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The Future
million years ago

The Future Forests of Oregon

Oregon's forests are dynamic over space and time. Forest edges move around the landscape. Forest succession occurs when forest composition on any area of land changes over time, over tens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of years. Oregon's forests have come along way since giant sloths roamed Oregon's woodlands.

A lot of people believe that the natural world never changes unless disturbed by human activity. But nature is very dynamic; it's in constant flux and it changes at many different time scales. In just days, for example, a succession of fungi and bacteria can colonize a fallen leaf, while it takes several years for pioneer tree species to become established in the gaps left by fallen trees. Given thousands of years, forests may become grasslands as climate changes, and species may evolve into entirely new species.

Harvard Professor of Science E.O. Wilson

Being chased by a giant sloth

In the thousands of years humans have lived in Oregon, Oregon's forests have changed. Forest was converted to other uses, forest died from insect attack and disease, land that hadn't been forest before grows forest now.

To help carry Oregon's forest legacy into the future, we must understand the forest, value it, and manage it well.

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