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The timber industry for decades drove the economy in Oregon, a state where nearly half of the land is forest.
Today, the industry has changed. Logging in federal forests, once a major source of lumber, is a fraction of what it was before environmental restrictions. Dozens of mills have closed. Stands of trees that once required a crew of loggers to cut can now be felled by one person in a single machine.
But the state continues to lead the country in lumber production because of logging on privately owned land, which happens increasingly under the management of investment firms and pension funds rather than local timber companies.
Reporters Tony Schick of Oregon Public Broadcasting and Rob Davis of The Oregonian have been tracking forestry topics closely for years. They’ve written extensively about the use of herbicides in forestry, wildfire policy, campaign finances and the effects on drinking water.
Now, OPB, The Oregonian and ProPublica are teaming up to better understand the forces that are shaping the modern timber industry and the effects of those changes on the state, communities and timber workers.
Hearing your experiences can help us focus our stories with your communities in mind and hold the relevant institutions accountable. Please fill out this questionnaire if any of the following apply to you:
- You work, or have worked, in the timber industry.
- You work, or have worked, with a public agency, university, watershed system or other entity that regularly interacts with the timber industry.
- You’ve been affected by the timber industry because of where you work or live.
The more people we hear from, the better we’ll be able to grasp the impact that timber and logging have across the region.
We take your privacy seriously, and we’ll be the only ones reading what you send to us through the questionnaire. You can also email us at [email protected] to reach our reporting team.
This article Help Us Understand Logging and Timber Practices Across Oregon was initially published by Propublica