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A simple answer to this question is no. The Oregon Forest Practices Act requires that all forest lands need to be successfully replanted within two years of the harvest. This means that, although big trees have been removed, young trees have been seeded or planted in order to successfully regenerate the stand. In fact, in 1995 alone 65,724,000 seedlings were planted throughout Oregon. These small trees replaced the larger trees, and virtually all of the forest land that was cut will continue to grow as forest for the future.

Not all land in Oregon stays the same. Between 1984 and 1994, for example, 77,000 acres of forest land were lost to urban growth, road-building, and clearing for farms and pastures. The same time period 109,000 acres of farms and pastures, including Christmas tree farms, became forested. The trees were left to grow, so Oregonians saw a 32,000 acre net gain of Oregon forest land!

This chart shows our harvest of timber in Oregon since 1970. You can see that the harvest changes every year, and is dependent on many things. For example, an economic recession in the early eighties may have helped cause the decreasing harvest at that time. Concerns over the habitat for the northern spotted owl, and for declining salmon runs have affected the timber harvest trends of the nineties.

Snapshot— The bar on the chart for the year 1995, seen above, represents an annual harvest of roughly 4.3 billion board feet of timber. Timber was harvested off of 627,668 acres of land, around 2 percent of Oregon's forest lands. Of the area harvested, 524,701acres were partial-cut and 102, 967 acres were clearcut (less than 20 percent). During this same period of time the forests, young and old trees alike, continued to grow and the growth in Oregon, measured as the volume of wood produced, was more than the harvest.

For more information about what's happening in Oregon's forests, and what is being done to monitor our forest resources, visit the ODF website.