Oregon Statutes - Chapter 526 - Forestry Administration - Section 526.277 - Findings; definitions for ORS 526.277 and 526.280.

The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) Forestlands in federal, state and private ownership comprise some of the most important environmental, economic and recreational resources in the State of Oregon. However, federal lands, and to a lesser extent state and private lands, are increasingly jeopardized by the risk of drought-induced mortality, severe insect and disease outbreaks and catastrophic wildfires.

(2) Enhancing forest health, wildlife habitat and other ecological values and reducing the risk of severe insect and disease outbreaks and catastrophic wildfires through forest management are of interest to the residents of this state. Federal and state funds have not proved sufficient to carry out the management activities necessary to achieve these goals on federal lands, and it is unlikely that the funds will be available on a continuous basis.

(3) The development of new market-based solutions to reduce the risk of severe insect and disease outbreaks and catastrophic wildfires may reduce the requirement for public funding. The development of biomass markets, including energy markets, that use forest biomass unsuitable for lumber, pulp and paper products as a primary source of raw material may assist in the creation of a sustainable, market-based model for restoring complexity and structure to Oregon’s forests.

(4) A biomass-based industry may provide a renewable source of energy, reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution from wildfires, improve fish and wildlife habitat, create jobs and provide economic benefits to rural communities. Through the collection and conversion of forest biomass, ancillary benefits may be realized through the improvement in forest health, the protection of infrastructure and the stabilization of soils within critical watersheds.

(5) The collection and conversion of forest biomass diminishes fuel loads and is an ecologically and economically sustainable practice where the reintroduction of fire is not appropriate.

(6) The policy of this state is to support efforts to build, and place in service, biomass-fueled energy production facilities that utilize biomass collected from forests or derived from other sources such as agricultural crop residue when:

(a) The facilities utilize sustainable supplies of biomass from cost-effective sources;

(b) The use of woody biomass for energy maintains or enhances the biological productivity of the land, taking into consideration transportation costs, existing forest conditions, management objectives, vegetation growth rates and the need to sustain water quality and fish and wildlife habitat; and

(c) The set of forest values to be sustained, in addition to wood and biomass for energy, is considered. Forest values include forest products, water, wildlife and recreation.

(7) As used in this section and ORS 526.280:

(a) “Biomass” means any organic matter, including woody biomass, agricultural crops, wood wastes and residues, plants, aquatic plants, grasses, residues, fibers, animal wastes, municipal wastes and other waste materials.

(b) “Woody biomass” means material from trees and woody plants, including limbs, tops, needles, leaves and other woody parts, grown in a forest, woodland, farm, rangeland or wildland-urban interface environment that is the by-product of forest management, ecosystem restoration or hazardous fuel reduction treatment. [2005 c.772 §3]

Note: See note under 526.271.

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Last modified: August 7, 2008