Legacy: A timeline >
The Future Forests of Oregon
The forests of today are a biological
legacy for the future.
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
of Science E.O. Wilson
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
To help carry Oregon's forest legacy
into the future, we must understand the forest, value it,
and manage it well.