Department of Forestry Records Guide
Agency History - Introduction
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) performs a number of duties under its overall mission to "provide stewardship for Oregon's forests." These obligations range from fire protection to overseeing forest products and reforestation practices. The Department of Forestry oversees the management and protection of the state forest system throughout Oregon as well as the management of forest product harvesting on federal and private lands.
The Department of Forestry is divided into three local operation districts (Northwest, Southern, and Eastern Oregon), which allows for autonomy under the general supervision of the Department. The responsibilities and needs of the Department of Forestry have grown since its inception in the early 20th century requiring local control (i.e., quick decision making) while maintaining control over the general forestry practices in the state. Other than administrative restructuring, the Department of Forestry's main obligations of forest management and fire prevention have changed little.
The Department of Forestry is responsible for giving equal attention to environmental and business (logging, paper production) concerns. This is often a volatile and tenuous relationship with difficult choices and decisions made on behalf of the forested lands in Oregon. In response to many of these public concerns over the management and use of state forest lands, the Department of Forestry has made great strides in public affairs management and public awareness programs. These efforts have allowed the public to educate themselves on the differing perspectives concerning forest lands and activities in Oregon.