Some of Oregon Small Woodland Association’s 2018 Successes
2018 was another busy and productive year for OSWA
At the Capitol:
OSWA was successful with its priority efforts at the 2018 Legislative short session. The $500,000 Eastside Fire Tax Relief, which was dropped during the 2017 session, was reinstated; additional state funding was provided for Sudden Oak Death (SOD) control in the south coast area; and the Oregon Department of Forestry received additional funding to pay for the expensive 2017 fire season.
A Carbon and Invest issue was introduced during the short session. It failed to get any traction, but the legislature promised a carbon bill in 2019. OSWA has been participating in the governor’s Natural Resource Carbon Working Lands Committee and Oregon Department of Forestry’s Carbon Working Group on Carbon issues. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) will be advising our lobbyist, Roger Beyer, on this issue. Roger is well respected in Salem and did an outstanding job of achieving OSWA’s priorities in 2018.
Board of Forestry:
OSWA participated in a Department of Forestry Smoke Management Review committee throughout 2017. A revised smoke management policy and rules are out for review and should be approved in 2019. The new rules will allow more prescribed burning in an effort to help mitigate the smoke associated with large wildfires while focusing on public health. Participants in the committee included the Department of Environmental Quality, forest landowners, health organizations, cities, and counties.
OSWA continues to be engaged with the Board of Forestry on upcoming issues such as riparian rules in the Siskiyou and Eastside Regions and possible rules associated with Marbled Murrelets.
OSWA’s Annual Meeting:
Over 180 members enjoyed OSWA’s 58th Annual Meeting in Springfield hosted by the Lane County chapter. Participants were treated to mill tours on June 28th, a full day of informational sessions focusing on the theme ‘Managing Family Forests into the Future” and an enjoyable Awards Banquet on June 29th, and 140 participated in the 2017 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year woods tour on Steve and Wylda Cafferata’s Family Forest on June 30th.
Neighbor to Neighbor Woods Tours:
In addition to the Cafferata Family tour, OSWA conducted three other Neighbor to Neighbor woods tours. One in Benton, Jackson, and Washington Counties and also hosted an event in Pendleton, to develop a new chapter for Morrow/Umatilla Counties.
Publications and Announcements:
Members received quarterly publications of the Oregon Family Forest News and the Northwest Woodlands magazine as well as Action Alerts and Legislative Updates.
Chapters held many local events and educational meetings plus kept members informed with their newsletters.
Membership grew 6% in 2018, slightly higher than the 4% in 2016 & 2017.