PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Governor Kate Brown signed the bipartisan Private Forest Accord package, Senate Bills 1501 and 1502 and House Bill 4055, at the World Forestry Center on Wednesday. , joined by representatives from 25 private forest, small forest land, conservation and fisheries organizations who negotiated the landmark 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 more than 10 million acres of forest land in Oregon. The proposal is intended to meet federal standards for a statewide habitat conservation plan, according to the governor’s press release, which continues in full below.
“The package of bills I signed today is based on the idea that, through science-based forest management, we can strike the right balance between protecting the health of our forests and job creation and economic growth in our rural communities at the same time,” said Governor Brown. “And it didn’t happen overnight. It took months of painstaking work, until the very last possible day. To build relationships, build trust, find common ground and a path to track that will sustain 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 to address these issues is the Oregon Way in action,” said state forester Cal Mukumoto. “Although the Forestry Department was not a signatory to the agreement, we are responsible for much of the work needed to move policy and concept into practice, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We greatly appreciate the investments made in the ministry that will enable us to fulfill our role in helping to provide the certainty and sustainability envisioned by the authors of the agreement.
“We are thrilled to join the Governor and his lumber industry counterparts on a new path for Oregon’s forests and for our organizations,” said Bob Van Dyk, Oregon policy director at the Wild Salmon Center. “The comprehensive bill signed today provides important new protections for our fisheries, for cold, clean water, and for the people who depend on these resources. The people of Oregon will all benefit from these measures and also from the spirit of compromise that made this bill possible.
“Family owners of forest land have a very personal connection to our properties; they are an integral part of our family identity,” said Ken Nygren, president of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association. “For this reason, we have deep feelings about the changes that increase the burden of ownership on our families, and it was gratifying to have our unique situation heard and given special consideration during the process of the Private Forest Agreement. OSWA is committed to keeping the spirit of the Private Forest Accord alive, as it has revealed that we have achievable common goals: to maintain thriving, healthy and sustainable forests on the landscape. »
“Passing of the Private Forest Accord marks a significant moment in Oregon’s history,” said Sean Stevens, executive director of Oregon Wild. “I would like to once again thank the many parties who have come together to make the Accord a reality. And I would also like to thank the countless community members, businesses, and advocates who pushed for this moment. Collectively, we have created a new foundation for the practice of forestry in Oregon – a foundation where science, cooperation, and the willingness to engage in sometimes difficult conversations will drive future decision-making.”
“While this agreement is primarily about cold, clean water for the fish, what’s good for the fish is good for Oregonians,” said Chris Edwards, chairman of the Oregon Council of Forestry and Industries. “We’re securing 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 that joined the governor among conservation and fisheries 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.
Forest industry sector organizations 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.