CORVALLIS, Ore. - The concluding event of the 2010 Starker Lectures at Oregon State University is a field trip on Friday, May 7, that will allow participants to explore the ecosystem services provided by farms and forests.

The field trip is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. More detail can be obtained online at Participants will be provided with a free lunch as well as transportation. 

"It's undeniable that farms and forests produce much more for society than just food and fiber," said Rick Fletcher, a professor in the OSU College of Forestry and tour organizer. "But the marketplace mainly rewards land managers economically just for the food and fiber, with little incentive to maximize other outputs from the ecosystems like air, water, and habitat for fish and wildlife.

"Our field trip will visit sites near Corvallis where these non-food and non-wood ecosystem services are being measured, monitored and/or marketed."

Several speakers in the 2010 Starker Lectures will join the field tour, including Sally Collins, national director of the USDA Office of Environmental Markets, which plays a key role in advancing markets for ecosystem services provided by farms, forests, and ranches across the country. She will also present the final lecture of the series on Thursday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. Her presentation is titled "Next Generation Conservation - Investing in Ecosystem Services." 

The daylong field trip will begin at 9 a.m., leaving from the courtyard of Richardson Hall at OSU. It will travel to various sites and explore such topics as markets for wetland mitigation, credits for fish habitat restoration, managing lands for carbon credit offsets, and participation of public lands in these concepts. Along with Collins, presentations will be made by several federal, state, and county officials as well as representatives of non-profit organizations, watershed councils and others. Discussions will include the funding and other needs to make ecosystem service markets a reality.

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Rick Fletcher, 541-766-3554