PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared Oct. 15-21 as "Oregon Forest Products Week" in recognition of Oregon's leadership in manufacturing wood products, developing innovative wood products, and designing and constructing tall wood buildings.
In a signed proclamation, Brown calls on all Oregonians to join in observance of the weeklong celebration of forest products grown and manufactured in Oregon. The declaration coincides with National Forest Products Week, celebrated the third week of October every year. The national event recognizes the many products that come from forests, the people who work in or manage forests, and the businesses that make the forest products we use in our everyday lives.
"Forest Products Week has particular significance in Oregon, because for decades the state has not only been the nation's leader in wood products manufacturing but also forest productivity, forestry education, and research," says Timm Locke, director of forest products at the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI). Funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax, OFRI was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management, and forest products.
Oregon is also now leading a growing movement to build taller and larger buildings with wood, for environmental, social and economic reasons, Locke adds. "With its innovative spirit and sustainable forest resources, Oregon has become the epicenter of the most significant disruption of building technology since steel and concrete altered urban skylines."
In the proclamation, Brown highlights that Oregon's forest sector contributes more than $12 billion annually to the state's economy and employs more than 60,000 Oregonians. She notes that the state's forest protection and land-use laws ensure Oregon's abundant forests are sustainably managed to provide countless benefits to Oregonians. These include clean air and water, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, scenic beauty, forest products, and employment and tax revenue for local communities, counties and the state of Oregon.
OFRI kicked off this year's celebration of Oregon forest products with an early-October tour of mass timber buildings in the Portland area that was attended by more than 50 elected and appointed officials, policymakers and others.
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