More than 60,000 Oregonians work in the timber industry, from seedling to sawmill. It’s the reforestation crews replanting seedlings after harvest, the silviculture foresters making sure those seedlings thrive into a healthy forest, the forest engineers designing forest roads and bridges before harvest, the loggers performing high-tech harvest operations, the truck drivers delivering logs and chips to the mill, the mill workers producing carbon-friendly building materials, the pulp manufacturers making paper and cardboard, the biomass facility operators producing green energy from wood residuals, and the nursery growers cultivating the next crop of seedlings to start the cycle again. It’s the firefighters protecting our communities from smoke and wildfire and researchers working on the next generation of innovative wood products. From top to bottom – the timber industry has a career path, and a future, for just about anyone.
Oregonians who work in the timber industry not only work in the woods, but they recreate in the forest and live in rural communities that rely on timber as an economic backbone for their livelihoods. Timber jobs are often some of the best paying jobs around, paying roughly three percent more than the average Oregon wage, and in some counties like Clatsop and Tillamook, pay almost twice as much as the average wage.
Private forests also provide ample recreation opportunities, and not just for those who live near them. Most large private forestland owners welcome a host of motorized and non-motorized recreational activities – from fishing, hiking and mushroom hunting to bird watching, horseback riding and even iconic Oregon races like Hood to Coast. Oregon’s 30 million acres of forests, and the dramatic sweeping vistas they provide, draw tourists from around the nation and the world.