The Private Forest Accord was just passed by the Oregon Legislature!
This means that across 10 million acres of private forests in Oregon we will have bigger riparian buffers, more protections against steep slopes logging, an upgraded road system that won’t bleed sediment into streams, and a whole lot more. When you add it all up, Oregon will finally be catching up to our neighbors in Washington in adequately protecting our aquatic ecosystems from the impacts of logging.
You can read the full legislation here and the nearly 200-page Private Forest Accord report here (this report will form the foundation of new rules that the Board of Forestry will implement).
SB 1501 passed the Senate with a bipartisan 22-5 vote and bipartisan 43-15 in the House. Governor Brown convened the negotiations that brought about the Accord and is expected to sign it soon.
Ever since the Private Forest Accord agreement between Oregon Wild, our conservation allies, and the logging industry was announced in late October 2021, we’ve been trying to think of ways to describe the magnitude of the changes that are coming to Oregon’s private forest laws.
Looking to our own organizational history, the most apt comparison is the monumental shift that came to public lands when the Northwest Forest Plan was adopted in 1994. That too changed management on millions of acres of forestland and signified a paradigm shift in how we protected species from the impacts of logging.
Much like the adoption of the Northwest Forest Plan, the passage of the Private Forest Accord does not mean that all issues related to private lands logging are settled. There is still more for communities, Oregon Wild, our partners, and the logging industry to do.
However, today – thanks to decades of work by so many – we can celebrate a new foundation for forest management in Oregon that is based in science and moves us firmly into the 21st century.