COF News & Events

Thinning Oregon forests develops spotted owl habitat, chases away flying squirrels -- the owls' chief prey

A new study by Oregon State University researchers indicates that thinning Douglas firs, which gives them more room to grow and develop the old forest characteristics favored by northern spotted owls, is bad news for the threatened bird's primary prey.  The report was written by Tom Manning, Brenda McComb and Joan Hagar, with College of Forestry's Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society.

Christmas trees get greener with new certification

A new sustainability program for Christmas trees, developed in part by the Oregon State University Extension Service, debuted this season.  For the first time, consumers can buy trees identified as the product of a Socially and Environmentally Responsible Farm. "A SERF-certified tree assures you that this real tree is grown using the best and safest methods known," said Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist with OSU Extension, in a press release.

Research Study Focuses on Beavers and Landowners

Oregonians know a lot about beavers and in general, they like them.  “We were surprised at how knowledgeable so many people are about beavers,” said Associate Professor Dr. Mark Needham of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University who recently completed a survey designed to quantify landowner attitudes toward beavers and about allowing them on their property. This statewide survey drew responses from more than 1,500 people.

How A Tiny Fungus is Starving Coastal Douglas Fir Trees

In 2008, scientist and College of Forestry assistant professor Bryan Black took core samples the diameter of a pencil from a forest near the north Oregon coast. Most of the trees were hemlocks and Douglas fir that had been undisturbed for about 90 years.  The trees had a particularly severe case of Swiss needle cast, a disease caused by a fungus that infects Douglas fir needles and starves the trees of carbon dioxide.

Silver (and gold) tips for picking perfect trees

Buy as fresh a tree as possible. "Check for smell first," says Christmas tree expert Mike Bondi, of Oregon State University's College of Forestry. "Crush a few needles in your hand and take a deep whiff of that wonderful forest smell. It should have a good, clean evergreen scent."

New OSU program grooms students to become top-notch workers

A new program at Oregon State University aims to help agricultural sciences and forestry students succeed in the workplace – and show employers that these OSU graduates are top-notch employees.  The program, called Leadership Academy, got under way this term with 10 students. Over the course of the year, participants will sharpen their ability to lead, think critically, communicate and work in a team.

Extreme photographer captures daredevils ski-ing higher than the clouds

A graduate of Oregon State University, adventure photographer Tyler Roemer has a degree in tourism and outdoor leadership. He has snapped pictures of rock climbing, white water rafting and hiking. But perhaps never anything as extreme as this. The Oregon photographer went up 11,000 with several professional skiers to capture incredible images of people skiing above the clouds. The skiers jumped off Mount Hood in Oregon and performed impressive aerial acrobatics with a mountain behind them and clouds beneath their feet.

Global warming prompts tree migration

A new report being released Thursday by Oregon State University has found what researchers are calling a migration of trees throughout the West —with some species disappearing from regions where they've thrived for centuries — due to global warming, insect attack diseases and fire. "Some of these changes are already happening pretty fast and in some huge areas," said Richard Waring, professor emeritus at OSU and lead author of the study.

OSU study shows downside of biomass power generation

The largest and most comprehensive study yet done on the effect of biofuel production from West Coast forests has concluded that an emphasis on bioenergy would increase carbon dioxide emissions from these forests at least 14 percent, if the efficiency of such operations is optimal.

'Albedo Effect' in Forests Can Cause Added Warming, Bonus Cooling

Wildfire, insect outbreaks and hurricanes destroy huge amounts of forest every year and increase the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, but scientists are now learning more about another force that can significantly affect their climate impact.  Researchers, including Beverly Law, a professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, conclude in a new study that the albedo effect, which controls the amount of energy reflected back into space, is important in the climatic significance of several types of major forest disturbances.