Our Forests is a volunteer based 501c3 nonprofit group whose mission is “To promote honesty, integrity, transparency, and fairness in the human use of our forests”. We are focused, efficient, and effective in engaging the public and media in timely and important forest issues. We are headquartered in “Logging Epicenter USA”… Eugene, Oregon.
Oregon produces the nation's largest timber harvest and contains some of the largest native forest acreages left in the United States. These old forest remnants are a prize worth billions to the timber industry. Insatiable, unsatisfied with the millions of acres they've already plundered, industry seeks to convert the last of our ancient forests into plantations.
To accomplish their goal, corporate timber has created a myth, reinforced by pseudoscience and half-truths featuring them as good forest stewards and “experts” in knowing what’s best for forests and people. Heavily influenced by decades of industrial propaganda, many people assume that clearcutting and increased logging are necessary to grow trees and to maintain healthy forests and a robust economy.
As the well-informed know, nothing could be further from the truth.
Our Forests has a long history of intelligently exposing the industrial myth of “sustainable” private forest logging and the inherent dishonesty of posing logging as good for the forest. We’ve worked to illuminate these myths for decades, highlighting the need to reform forest practices on private and public lands.
Private forest reforms are best initiated by helping the public to recognize and regain their forest resource ownership and rights. Yes, the people own the denuded and poisoned watersheds, degraded fisheries, and endangered wildlife within industry’s degraded lands!
One of our major goals is to make the public more aware of the plight of Oregon’s vast industrial forest, much of it fraudulently transferred from public to private ownership a century ago. Over two thirds of the logging occurs in these lands, the watersheds closest to our communities. The uncontested “right” of the timber industry to harshly liquidate, poison, and export these forests is a cornerstone of their grip on Oregon. It’s also a public disgrace!
Taking the timber industry to task over unjust forest practices and heavy handed politics is awkward for mainstream environmental groups since many are caught up in collaborations. This makes our niche- publicly challenging private forest liquidation, rampant log exports, and unfair timber taxes- even more crucial.
See our brief summary of “3 Private Reasons Public Forests Are Endangered” and the need for our work becomes more clear.
Our Forests evolved from the Public Forestry Foundation (PFF), a volunteer group of public interest foresters working in the 1990’s to reform forest management through greater public empowerment.
PFF conducted workshops with 2500 citizens and forest managers in 28 western forests. Labeled "forest peacemakers" by the Oregonian newspaper, we pioneered bringing stakeholders together to seek reforms. To complement this work,, our foresters designed and guided many modest "new forestry" projects throughout the West.
A 1992 PFF newsletter said “We help citizens to influence the management of their public forests.” Since then, we’ve evolved through several phases, including a decade of forest restoration work. In 2011, we returned to our roots… increasing the public’s sense of ownership and their right to manage and protect their forest resources.