The forest products sector is a mainstay of the state’s economy, especially in rural communities. Oregon leads the nation in the production of lumber, panel products and mill work, including wood doors, windows and moldings. More than 76,000 people work in wood products manufacturing and forest management in Oregon. Supporting this industry is key to supporting rural communities and families throughout Oregon.

Industry Overview

Oregon is the largest lumber producer in the United States. It contains 30.5 million acres of forestlands—about 48 percent of the total landmass of the state. An internationally recognized leader in forest product manufacturing, Oregon combines accessible raw materials with cutting-edge innovation to produce a diverse range of high quality, value-added wood products that are exported to every corner of the globe.

Advanced technology in the wood products industry has streamlined the processing of timber, making the industry more productive and competitive. Innovation has created new economic opportunities for Oregon companies such as the Murphy Company, which went from producing traditional plywood to value-added engineered wood products, such as laminated veneer beams that compete with steel in the global marketplace.

From dimension lumber to ready-to-install windows and doors, Oregon’s value-added wood products are world-renowned. Oregon companies export wood products to meet market needs across the globe. U.S. softwood lumber exports increased by about 50% from 2009 to 2011, led by a large increase to China. The quality of raw material and production expertise found in Oregon are second to none, making Oregon the ideal place to do business in wood products manufacturing.

Oregon’s economy has been shaped by the evolution of its long-standing forestry industry; an industry which now includes biomass generation, sustainability practices, manufactured housing and many secondary wood products manufacturers. Privately owned forestlands are Oregon’s primary providers of timber, accounting for about 75 percent of the statewide timber harvest annually. Today, the forest sector is lean, resilient and competitive. The industry has a modern transportation and utility infrastructure and strong market connections. It produces high-quality wood products in efficient high-tech, low-waste mills from timber grown primarily on private forestlands. And it meets tough federal and state air emission standards and other environmental laws.

 Forestry and Forest Products by the Numbers

Industry Snapshot
Total Employment: 76,073
Average Employee Compensation: $46,166
Total Output: $12.7 billion

Sector

Forest Products Manufacturing

Economic  Impact

Forest Products Manufacturing

  • Output: $8.9 billion
  • Jobs:  49,239 (2011)
  • Average Salary:  $49,239 (2011)

Sector

Forestry

Economic  Impact

Forestry

  • Output: $3.7 billion
  • Jobs:  36,379 (2011)
  • Average Salary:  $42,868 (2011)

Source: The 2012 Forest Report: An Economic Assessment of Oregon’s Forest and Wood Products Manufacturing Sector (TheForestReport.org). For more information on the Oregon forestry sector
For more information on the economic impacts of the Oregon forestry industry, download Oregon Forest Facts and Figures 2011.

Industry Strengths and Challenges in Oregon

Oregon has several unique competitive advantages driving the industry.  Among these, a premier timber growing region and center of manufacturing expertise are advaced by a dynamic relationship with one of the most prestigious forestry schools in the world, Oregon State University.  Productivity and replacement levels are healthy in the cluster, as well, as Oregon has a substantial supply of wood from forests with growth rates that exceed removals plus mortality by nearly 2:1.  In general, the forestry and wood products cluster is well-positioned for continued growth and improved efficiency and sustainability.

Across all ownerships, public and private total standing timber volume is about 87.9 billion cubic feet and growing — this is more than 95 percent of the standing timber volume of 92.0 billion cubic feet present across all ownerships 50 years ago.

The Great Recession and slow recovery have weakened Oregon’s forest sector; but as markets improve, there is opportunity for the sector to grow market share. The major obstacle that will hinder growth in the forest sector is timber supply. Continued improvement will benefit from a concerted effort by leaders from government, industry and the conservation community.

Industry Priorities and Initiatives

Manage Oregon’s public forests to restore ecosystem health, protect society from wildfire, improve rural economic vitality, and increase utilization of biomass energy.
1. Accelerate the scale and pace of NEPA planning in dry national forests in eastern and southern Oregon so that forest management activity can occur to restore ecosystem health, protect from wildfire, and revitalize rural economies
2. Support state and federal leaders’ efforts to resolve the Oregon & California Lands issue to increase active management, restore sustainable timber harvest, and revitalize rural economies
3. Protect rural jobs and communities by increasing the state’s wildfire initial attack capacity, addressing the affordability of protecting lower-productivity eastside lands; and phasing in a public-private funding partnership for large fires
4. Engage with state agencies identified in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 12-16 to promote wood products as a green building material, encourage innovative use of wood products and increase markets for Oregon wood products
5. Implement the recommendations of the state’s new Forest Biomass Strategy and continue state and federal support to develop Oregon’s biomass industry
6. Promote sustainable harvests from state forests, especially in depressed coastal communities

Who Is Involved?

Businesses

The Wood Innovation Center at Oregon State University maintains a directory of private companies in the forestry and wood products industry. This directory can be found at http://www.orforestdirectory.com.

Industry Associations

Association of Oregon Loggers.  AOL is a trade association, founded in 1969, to provide business services to contract logging firms and related businesses. AOL is the largest loggers association (in members) in the USA.
www.oregonloggers.org

Oregon Forest Industries Council – OFIC is a trade association representing more than 50 Oregon forestland owners and forest products manufacturing-related firms. Its members own more than 90% of Oregon’s private large-owner forestland base.
www.ofic.com

Oregon Small Wodlands Association.  The Oregon Small Woodlands Association was founded in 1960 as an organization that represents family forestland owners. OSWA has 20 active chapters statewide, representing 26 counties. The chapters organize local activities and produce information tailored to local needs.
www.oswa.org

Education and Research Institutions

Institute for Natural Resources – INR is a cooperative enterprise bringing the scientific knowledge and expertise of the Oregon University System and other Oregon higher education institutions to bear on resource management. INR works to provide Oregon leaders with ready access to current, science-based information and methods for better understanding our resource management challenges and developing solutions.
www.inr.oregonstate.edu

Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center – Oregon BEST is an independent non-profit that connects the state’s businesses with its shared network of university labs to transform green building and renewable energy research into on-the-ground products, services, and jobs that power Oregon’s green economy.
http://oregonbest.org/

Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) – The Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners. OFRI is funded by a dedicated harvest tax on forest products producers.
www.oregonforests.org

Oregon State University College of Forestry  – The College of Forestry (CoF) has been educating professionals for a century. They have earned a reputation as a world-class center of teaching and learning about forests and related resources. CoF offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in four departments; Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, Forest Ecosystems & Society, and Wood Science and Engineering.
www.cof.orst.edu

Oregon Wood Innovation Center – Oregon State University’s College of Forestry and Extension Service have teamed up to create the Oregon Wood Innovation Center. OWIC’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of Oregon’s wood products industry by fostering innovation in products, processes, and business systems. A key function of the Center is to serve as the primary link between university research and needs and opportunities in the forest industry.
http://owic.oregonstate.edu/

Nonprofit Organizations

Defenders of Wildlife – Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is one of the country’s leaders in science-based, results oriented wildlife conservation. They stand out in their commitment to saving imperiled wildlife and championing the Endangered Species Act, the landmark law that protects them. Although national in scope, Defenders has a strong Oregon presence with a northwest regional office in West Linn.
www.defenders.org/

Sustainable Northwest – Sustainable Northwest brings people, ideas, and innovation together so that nature, local economies, and rural communities can thrive. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Sustainable Northwest works in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Northern California. Through collaboration, they bridge rural and urban interests, encourage entrepreneurship, and build trust in sustainable natural resource management and utilization.
www.sustainablenorthwest.org/

The Nature Conservancy – The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The mission of TNC is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Although international in scope, TNC has a strong Oregon presence with a state office, a network of field offices and several preserves.
www.nature.org/oregon/

State Government Agencies

OBDD – The Oregon Business Development Department, aka “Business Oregon” offers a variety of programs and services to assist businesses coming to Oregon for the first time, as well as those that are already well-established in the state. Business Oregon focuses on five key industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Clean Technology, Forestry & Wood Products, High Technology, and Outdoor Gear & Apparel.
www.oregon4biz.com/

ODF – The Oregon Department of Forestry was established in 1911. It is under the direction of the State Forester who is appointed by the State Board of Forestry. The statutes direct the state forester to act on all matters pertaining to forestry, including collecting and sharing information about the conditions of Oregon’s forests, protecting forestlands and conserving forest resources. Specific activities include: fire protection, regulation of forest practices, promotion of forest stewardship, management of state-owned forestlands, and forestry assistance to non-industrial private woodland owners.
www.oregon.gov/ODF/index.shtml

ODoE – The Oregon Department of Energy was created in 1975. The department protects Oregon’s environment by saving energy, developing clean energy resources and cleaning up nuclear waste. To encourage investments in energy efficiency and conservation, the office offers loans, tax credits, information, and technical expertise to households, businesses, schools and governments. The office aims to ensure that Oregon’s mix of energy resources minimizes harm to the environment and reliably meets the office formulates energy policies, advances the development of renewable energy resources, and evaluates whether proposed energy facilities are economically and environmentally sound.
www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/index.shtml

Cluster Contact

John Tokarczyk
Forest Resources Planning
Oregon Department of Forestry