Welcome to the Friends of OSU Old Growth website!
Our mission is simple: to protect the remaining old trees on lands managed by Oregon State University – and advocate for positive change in the College of Forestry.
The ecological, cultural, and spiritual value provided by old-growth trees greatly exceeds the monetary value gained by harvesting them. Of OSU’s ~15,000 acres of managed lands, only about 3 percent consists of old-growth forests set aside from logging.
In May of 2019, OSU logged ~16 acres of forest containing scores of centuries-old trees in their McDonald “Research Forest”, just north of Corvallis. One of these trees was found to be more than 420 years old – roughly three times as old as OSU! OSU’s forest managers knew these trees were old growth, yet they cut them in violation of their own management plan.
Concerns about OSU’s remaining, unprotected old growth – and their timber-centric approach to research and forestry education prompted us to form this group. OSU is a public university and these forests are public resources (despite what their forest managers have been claiming for decades). The title for these lands is held by the State of Oregon, not OSU or the College of Forestry. We believe these public lands should be stewarded in a way that “preserves and protects them for posterity” – as called for in the bylaws of the OSU Board of Trustees. Clearcut forestry has no place in these public, research forests!
In October, 2019, the interim dean of OSU’s College of Forestry changed the status of the remaining 36 acres of old growth near Sulphur Springs to “mature forest reserve“, protecting it for future generations. This stand was formerly part of their “future harvest program”. While we are pleased with this progress, many other sections of old forest remain unprotected. We will continue to advocate for protection of old-growth stands and trees on lands managed by OSU. This includes the Elliott State Research Forest (where OSU has played the central role in developing a timber-centric research plan).
Please help us spread the word to protect OSU’s remaining old-growth trees and forests by signing our petition and joining our email list.