USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

Bookmark and Share

» Community Sustainability

Forests and Trees Are
Key to Community Sustainability

Forests replenish the air we breathe and the water we drink and use to grow food. Forest trees store carbon from the roots to the tops. Trees supply wood for homes, biomass for fuel, and fiber for paper. From remote mountains to bustling cities, forests provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Community jobs are created through the plentitude of services trees and forests provide.


Parks and trails help promote active lifestyles

Use: Oregon prioritizes new trails for counties with low physical activity.

THE PERCENTAGE of American adults who are obese has more than doubled in 30 years, inciting warnings of an obesity epidemic. The dramatic increase in rates of obesity and inactivity raises critical health concerns, many of which can be mitigated by physical activity. Station scientists looked at the role parks and recreation can play in addressing these public health concerns. They found parks, trails, bikeways, and sidewalks increase opportunities for people to meet recommended daily levels of physical activity through outdoor recreation. Their analysis of county-level data in Oregon showed that the availability of trails is associated with higher proportions of physically active adults.

Bicycle family.This study helped identify at-risk communities that could be targeted with recreation planning and development. The study enabled the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to identify 11 of Oregon’s 36 counties as being “in need”—that is, showing inadequate levels of current and projected physical activity. To address these disparities in recreational opportunities, Oregon is prioritizing the development of close-to-home nonmotorized trail access in identified at-risk counties. This study was also used to project health status indicators to 2020 for the 2008 to 2012 Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Results from this study also led the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to develop a statewide trails Web site that will provide information on trail availability and accessibility in Oregon.

Contact: Jeff Kline, Goods, Services, and Values Program

Partners: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon State University


Green Cities Research Alliance launched in Seattle metro area

EarthCorps volunteers remove invasive ivy from a Seattle green space.THE STATION launched a study of the positive environmental “footprint” of 600 organizations that engage in environmental stewardship activities in Seattle and Tacoma and the 70 private groups that practice sustainable design in the Seattle metro area. This project is part of a research collaboration called the Green Cities Research Alliance in the Puget Sound area. A database of the stewardship organizations and sustainable design groups was created as part of this project. It will be used for conducting an organizational network analysis and studies on stewardship motivations and health implications of outdoor activities. These results will be linked to other studies, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to better understand the positive environmental effects of citizen-based stewardship activities.

Contact: Dale Blahna, Goods, Services, and Values Program

Partners: University of Washington; Cascade Land Conservancy; EarthCorps; Institute for Culture and Ecology; King County, Department of Natural Resources and Parks; City of Seattle Parks Department and Office of Sustainability; State of Washington, Community and Urban Forestry


New Tool: An online version of Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries

Production, Prices and Employment, and Trade.Description: This online resource offers downloadable data on the current timber situation in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia, as well as 50 years of historical data. Data sets include lumber and plywood production and prices; timber harvest; employment in forest products industries; international trade in logs, pulpwood, chips, lumber, veneer, and plywood; log prices in the Pacific Northwest; volume and average prices of stumpage sold by public agencies. The extensive data sets can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel®, a commonly-used program. This online version complements the printed quarterly publication by the same name that has been published continuously since 1963.

Use: The Forest Service and other federal agencies, Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington Department of Natural Resources, universities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and private land managing and consulting firms have all responded positively to this product, commenting on the timeliness and usefulness of the site.

How to get it:

Contact: Jean Daniels, Goods, Services, and Values Program






US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,05August2014 at09:40:50CDT

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site. Untitled Document