Forest Research Laboratory

Thomas Maness, Director
Steve D. Tesch, Associate Director
Roger D. Admiral, Associate Director

The Forest Research Laboratory (FRL) is Oregon’s research agency that helps solve problems, create opportunities, and develop new understanding and innovation about forest ecosystems, forest management and forest-derived renewable materials; its director is the dean of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. Established by the Oregon Legislature in 1941, the program is supported by state and federal appropriations and by research grants from public and private sources (see Oregon Revised Statute 526.225). In addition to research in campus laboratories and university forests, studies are conducted cooperatively in public and private forests and in laboratories and manufacturing facilities throughout Oregon and the world.

Faculty, staff, and students from the College of Forestry’s Departments of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management; Forest Ecosystems and Society; and Wood Science and Engineering contribute to a diverse portfolio of fundamental and applied research and outreach activities. Activities benefit from collaboration with many other departments and colleges at Oregon State and elsewhere. Communication of results to science peers, land managers, policy makers, and the public is a high priority.

Faculty are providing leadership in addressing many of society’s challenges at scales ranging from molecules to the globe, including topics such as:

  • Supporting the economic and social viability of rural communities
  • Determining the impacts of climate change on forests and how forests can lessen the severity of change
  • Protecting the sustainability of forests and the ecosystem services they provide, including water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and wood
  • Facilitating development and use of renewable "green" materials and energy
  • Fostering operations and manufacturing processes that are environmentally and socially acceptable, and economically feasible
  • Expanding the understanding and value of forests to society, especially in urban environments

The laboratory’s programs are designed to provide information that supports scientifically informed decisions about the management, conservation and use of Oregon’s public and private forest resources, and to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon’s forest-resource-based industries and businesses. Through its research and outreach education efforts, Oregon’s forests produce more wood products, water, forage, fish, wildlife, and recreation; green materials such as wood are harvested and used more efficiently and innovatively; some forests are used more intensively while others are conserved more effectively; employment, production, and profitability in forest-resource-related businesses are strengthened; and assistance is provided in maintaining a quality environment for Oregonians.

The FRL, the Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory of the U.S. Forest Service, the Corvallis-based Forest and Rangelands Ecosystem Science Center of the U.S. Geological Service, and related research conducted elsewhere on campus combine to form the largest concentration of forest sciences research in North America.