Your chance to be heard: Oregon Board of Forestry Meeting Friday

Do you think our state forests offer any value to Oregonians other than timber revenue? Does clean water matter? Do fish, wildlife and recreation matter? Of course they do. That’s why Oregon’s Department of Forestry correctly identifies the “greatest permanent value” of our forests as: “healthy, productive and sustainable forest ecosystems that over time and across landscape provide a full range of social, economic and environmental benefits to the people of Oregon.”


As I type this post, timber industry insiders and a handful of powerful county commissioners are engaged in a effort to rip off Oregonians. They have convinced Oregon’s Board of Forestry (which is mostly made up of commercial foresters) to consider changing the legal definition of greatest permanent value to this: “timber revenue.” Catchy, huh? Show me the dead trees and the money!

You, your kids, and every other Oregonian are being screwed. The people forcing this effort are taking advantage of the political climate created by our severe recession to pave the way for another era of overharvest. These folks have already made it clear that environmental health always takes a way-back seat to harvest in their small minds. They are attempting to erase two decades of progress toward sustainable forestry in Oregon.

NOW is your chance to tell these people what you think!! Oregon’s Board of Forestry meets in Eugene this Friday at Lane Community College’s Center for Meeting and Learning, 4000 East 30th Avenue. The meeting starts at 8:00AM, and the Greatest Permanent Value discussion is scheduled to run from 9:15AM to 10:15AM.

Please swing by LCC and devote a couple of hours to tell the board what you think. I will bring my Intruder box and hand out flies to the first 10 people who show up.

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15 Responses to Your chance to be heard: Oregon Board of Forestry Meeting Friday

  1. Jeff says:

    When did this blog become political? There are many people who are Fly Fishing enthusiasts that agree with responsible forest harvesting (and arent small minded). If this is going to be a political sounding board for the extreme environmental movement, I will stop reading the blog and stop purchasing from The Caddis Fly.

  2. Matt Stansberry says:

    Jeff, this blog became political around February 2008 when it was launched. It’s our responsibility as anglers to raise our voice for wild fish.

  3. Craig says:

    Time to speak up for WILD FISH.!

  4. Rob R says:

    Jeff, I’d hate to lose you as a reader. You are the kind of person we need most: caring, balanced, articulate. But if reading my sharp opinion on this issue is too uncomfortable for you, just say so. If you have something constructive to add, please do. It would be appreciated.

    Let me ask you: Is it “getting political” to stand up for people who are being sprayed with toxic chemicals and suffering severe heathy problems? Is it political to stand up for the rivers and fish we care about? If you care about these issues and want to be informed, how do you draw a line between the values we stand for and the politics that are associated?

    We at the Oregon Flyfishing Blog do actually stand for something: healthy watersheds, clean water, and sustainable wild fisheries. We are advocates, which is inherently political. And your voice matters, as a member of our diverse community, so please add it here! I appreciate a thoughtful challenge, and will do my best to meet it fairly.

    Recent efforts by the timber industry and the timber counties in Oregon to re-define GPV is a strategic attempt at undermining decades of hard work and compromise on both sides of this issue. These efforts are based in a stated belief (by commissioners and board members) that forest practices have negligible impacts on watersheds. Like a lot of our readers, I’m out there on the water seeing the effects. In just the last ten years, I have watched every major river in Tillamook County suffer the effects of steep-slope logging and insufficient buffers. So pardon me if I’m direct and to the point here. The economic interests driving this new effort will not rest until they get the board-feet they want, and they are more than willing to throw their own foresters under the bus in the process.

    If we anglers don’t get involved and make some noise, this conversation will blow right over us and our values. So please consider joining me in asking the Board to stay the coarse, to stick to the current definition of GPV that correctly protects watersheds, rather than slipping backward to a construct that leads to another era of overharvest in the Tillamook.

  5. Rob R says:

    UPDATE: Just back from the meeting. Thanks to those who were able to swing by on such short notice. After I testified, Chairman Blackwell expressed his hope that the angling community might feel more comfortable about the intent of this process having heard more details (referring to the Department of Forestry’s presentation). There is some chance that the re-definition of GPV could move the dial toward more protections for fish & wildlife, although the deck is currently stacked against such an outcome. The next Governor of Oregon will undoubtedly have a lot to say in this regard, so stay tuned…

  6. Chris Deppa says:

    I don’t think asking people to go to a public meeting quite fits under “the extreme environmental movement.”

  7. Jeff says:


    Thank you for your response. You make very valid points and I would like to explain where I’m coming from.

    First, I couldn’t agree with you more on steep slope clear cutting on large scales. If you drive to Florence from Eugene, you can get plenty of looks at this and I 100% disagree with that. That is not forest management.

    What I will tell you is I come from a logging family. My father and uncles have logged all their lives. We own 450 acres of land in southern Oregon and have managed that on top of management of other forests. In 2002, we were voted “Private timber managers of the year” by the state forestry. They don’t clear cut. They select cut log taking out dead and dieing and up to 30% of the green forest. If you follow behind us by a year, it looks like a park with little under vegetation and a pure canopy overhead.

    Im also a volunteer firefighter. I know what destruction a fire can do to a forest when its ignored or to “protected” to be managed. There are about 550,000 acres in southern Oregon that burned a few years ago because of this.

    I agree we need to fight for fish. Corporate greed in harvesting is unfair to the forest and the people that enjoy it. The waters do need protection from this. My point is all foresters are not what you are lumping them in to. It would be like me lumping all conservationists into a “radical don’t touch the forest” group. We all know this does no service to good debate and eventual compromise.

    Lastly, I read this blog because the stresses of jobs, bills, politics and everyday life can be pushed aside for 5 minutes while I read about how the Steelhead fishing is on the McKenzie. When an event as you’ve posted here gets to the point that one can “come give their opinion” at a certain time and date, it doesn’t bother me. When you bring out your opinion in such a pointed manner by using terms like “small minds” its offensive to the people that fight for a productive middle ground.

    Just my opinion. I will add that I’m in the rivers seeing the effects as well. I’m also in the forest seeing the effects of mismanagement the other way as well. There has to be a middle ground.

  8. Michael Webb says:

    I fail to see how one can be a flyfisher and not be an environmentalist.

  9. Chris N says:

    I have just started reading this blog. I find it informative, educational and entertaining. That being said, Jeff… In this world, in this country, the only way anything gets protected, restored or saved is by involvement in the political process. Either on the local or national scene. The folsk that want to harvest all the timber, dredge or dam all the rivers and sweep the oceans clean of anything edible all have lobbyists and millions of dollars in the game. The only way to counteract that is to GET involved. If nobody stands up and speaks for clean air, clean water, wildlife conservation, responsible and renewable fishieries then soon there will be none. So if you are not getting political, you are not helping the cause you may believe in and are actually helping the other side. Think about it and add your voice to issues you have a stake in and believe in.

  10. Joe Bend says:

    Have to agree with Chris N. I think it’s great that the blog is starting to get a little political. Politics effects our sport in many ways. Thanks,


  11. Rob R says:


    First, I must apologize for using the term “small minded.” Such inflamatory language is offensive and counter-productive. One of these days I’ll learn this lesson for good–maybe this time?

    Second, I fully support responsible logging. In fact, that what this whole state forest issue is about. Oregon Department of Forestry has been doing a great job, but the counties want more more more, in spite of the advice of their best foresters.

    Again, I really appreciate the conversation, and would love to keep it going elsewhere. My email:


  12. Jordan says:

    I agree completely with Jeff. People need to get more educated on proper forest managment before they go spouting off. To completely neglect a forest is not managing. We need to manage the forest like mother nature use to do with wildfires, before people came to inhabit the land. I love our rivers and our fish, but to look at the health of some of our protected lands sickens me too. They are just a big fire hazard waiting to ignite.

  13. Rob R says:

    Jordan, while your concerns are valid in specific instances, please consider looking into the history of North Coast timber management, where the only fires ever recorded were caused by logging activities. The Tillamook was ravaged by fire, then salvage-logged (during the depression), then burned again, then salvaged again, and burned again, in six year cycles, until there was almost nothing left standing. Due to this history, it is upsetting to hear people claim that by restoring diversity and complexity in our forests, that we are putting those forests at risk. Regarding the Tillamook, that argument is not only erroneous, it’s painfully insulting. Sadly, finding details about the old burns is not as easy as you might expect. ODF’s website has white-washed away the critical facts…but a great book called Epitaph to the Giants told the story in detail.

  14. Michael says:

    I agree with Jeff. My father worked in the Timber industry as well. There is such a thing as responsible harvesting.

    Had it not been for Jeff’s response I would have clicked away from this blog and probably not been back for quite some time.

    If ever.

  15. Rob R says:

    Thanks, Michael. Very glad you stuck with us. This blog supports responsible timber harvest, and we stand by our conviction that the best way to support such harvest is to become involved in the process, to make sure that our fisheries receive their rightful consideration. We are committed to helping forge the “middle ground” that we are seeking. And that means we have to speak up, and you all need to help keep us on track.

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