A letter from our coalition to the Oregon Board of Forestry.

Also see the letter from the US EPA regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan.

November 11, 2022

Oregon Board of Forestry

Dear Chair Kelly and Members of the Board of Forestry:

The undersigned groups are writing to share our perspectives on the continuing challenge of finding the right balance on state forest management. As you know, balancing values on state forests has been difficult and controversial. However, the recent resolution of the Linn County litigation has provided some clarity. Now that it is established that the Board of Forestry has broad discretion to manage our state forests for all Oregonians, and not just taxing districts, we have an opportunity for a broader conversation on the path forward. We believe the Board should adopt a strong Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and renew efforts to identify solutions that provide more stability to both taxing districts and the state forest program budget.

We continue to strongly support your work on a Habitat Conservation Plan for Western Oregon State Forests, and we thank you for your commitment to managing Oregon’s state forests for the benefit of all Oregonians. We ask that you support an HCP that is at least as protective as Alternative 3, the conservation alternative. Alternative 3 would best ensure the “greatest permanent value” of our state forests by providing necessary long-term protections for fish and wildlife, meeting the challenges posed by climate change, and allowing for ongoing timber harvest. The Habitat Conservation Areas and Riparian Conservation Areas would not only serve the purpose of protecting habitat for threatened and endangered species, but also act as carbon reserves and aid in the implementation of the Climate Change and Forest Carbon Plan.

In order to achieve more stability in state forest management, we strongly encourage you to focus attention on the need for systemic changes to ODF’s funding and business model. With the Linn County lawsuit behind you, there is an opportunity for all sides to come together and identify solutions that ensure sustainable funding for local taxing districts while at the same time protecting fish and wildlife habitat and recreation values for Oregon’s state forests. This effort will require investment by the General Fund, and we are prepared to support work exploring those outcomes.

The Private Forest Accord is proof that the timber industry, landowners and the conservation community can work together to find solutions. We support solutions that would allow our state forests to be managed for multiple benefits, respond to the stresses of climate change, and identify stable funding sources for necessary local services.

Thank you for your commitment to managing our state forests for the greatest permanent value for all Oregonians.


Brenna Bell

Forest Climate Manager


Jason Wedemeyer

Executive Director

Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Steve Griffiths

Joseph Youren


Audubon Society of Lincoln City

Bob Sallinger

Conservation Director

Audubon Society of Portland

Lisa Arkin

Executive Director

Beyond Toxics

Grace Brahler

Wildlands Director

Cascadia Wildlands

Noah Greenwald, M.S.

Endangered Species Director

Center for Biological Diversity

Darlene Chirman

Leadership Team

Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Cascade Volcanoes Chapter

Bob Rees

Executive Director

NW Guides and Anglers Association

Mark Rogers


Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited

Julia DeGraw

Coalition Director

Oregon League of Conservation Voters

Lauren Anderson

Climate Forest Program Manager

Oregon Wild

David Harrison

Conservation Chair

Salem Audubon Society

Victoria Frankeny

Staff Attorney

Tualatin Riverkeepers

Michael Lang

Oregon Senior Policy Manager

Wild Salmon Center