SALEM - The Oregon Board of Forestry meets Friday in Salem to consider a draft of the 2003 Forestry Program for Oregon. Framed by the internationally recognized concept of sustainable forest management, the draft document defines the values, strategies and actions that will guide the board's decisions for the next eight years.

The Forestry Program for Oregon takes an integrated approach to the state's 28 million acres of public and private forestland, noting in the introduction that social, economic and environmental values are interdependent: "If environmental values are not protected, forest health and productivity will suffer. If economic values are not honored, society cannot afford to protect the environment or provide social benefits from forests. If social values are not accommodated, the license to manage forests for any purpose will be lost."

Several years in development, the 2003 revision of the board's strategic plan was written in concert with the Oregon Department of Forestry and a cadre of technical and policy experts drawn from universities and other state and federal resource agencies.

A diverse array of interest groups and individuals was invited to participate in development of the Forestry Program for Oregon. In April, the department and the board held a series of open house public meetings across the state to discuss the strategic plan and gather comments.

Through this public-involvement process, the department received several hundred comments from a broad cross-section of the public, including environmental organizations, the forest products industry and recreation groups.

Pending approval of the plan, the Department of Forestry will develop a more detailed, eight-year agency strategic plan.

The full text of the draft 2003 Forestry Program for Oregon is available on the Board of Forestry Web site, www.oregonforestry.org

The board will consider the draft 2003 Forestry Program for Oregon for approval during an all-day meeting beginning 8 a.m. Friday in the Tillamook Room, Administration Building C, at Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, 2600 State St. in Salem.

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