CORVALLIS - The research trends and needs in "intensive forestry" will be explored in a professional conference on Feb. 6 at Oregon State University.
Forest product companies of the Pacific Northwest are trying to help meet the nation's increasing need for wood products even as many of the public lands have been removed from timber production, and officials hope this conference will ensure that the research and educational programs of the OSU College of Forestry effectively assist in this difficult task.
"The practice of intensive forestry on many large industrial and some small private woodlands is allowing this country to meet much of its timber needs while we increasingly set aside our public forest lands for other purposes," said Tom Adams, professor and head of the OSU Department of Forest Science. "As a college, we want to do everything we can for our various constituents, including private industry, to make sure our programs meet their needs, the needs of the public, and result in the best forest management practices."
Intensive forestry, Adams said, is done with full observance of Oregon's strict forest practice laws that help protect streams, wildlife, soils and the environment. But within those constraints, intensive forestry usually refers to managing lands for the maximum production of timber. And in the process, the efficient production of wood products from these lands can help free up many other forests for less intensive timber production, or other uses.
The goal of this conference, Adams said, is to build bridges between OSU and the private forest products industry, review past work in this area, identify any needed changes in the College of Forestry's research programs, and inform the private sector about the role of the university as a source for innovation and answers to tough questions about intensive forest management.
OSU researchers will outline some past research done in the college that led to advances in forest regeneration, harvesting systems, tree genetics, growth and yield, and other topics. They will also explore fundamental research that could have value in the future, such as studies on nutrient cycling, ecosystem processes, soil compaction, riparian zones, forest hydrology, new wood products, genetic advances, landscape analysis, forest disturbance ecology and other issues.