Department of Forestry Records Guide
Agency History - Current Organization
The Department of Forestry is currently comprised of six divisions directing multiple sections within those divisions. The Executive Division is the main decision and policy making body within the department. The State Board of Forestry and the State Forester's Office are the main components of this division.
The Administrative Service Division is responsible for maintaining the Personnel, Service, and Financial sections of the department. These sections over see payroll, training, communications, and property control operations among many other programs within the Department of Forestry.
The Forest Management Division is made up of two sections: Forestry Assistance and State Forests. The Forestry Assistance Section is given the task of managing service forestry, urban forestry, and insect/disease management programs. The State Forests Section manages the lands and activities with Oregon's State Forest system including timber sales, reforestation, and environmental management.
One of the most important and extensive aspects of the Department of Forestry is the Protection Division, which is mainly responsible for forest fire protection and management. This responsibility is the oldest and most important within the department. It is also one of the main reasons for the division of the state into three fire protection divisions (Northwest, Southern, and Eastern) that offer better monitoring and quicker responses to fire emergencies. The massive responsibility of protecting Oregon forestlands from fire is augmented by smoke management, prevention, and forest practices programs.
The Resource Policy Division is responsible for the public affairs and forest resource planning sections of the Department of Forestry. Both of these programs work very closely with the rest of the department in order to form a cohesive and understandable message that can be transmitted to the general public, private landowners, and forest product businesses throughout the state.
In addition, the Department of Forestry administers three Operations Areas that include: Eastern Oregon, Northwest Oregon, and Southern Oregon. Each of these operation areas are administered through local districts that monitor fire threats and forest practices throughout their district. This delegation of department authority has been successful in managing the vast forestlands of Oregon.
The Department of Forestry has grown from a simple advisory board to being one of the most influential state agencies in Oregon. The wide-ranging programs of the department are intended to combine reasonable forest harvesting practices with a strong sense of environmental conservation. Its extended history has shown a strong commitment to both business and environmental concerns, requiring that no more than two members of the State Board of Forestry have vested interests in forest products harvesting in the state. There has been a concerted effort on behalf of the Department of Forestry to find a balance between these conflicting forestry interests in order to provide for the people and the forestlands of Oregon.
Note: Current Department of Forestry programs and records are described in a records retention schedule produced by the Oregon State Archives.