editors for Oregon’s Forest Resources, 2001-2005:
Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis Report. Read it online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/publications/gtr765/.
more information about the national Forest Inventory and
Analysis Program visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fia/.
Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11
laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and
Washington and about 500 employees.