News Releases

Stay up to date with the latest OFRI happenings in our news releases, including updates on new publications, programs, conferences, events and board activities.

New initiative informs forest sector workforce, encourages employees to be “Forest Proud”
07.23.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new educational program from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute aims to help inform the approximately 61,000 Oregonians with forest-related jobs about contemporary forestry practices and instill a sense of pride of their work in the state’s forest sector.

“Forest Proud Oregon is designed for forest-sector employees who aren’t exposed to today’s responsible forest practices because their work doesn’t involve hands-on experience in the forest,” says OFRI Executive Director Erin Isselmann. The program offers a variety of educational materials for sector employers to distribute to their workforce that highlight current forest sector practices and values.

Forest sector companies can use the online Forest Proud toolkit to order or download the materials free of charge to share with their employees. These include fact sheets, a booklet for employees who are new to the sector, posters and slideshows for display in work areas, and infographics for sharing on social media. There’s also a Forest Proud Oregon webpage and Facebook page.

All of the Forest Proud materials reinforce key reasons employees can be proud to work in Oregon’s forest sector, helping give them the confidence to represent the sector to friends and neighbors and recruit new employees into the sector.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

OFRI board names new executive director
07.12.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Forest Resources Institute board of directors has named seasoned marketing and communications professional Erin Isselmann to serve as the Institute’s new executive director.

Isselmann, most recently the director of communications for the Portland Business Alliance, joined OFRI July 9. She has held communications and marketing leadership roles at several Fortune 500 companies, including Xerox, Tektronix and Conduent, and has more than two decades of experience in corporate communications, public relations and digital marketing.

The OFRI board hired Isselmann last month after an extensive search for a new executive director to lead the Institute following Paul Barnum’s retirement later this summer. Barnum will help with the leadership transition before he officially retires Sept. 1 after 10 years at the helm of OFRI.

“Over the course of her career, Erin has developed expertise in crisis communications, media relations, branding and social media,” says Quincy Powers, OFRI board chairman. “The board has every confidence she has the skills to lead OFRI’s forest-related educational messaging and collaboration efforts in our ever-evolving media landscape.”

Isselmann has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and political science from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in political science from George Washington University. An Oregon resident since 1996, she and her husband, Jack, live in Portland with their two daughters. 

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

New ads highlight wood innovation
02.15.2018

PORTLAND, Ore.With more than two dozen mass timber buildings – including offices, condos and schools – either completed, under construction or in the planning stages in Oregon, the state is rapidly becoming the national epicenter of wood building innovation.

Two new educational advertisements from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) highlight how these innovative buildings, often constructed with locally made wood products, are creating new connections between Oregonians and our forests. The 30-second video ads begin airing in television markets statewide and online this month, and will continue through mid-May.

The Institute is launching new messaging this year in light of the upsurge in new mass timber construction in Oregon. Local wood products companies have introduced lines of mass timber building products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) and mass plywood panel (MPP) made with the wood of native trees from Oregon’s forests. These engineered wood products are just as safe as traditional building materials, and strong enough even for building skyscrapers.

“While continuing to emphasize the importance of responsible forest management, our new ads will help Oregonians understand that wood from Oregon’s sustainably managed forests isn’t just our legacy, it’s our future,” says OFRI Executive Director Paul Barnum.

The ads, called “It’s Our Future” and “Big Idea,” can be watched on OFRI’s YouTube page. Both spots direct viewers to the Institute’s main website, OregonForests.org, which contains information about mass timber building, engineered wood, forest laws and sustainable forest management, among other topics.

 

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

New report details impacts of 2017 fire season
01.16.2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s 2017 fire season will be remembered as one of the worst on record, with large blazes such as the Chetco Bar fire requiring huge expenses to suppress. But there’s more to the story than the millions of dollars spent fighting this conflagration in southwestern Oregon, the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge, and the many other expansive wildfires that burned across the state.

A new report from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) outlines many of the other costs of a fire season that blanketed the state in smoke, forced the closure of roads and highways, and caused the cancellation of outdoor events.

Titled “Impacts of Oregon’s 2017 Wildfire Season – Time for a Crucial Conversation,” the 25-page report details the far-reaching effects of last year’s wildfire season. These include negative impacts to public health, transportation, tourism-reliant businesses, school athletics and iconic Oregon economic sectors such as the wine and timber industries. The report calls on the state’s leaders, scientists and policymakers to chart a course wherein Oregonians can co-exist with fire while simultaneously mitigating how it affects our economy and health.

“Fire plays an important role in Oregon’s fire-adapted forest ecosystems,” says OFRI Executive Director Paul Barnum. “Since we’ll never be ‘fire-free,’ it’s crucial for state leaders to discuss how we can lessen the impacts wildfires have on our communities. This new report is intended to bring attention to why such a conversation is needed now.”

Read the full report here.

About the Oregon Forest Resources Institute:

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. A 13-member board of directors governs OFRI. It is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.

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