Benton County Forestry and Natural Resources

Forestry and Natural Resources for Benton, Linn, and Polk Counties

Forests and the natural resources associated with them are an important part the landscape, heritage and lifestyle of Benton, Linn and Polk Counties. We help woodland owners and managers take care of their property by providing objective, research-based information and resources they need to make well-informed decisions about how to care for their property. 

Photo by Lynn Ketchum

Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Core Programs

Basic Woodland Management

A five-session course for folks just starting out taking care of a woodland property. Topics covered include:

  • Getting Started: Assessing your property and your site
  • What’s Going on in Your Woods? Understanding tree biology and forest ecology
  • Taking Care of Your Woods: tree planting, care for an established forest, weed control
  • Getting it Done: Safety, timber sale logistics, and laws and regulations.

Mentored Management Planning

The four session Mentored Management Planning shortcourse guides you through the process as you write your plan.  Participants are paired with an experienced “mentor” who provides some one-on-one assistance while working through the plan components.

Master Woodland Managers

MWMs are qualified family forest land owners who receive approximately 85 hours of instruction in subject areas that range from management planning, ecology, and forest inventory methods.  This OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension training is meant to help them better manage their property as well as be effective volunteers and community leaders.  In return MWMs provide an in-kind service in through various volunteer activities.

Oregon Season Tracker

Oregon Season Tracker (OST) is a project of Oregon State University that aims to link natural resource managers, educators, researchers and others in the community to the science they use through collaborative citizen science.

Ties to the Land

The nationally recognized Ties to the Land succession planning program helps families communicate better about what to do with their natural resource property and how best to get it done. 

Oregon Master Naturalist

The Oregon Master Naturalist Program is for people interested in Oregon’s natural history and natural resources management who want to dedicate their time as volunteers. It provides an opportunity to learn about natural resources through the study of natural history of plants, animals, habitats, and geology, and other relevant topics.

Local Programming with Partners

Goods from the Woods

This annual event in held collaboration with the Linn chapter of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association is meant to highlight and celebrate the many great products and materials derived from local woodlands and forests in and around the mid-Valley. 

Farm Habitat Planning

This 4-6 session workshop in Collaboration with Horticulture Extension helps commercial farmers plan and manage for improved wildlife habitat on their farm properties with an emphasis on valley riparian woodlands.

Woodland Information Night

This is an annual winter event hosted by the Benton and Linn Chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and Extension.  Leadership and location rotates back and forth between the two Counties.

Twilight Tours

One of more offered each summer by the local Chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and Extension. 

Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) at Peavy Arboretum

GO Day is a National event held each June to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy nature.  The OSU College Forests and Benton County Extension host a GO Day event a Peavy Arboretum with 12 and under fishing, hikes, and other nature events. 

Tree Farmer of the Year Tours

A tour each summer to visit the property of the winner of each County’s Tree Farmer of the Year award.  Hosted by the local Chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and Extension. 

Photo by Lynn Ketchum
Photo by Lynn Ketchum

We bring extensive state and national expertise to the local community through our affiliation with the OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Program and the OSU College of Forestry.

Photo by Lynn Ketchum

Other Sources of Information

My Land Plan

This website from The American Forest Foundation can help you explore and discover how to manage your woodlands. Easy to use tools guide you to map your land, set goals, keep a journal and connect with woodland owners and foresters

Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association

Oregon Forest Resources Institute Oregon Forest Resources Institute logo

OFRI provides information about forestry topics of broad public interest, including clean water, responsible forest management, and minimizing fire risks. OFRI has programs for K-12 students, professional development and support for teachers, provides a wide range of educational events for forest landowners and has an extensive list of online resources relating to Oregon’s forests and forest management.

Oregon Department of Forestry  Oregon Department of Forestry logo

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), working under direction of the citizen Board of Forestry, serves Oregonians by helping to keep forests healthy and working. Top priorities include fire protection, administration of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, providing landowner assistance through the Private Forests Program,  as well as managing state owned forest lands. 

OSWA - Oregon Small Woodlands Association

Oregon Small Woodlands Association
1775 32nd NE/Suite C, Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503.588.1813

Oregon Forest Directory

This interactive site helps you search for products and forestry services (planning, weed control, logging) by region. 

ODF Sources of Native Forestry Nursery Seedlings

November 2016  

Forest Seedling Network

This interactive site helps you find seedlings and services too.

ISA - International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

The ISA is a professional organization that promotes the professional practice of arboriculture through education and certification.  It hosts a Find a Tree Care Service database which can be searched by city or zip code.

We have classes, tours, newsletters, Extension Publications, and online resources on many aspects of woodland natural resource management relevant to the mid-Willamette Valley, the adjacent foothills and mountains. 

Photo by Lynn Ketchum

OSU Resources

Cameron Demonstration Forest

This 260-acre property in the Soap Creek valley near Corvallis was given to the Oregon State University College of Forestry in 1995 by Elizabeth Starker Cameron. The tract is managed to demonstrate good private forest stewardship, to experiment with management alternatives for private forest owners and to provide income from periodic timber harvests to support a continuing program in private and family forestry at OSU.

OSU Extension Forestry

OSU College of Forestry


This great website is built specifically for family forest landowners of Oregon. It was created by the Partnership for Forestry Education, a collaboration of state, federal and private organizations (including OSU Extension), to make the management of forestland easier and more effective.  If you are looking for basic information about managing a woodland property- then START HERE!

The linchpin is the Learning Library which has over a dozen sections, including: 

     Planting Trees

     Thinning My Forest

     Habitat for Wild Animals

     Reducing Fire Hazard

     Forest Health

     Logging and Selling Timber

     Forest Protection Laws

     Weeds and Invasive Plants

Photo by Lynn Ketchum