Plum Creek commits $500,000 for OSU water-quality research


CORVALLIS, Ore. Plum Creek, one of the nation’s largest private land owners with about 6.4 million acres in 19 states, has committed $500,000 to support an endowed research position in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

The endowed fund will support in perpetuity the Plum Creek Postdoctoral Fellow in Forest Watershed Science, a position to study the impacts of active forest management on water quality and aquatic systems. Recruiting for the position will begin immediately.

“OSU is one of the premier colleges of forestry in the country, and Plum Creek has successfully partnered with Oregon State on forestry research projects for decades,” said Rick Holley, Plum Creek  president and chief executive officer. “Through this endowment, we hope to help the university continue its success in addressing critical issues tied to water quality and water quantity.”

The quality and abundance of fresh water is growing in importance throughout the world, and about 80 percent of our nation’s fresh water originates on forests, said Thomas Maness, the Cheryl Ramberg and Allyn C. Ford Dean of OSU’s College of Forestry.

“Low summer flows in streams are a huge concern in the Northwest and around the world,” said Maness. “We know that active forest management and ecological restoration has a beneficial impact on water flows. This expanded partnership with Plum Creek means OSU will have a permanent research position to help create opportunities for improving watershed health.

“OSU has long been a leader in watershed research, but a prestigious partnership gift like this strengthens OSU’s reputation when recruiting post-docs, faculty, and students.”

The commitment is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, donors have provided more than $887.9 million toward the campaign’s $1 billion goal.

“Industry partnerships like this one with Plum Creek are essential to the university’s research and teaching mission,” said J. Michael Goodwin, CEO and president of the OSU Foundation. “Bringing a national leader in private land management together with our world-renowned forest researchers will help ensure OSU stays at the forefront of addressing some of the biggest challenges facing Oregon and beyond, today and well into the future.”