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Oregon land use planning keeps forest and farm lands intact, study finds

Oregon has lost only 2 percent of its non-federal farm and forest land since state land use planning went into effect in 1974 largely to preserve those lands

A new report by the Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service found that forest and farm lands have remained largely intact, but many scattered homes have been built since 1974 in forest lands, particularly near urban areas. The proliferation of new housing leads to concerns that forest lands may be reduced, or that the risk of forest fires increases.

“With an expected 37 percent population increase in Oregon over the next 30 years, this trend leads to key policy questions,” says Gary Lettman, forest economist with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The new report, Land Use Change on Non-Federal Land in Oregon and Washington, contrasts the experiences in Oregon with Washington, which has a decentralized land use planning.

To see the report:

pdf>www.oregon.gov/odf/RESOURCE_PLANNING/docs/land_use_in_OR_WA_web_edited.pdf.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.