CORVALLIS - A group of Oregon State University professors, staff and administrators spent a day in the woods recently, exploring the value chain of forestry from the forest floor to the retail floor.

The group, hosted by Willamette Industries and including members of OSU's Colleges of Business and Forestry, studied the balance between economic and environmental concerns in forest industry.

The day began with a presentation at OSU, including opening remarks by Duane McDougall, president and chief executive officer of Willamette Industries and a 1974 OSU College of Business accounting alumnus. Hal Salwasser, dean of the College of Forestry and business professor Steve Lawton, also spoke about the day's events.

The first stop was at a Soap Creek logging site just north of Corvallis, which was harvested earlier this year. An active tub grinder that was generating hog fuel for electric cogeneration was working at this site. The tour focused on rural and urban interfaces in forestry and the impact of neighbor concerns on forest utilization.

Also toured was an area with a fish-bearing stream that was logged last year and planted with tree seedlings this year. The stream habitat offered opportunities to explore issues such as riparian protection, stream restoration and competing vegetation.

At Willamette's Black Rock Forest near Dallas, the group learned about long-range planning, reforestation challenges, genetically improved seedlings, road design, construction and maintenance, legacy roads, and wildlife policy.

The tour then moved on to observe an active timber harvesting operation. The discussion focused on capital investment in the logging equipment and the importance of environmental concerns during harvest operations. The tour then headed out of the forest for a look at the Willamette sawmill in Dallas. At the mill, discussions focused on the future of the workforce and equipment used in the processing of logs in the mill.

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Maureen Reeves 541-737-6020