TILLAMOOK STATE FOREST DELIVERS $31.4 MILLION FOR COUNTY, LOCAL SERVICES ALONG WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL BENEFITS

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The Oregon Department of Forestry released a report to state forest trust land counties highlighting economic, environmental and social accomplishments in fiscal year 2020, including distributing $31.4 million in revenue to Tillamook, Washington and Columbia counties along with local service providers.

At over 357,000 acres, the Tillamook State Forest is Oregon’s largest state forest. Tillamook County and local taxing districts with state forestland received $22.2 million in fiscal year 2020, while Washington County and local districts received $8.8 million. Additionally, a portion of state forestland in Columbia County managed out of ODF’s Forest Grove District generated $376,759 for the county.

ODF recently released its Council of Forest Trust Land Counties annual report, which highlights the array of economic, environmental and social contributions from approximately 729,000 acres of actively managed state forestland.  It includes a recap of timber sales and revenue distribution, conservation and forest health activities, and recreation use, including popularity and number of visitors, among other statistics.

Statewide, counties and local governments received $69.2 million in fiscal year 2020, collected from timber sales on state-owned forests. Revenues are distributed based on timber sales within a particular jurisdiction. Other highlights include replanting more than 3 million trees and hosting more than 22,000 campers at ODF campgrounds.

On the Tillamook State Forest, one environmental highlight included continuing to improve fish habitat  on Gales Creek. By planting 1,000 western redcedar seedlings on a mile-long stretch of the creek, as trees grow they will provide shade to help maintain cool water – vital to native upper Willamette steelhead listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This is the latest in a multi-year effort to improve aquatic habitat conditions in this portion of the Tillamook State Forest in an area where natural processes are inhibited by a lack of large, older trees due to wildfire history in the area. This project highlights collaborative solutions in natural resource management that address continuing challenges faced on the Tillamook State Forest nearly 70 years after the Tillamook Burn.

Counties and local service providers receive approximately 64 percent of net revenues from timber harvests on state forests. The remaining revenues finance virtually all aspects of state forest management, including ODF’s recreational offerings, environmental enhancement projects, replanting after timber harvest, and forest road maintenance. The state’s share of revenue was approximately $38.3 million in fiscal year 2020.

“The economic, environmental and social successes detailed in this annual report highlight the broad scope of benefits healthy working forests provide to Oregonians and communities,” State Forester Peter Daugherty said.

Other report highlights statewide include:

  • 238 million board feet of timber harvested through management activities
  • 4.9 miles of fish access restored
  • 20 fish barriers removed
  • 389 miles of trail maintained
  • 1,015 woodcutting permits issued
  • 29,472 visitors to the ODF Tillamook Forest Center. The TFC’s physical location was closed for most of the 2020 season to reduce spread of COVID-19.

State forests managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry are distributed across 15 counties, with the largest being the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests on the north coast, the Santiam State Forest in the northern Cascade Range, and the Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests in Klamath County. Other scattered tracts can be found throughout western Oregon. Many State Forests employees also are part of Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, providing critical resources and expertise during fire season.