Oregon's governor signs bipartisan private forest accord package, intended to create new protections for private forestland, foster economic growth in rural parts of state

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PORTLAND, Oregon , May 19, 2022 (press release) –

Package creates new protections for private forestland, fosters economic growth in rural Oregon

Governor joined by representatives from 25 private forestry, small forestland, conservation, and fishing organizations who negotiated the historic agreement

Governor Kate Brown today signed the bipartisan Private Forest Accord package, Senate Bills 1501 and 1502 and House Bill 4055, at World Forestry Center. She was joined by representatives from 25 private forestry, small forestland, conservation, and fishing organizations who negotiated the historic agreement. The Private Forest Accord is the most comprehensive update to the Forest Practices Act since 1971, establishing new protections for salmon and other sensitive species on over 10 million acres of forestland in Oregon. The proposal seeks to meet the federal standards for a statewide Habitat Conservation Plan.

“The package of bills I signed today is built on the understanding that, through science-based forest management, we can strike the right balance between protecting the health of our forests and creating jobs and economic growth in our rural communities at the same time,” said Governor Brown. “And, it did not happen overnight. It took months of painstaking work, up until the very last day possible. To build relationships, to establish trust, to find common ground and a path forward that will maintain our vibrant Oregon forests and the communities that depend on them for generations to come. ”

“The willingness of environmental and industry groups to come together for meaningful dialogue toward addressing those problems is the Oregon Way in action,” said State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “While the Department of Forestry was not a signatory to the accord, we are responsible for most of the work needed to transition from policy and concept to practice, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We greatly appreciate investments made in the department that will allow us to fulfill our role in helping provide the certainty and durability envisioned by the accord’s authors.”

“We are thrilled to join the Governor and timber industry counterparts on a new path for Oregon’s forests and for our organizations,” said Bob Van Dyk, Oregon policy director at Wild Salmon Center. “The comprehensive bill signed today provides significant new protections for our fisheries, for cold clean water, and for the people who rely on these resources. Oregonians will all benefit from these measures and also from the spirit of compromise that made this bill possible.”

“Family forestland owners have a very personal connection to our properties – they are an integral facet of our family identity,” said Ken Nygren, Oregon Small Woodlands Association President. “Because of this, we have deep feelings about changes that increase the burdens of ownership on our families, and it was gratifying to have our unique circumstances heard and special consideration given during the Private Forest Accord process. OSWA is committed to keeping the spirit of the Private Forest Accord alive because it revealed we have attainable shared goals: keeping thriving, healthy, sustainable forests on the landscape.”

"The passage of the Private Forest Accord marks a significant moment in Oregon's history,” said Sean Stevens, executive director of Oregon Wild. “I'd like to again thank the many parties that came together to make the Accord a reality. And I would also like to recognize the countless community members, companies, and advocates that pushed for this moment. Collectively, we have created a new foundation for the practice of forestry in Oregon - one where science, cooperation, and a willingness to engage in sometimes difficult conversations will drive future decision making."

"While this agreement is predominantly about cold, clean water for fish – what’s good for fish is good for Oregonians,” said Chris Edwards, President of the Oregon Forest and Industries Council. “We are ensuring a future of clean water and healthy forests, while maintaining tens of thousands of jobs that make Oregon the national leader in carbon friendly building materials.”

Organizations joining the Governor from the conservation and fishing negotiators were: Wild Salmon Center, Oregon Wild, Trout Unlimited, Portland Audubon, Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Aquatic Scientist, Beyond Toxics, Cascadia Wildlands, Northwest Guides and Anglers, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Rogue Riverkeeper, and Umpqua Watersheds.

Organizations from the forest industry sector were: Rayonier, Weyerhaeuser, Seneca Sawmill/Sierra Pacific Industries, Hampton Lumber, Roseburg Forest Products, Oregon Small Woodlands Association, Hancock Natural Resource Group, Lone Rock Resources, Nuveen Nature Capital, Campbell Global, Starker Forests, and Port Blakely.

Additional Materials
• A recording of today's bill signing is available on YouTube.
• Please note the video starts at the 10:35 mark.
• An HD recording of today's bill signing for members of the media is available on Vimeo.
• A copy of the Governor's prepared remarks from today's bill signing is available here.
• Photos of the event can be found here.

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