Institute for Working Forest Landscapes

In November 2013, the College launched the Institute for Working Forest Landscapes (IWFL) to focus research programs on innovative approaches for managing landscapes that will enhance people’s lives and improve the health of our lands, businesses and vital ecosystems. Aimed to enhance our ability to deliver multiple and at times conflicting resources from a healthy, working forest landscape, the IWFL drives towards adaptive forest management techniques that integrate social, ecological, and economic objec­tives at the landscape level. 

The OSU College of Forestry works collaboratively to craft research with active involvement of multiple partners with different perspectives.

This approach is founded on the premise that individual and community livelihoods are intimately linked to the health and productivity of surrounding landscapes regardless of ownership boundaries. We seek to develop and test new active management models that bridge public and private forestlands in support of sustainable economic, biological, and social conditions that are the signature characteristics of healthy working landscapes and their associated communities. Our work advances the public’s awareness of the importance of active management in support of broad scale healthy working landscapes, conducting research and demonstrating management and stewardship alternatives to those responsible for Oregon’s forests. This work highlights how proactive management of forest lands can provide employment stability and public access in rural communities, ecological integrity, and long-term protection of key environmental attributes. 

RESEARCH THEMES

Intensively Managed Forests

This research work focuses on increasing the productivity, resilience, value, and marketability of private and industrial lands.

Project initiatives examine issues like financial management of plantations, growth and yield modeling, reforestation, forest operations, and biodiversity management, as well as how private lands can be managed more effectively to achieve overall landscape management goals by using markets for ecosystems services and other incentive-based systems.

Healthy People and Communities
Research focuses on the myriad ways that local economies and people’s lives are interconnected with public and private working landscapes, and how these economies and lives can be improved by actively utilizing forest ecosystems to provide both timber and non‐timber forest products from our public lands (including ecosystem services, recreational uses, and tourism) via new and innovative collaborations among varied interests and stakeholders.

Resilient Ecosystems
The science undertaken in this thematic area explores how the components of the ecosystem work, individually and together, such that we have a deeper understanding of what constitutes a healthy ecosystem.

Competitive and Innovative Products
Research seeks to examine and partner with industry to develop new products that are well suited to Oregon’s natural resources and competitive position in the global markets that now define manufacturing and sale of wood and other renewable materials. This thematic area strives to not only increase the value of Oregon’s natural resources, but also enhance the overall value added in products manufactured in Oregon’s communities.