What's happening in the forest sector?

The Blog
04.23.2012

Welcome to OFRI’s new and improved website, including our blog.

Eventually we’ll have to name it, but for now “The Blog” will do.

If you’re a regular visitor to Oregonforests.org, you may be surprised at all the changes – and maybe just a little confused. Why did OFRI go to all this trouble?

The story began when I joined OFRI in August 2008. I told board members and others that in the future we would need to rely more and more on the Internet to tell the story of Oregon’s forests. OFRI’s website, while good, was lagging behind other sites.

Two years ago, a consultant we hired to evaluate the site concluded we did a good job of reaching the forest sector, but a poor job of reaching the general public. Among the recommendations:

  • Make Oregonforests.org relevant and accessible to the public, especially younger people.
  • Connect the public’s use of forest products with the forests they enjoy.
  • Give answers to common questions about forests and forestry.
  • Ensure that all information is backed by solid science.
  • Maintain a library of publications, but make it searchable and relevant to young audiences.
  • Reach out to audiences using social media, video and interactive content.

It was clear that OFRI’s site was not doing the job on public education, and that we were becoming irrelevant. Oregonforests.org is our opportunity to celebrate Oregon’s forests and those who work in the sector. We believe the theme “Where Amazing Grows” will relate better to young people and those who rely on the Internet as their primary source of information.

Oregonforests.org is one of three new sites. Simultaneously, we are launching LearnForests.org for K-12 teachers and forestry educators. These folks need easily accessible sources of credible information that align with state standards and benchmarks for math and social science.

Later this year, we’ll launch a new site for forest landowners. This is a collaborative effort by the Partnership for Forestry Education, with funding assistance from a federal grant. KnowYourForest.org will effectively deliver information, publications and specialty content used by forest landowners.

The Blog isn’t equipped for comments just yet. In the meantime, if you have a comment about our new website, I’d be very interested to hear it. You can always reach me at barnum@ofri.org

For the forest,
Paul Barnum
Executive Director

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