Small Woodlands E-News - October 2012

Welcome to the October 2012 E-Newsletter of SW Oregon Woodland News.  Produced by OSU Extension Service, Jackson/Josephine Counties. Click on the titles below to be linked to articles and more information. 

Historic Vegetation of the Middle Applegate: October 18 Small Woodlands Program
The general consensus has been that prior to Euro-American settlement, many forests in the Applegate and elsewhere in SW Oregon were frequently visited by fire, resulting in relatively open conditions with little undergrowth.  This view has recently been challenged from some quarters.  October’s Jackson Josephine Small Woodlands Association program, co-sponsored by the OSU Extension Service, features two recent studies from OSU that shed light on these issues from different perspectives.  View the flyer.  Read the presentation abstracts.  

Timber Tax Information
If you are harvesting timber, this is important information to know about harvesting and timber taxes.  Here is a short summary from the Oregon Department of Revenue, and here are detailed instructions about how to complete the forms.   For more timber tax information, visit the Oregon Department of Revenue’s timber tax page.

Update from the Committee for Family Forestlands
The Committee for Family Forestlands (CFF) provides a family landowner's perspective to the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester.  The Committee’s work is guided by landowner inputs such as the 2005 Family Forest symposium and by emerging events…(read more

What are those funny cone-like things sticking out of the ground?
If you’ve spent time in the woods in southern Oregon, you’ve probably run into these brown or purple-colored cone-like organisms protruding from the forest floor or a nearby road cut.   Many have wondered what these strange items are…cones from trees?   Plants?   Read on to find out…

Largest diameter of any tree in Americas, madrones, bromeliads, and other botanical curiosities of Oaxaca
A tree with a diameter of 38 feet?  The Tule tree is the largest tree by girth in the Americas, and perhaps the world, greater in diameter than even the largest giant sequoia.  A recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico brought me to this remarkable specimen outside a church in Santa Maria, as well as a number of other plants, both strange and familiar….(more)

From the news
Editor’s note: These links are provided with the knowledge that a single newspaper or web story seldom provides the full context or all the details about a particular issue, let alone the “best science.”  My intent is to provide a snapshot of forest-related issues that are currently in the public eye and may be of interest to you, the reader.  I also provide links to analyses that I think are particularly insightful.  Articles are gleaned from various e-newsletters and other sources that cross my desk – and I only read a fraction of these!

Forest fires: Burn out (Nature)
Forests in the American west are under attack from giant fires, climate change and insect outbreaks. Some ecosystems will never be the same…(read more)

Poised to Rebound: The Oregon Forests report
(Oregon Forest Resources Institute)
Nearly half the state of Oregon is forested. These forests provide raw material for wood products and form the landscape that makes the state an attractive place to live, work and play. The forest sector remains a resilient and vital contributor to the state’s economy. As the economy improves, the sector is well positioned to rebound. This site summarizes findings from a new study about the economic impact of Oregon’s forests, The 2012 Forest Report.

Fourmile Canyon Fire Findings (Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service)
The Fourmile Canyon Fire burned in the fall of 2010 in the Rocky Mountain Front Range adjacent to Boulder, Colorado, resulting in the loss of 162 homes, making it one of the most destructive in Colorado’s history. Though a long way from southern Oregon, the findings from this case study make for very interesting reading about home protection and fuels reduction in wildfire-prone areas and are certainly relevant to the local situation. 

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