Over 250 forestry professionals and students gathered in Portland on May 11-13 for the 2011 Oregon/Washington State Society of American Foresters Joint Conference. Oregon and Washington SAF members include nearly 1,700 field foresters, researchers, administrators and educators who help study and manage the 51.5 million acres of public and private forests throughout the two states.
The group explored "Keeping Forestlands in Forest," with national and regional expert speakers and field trips that presented new ideas on forest production, ecosystem services and markets, lumber and log exports, and public policies and land conversion. The program kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with a series of five keynote presentations by Matt Donegan (Forest Capital Partners), Sally Collins (USDA Office of Ecosystem Services - retired), Dave Cox (Mason, Bruce & Girard - retired), Cal Joyner (USDA Forest Service Region 6), and Michael Goergen (SAF National Office).
Concurrent technical sessions followed on Thursday with over 36 speakers examining the topics of "Improving Timber Resource Values through Forest Production;" Improving Non-Timber Resource Values (Ecosystem Services);" "Improving Timber Resource Values through Marketing;" Public Policies Affecting Forest Conversion;" and a full-day "Wildlife in Managed Forests Symposium." The Wildlife Symposium was co-sponsored by the Oregon and Washington Chapters of The Wildlife Society, in addition to SAF. The luncheon featured SAF President Roger Dziengeleski (from New York) speaking on "Sustainable Forest Management for Multiple Values." An awards banquet was held in the evening.
On Friday, the central location of the meeting allowed for five far-ranging field trips that complemented the indoor presentations. Highlights included visits to red alder plantations and conifer reforestation and management in the Columbia River area; wildlife and working forests interactive tour with stops at public, industrial and family forest properties; Willamette Valley Ecosystem Services tour including discussions on carbon credits, Oregon white oak restoration, wetland mitigation and salmon credits; forest products tour featuring value-added manufacturing with a focus on local wood species, and a hands-on forest inventory and analysis workshop held at the Magness Memorial Tree Farm in Wilsonville.
The joint conference also included a poster session, exhibitors, Foresters' Fund activities that supported the National SAF Foresters' Fund and various OSF and WSSAF programs, and great support of many sponsors.