Once again, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute is under attack.
If you are among the many small woodland owners who have benefitted from OFRI materials--from the Illustrated Oregon Forest Practices manual that sits next to your management plan to fact sheets on wildlife, habitat or the upcoming changes to riparian area management--or have attended a Partnership for Forestry Education workshop, here's your chance to speak up on behalf of OFRI--and small woodland owners.
HB3019, a bill that would essentially defund OFRI, is currently in the Committee on Revenue. Representative Nancy Nathanson, of Lane County, is Chair of the Committee. Please consider reaching out to Representative Nathanson--in person, by letter, phone or e-mail--to tell her how important ORFI is to woodland owner education. Although harvest tax dollars fund OFRI, OFRI partnerships (like OSU Extension and WOWNet) are available to all woodland owners, whether they harvest or not, providing science-based resources and educational opportunities to help us steward our forests for our own objectives and according to best practices.
Available below is contact information for Representative Nathanson, as well as a few key points to consider as you craft a letter or conversation about the importance of OFRI resources and partnerships. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have further questions or want to see a sample letter.
Representative Nancy Nathanson
Democrat - District 13 - Eugene
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1413 Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE H-279, Salem, Oregon 97301 District Address: PO Box 41895 Eugene, OR 97404 Email: Rep.NancyNathanson@oregonlegislature.gov Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/nathanson
OFRI supports us and our woodlands everyday. Today, it's our turn.
KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER
Feel free to pick only one or two of these:
1. OFRI has a new Executive Director -- give him (Jim Paul) a chance to continue to put into place the responses to the Secretary of State Audit
2. OFRI is a key partner with ODF in making the Forest Practice Rules intelligible and accessible, both through the Illustrated Manual and related publications/trainings—we need both!
3. the Small Forest Owner office/SFO foresters are not a replacement for what OFRI offers to small woodland owners
it is really a small number of folks, all new to the job/Rules
their emphasis will be on woodland owners filing a notification of operations, whether to regulate or steer toward incentive/assistance programs
OFRI works with ALL woodland owners, whether they harvest or not
ODF is seen as regulatory; OFRI is not
4. OFRI woodland owner education/partnerships—Extension, WOWNet, etc.—are a key element of supporting sustainable forestry/solid stewardship of Oregon’s forestlands
5. do not take 2/3 of OFRI funding (which comes from harvest tax dollars) for pet projects
Find contact information for Oregon Senators & Representatives: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov