CORVALLIS - Oregonians ranging from Gov. John Kitzhaber to a classroom of 6th graders; from business owners to homeowners; from politically conservative to liberal offer their thoughts on how to prepare for Oregon's future in a new publication from the Oregon State University Extension Service.

"Looking for Oregon's Future: What is Sustainability?" will be included as an insert to daily newspapers around the state, starting Wednesday, Oct. 31. The tabloid-format publication is a primer to encourage discussion on the big questions surrounding Oregon's sustainability and its role in the state's future, said Lyla Houglum, director of the OSU Extension Service.

"We wanted to get more people involved in asking what sustainability means to their lives, and what they think about it," Houglum said. "The OSU Extension Service, with its statewide presence, is a good vehicle for such a discussion."

"Sustainability" is sometimes defined as an approach to social, environmental and economic issues that requires all three to work together now, and centuries from now. However, the word's definition varies considerably, depending on the speaker, the subject, and the context.

Peter Bloome, the associate director of the Extension Service, coordinated the sustainability tabloid project.

"We decided to publish a tabloid on sustainability to encourage conversation and sharing of ideas," Bloome said. "The greatest challenge was to provide a balance between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability. The social dimension seemed the most difficult until the events of Sept. 11 underscored its importance."

Now, the importance of crafting a livable future has become more personal for everyone, Bloome said. "For me, sustainability is about the quality of life we want to make possible for our children and grandchildren."

"Looking for Oregon's Future" is scheduled to debut between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9 as an insert in Oregon's daily newspapers. The tabloid also will appear in some weekly newspapers over the next few months.

"Looking for Oregon's Future" features 33 stories, written in a conversational style. The stories examine views about sustainability, discuss issues related to the topic, and tell the stories of people involved in sustainability efforts across the state.

Oregon already is a national leader in sustainability through the Oregon Legislature's unanimous adoption this year of "Oregon Solutions," a plan to make the state's government agencies, businesses and communities operate sustainably by 2025.

The sustainability publication is available online. The web version includes an interactive quiz to test readers' knowledge of sustainability issues. A moderated, interactive message board gives web readers a forum where they can continue the sustainability discussion and contribute their ideas. The online edition is available at oregonfuture.oregonstate.edu.

Single copies of the publication are available without charge by calling 1-800-561-6719. For larger orders, e-mail puborders@orst.edu, or write: Publication Orders, Extension & Station Communications, Oregon State University, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119. Ask for EM8784. A fee may apply to larger orders. A brief study guide also is available.

In recent years, OSU has produced two similar publications intended to help Oregonians sort through key public issues: "A Snapshot of Salmon in Oregon" and "A Portrait of Poverty in Oregon." Copies of the poverty publication are still available. The salmon publication is out of print, but it can be read eesc.orst.edu/salmon.