Departmental News

FES newsletter released

The Forest Ecosystems and Society March 2012 newsletter is now available!

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Foraging Oregon truffles is dirty work, but the payoff is delicious

It wasn't the most auspicious beginning to a day of truffle foraging during the recent Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene. Dr. Daniel Luoma of Oregon State University began his introduction to Oregon truffles with the words, "There are 350 different kinds of truffles in the Northwest and most of them are really good squirrel food."

Forest Health in Oregon: State of the State 2012

Forest Health in Oregon: State of the State 2012 is a one-day conference and continuing education event designed to synthesize the current forest health conditions of Oregon forests by focusing on mortality agents and other factors that negatively impact forest trees.  It will be held on March 1 at the LaSells Stewart Center, OSU.

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Gail Achterman, Portland lawyer and lifelong public servant, dies of cancer at 62

Gail Achterman, a Portland lawyer and lifelong Oregonian whose record of public service spanned nearly 40 years in natural resources, environmental law and transportation policy, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at age 62.  Gail was an adjunct professor for FES, and recently retired as director of the Institute for Natural Resources.

Ries wins Vice Provost Award for Excellence from the Division of Outreach and Engagement

Paul Ries won the Innovation in Online Credit-based Teaching Award for his work as an affiliate faculty member in the College of Forestry. Ries employs an interactive approach to his forestry and horticulture courses that enhances student success by prompting them to think critically about the local and global environment. Congratulations, Paul!

How A Tiny Fungus Is Starving Coastal Douglas Fir Trees

In 2008, scientist and FES assistant professor Bryan Black took core samples the diameter of a pencil from a forest near the north Oregon coast. Most of the trees were hemlocks and Douglas fir that had been undisturbed for about 90 years.  The hemlocks were growing normally. But Black was shocked at what he saw in the Douglas fir samples.  “In 1984, these Douglas fir all but shut down,” Black says. “In fact, their growth was so slow that it wasn’t even forming wood around the whole circumference of the tree.”

Matthew Betts presents Hummingbird Highways

FES professor Matthew Betts will be presenting a talk titled "Hummingbird Highways: The impact of landscape fragmentation on tropical plant population" as part of the Living with Nature lecture series, hosted by the Greenbelt Land Trust.  He will be sharing his research on how tracked tropical hummingbirds are effected by landscape fragmentation and how the disturbance of these landscapes may shed light on pollination problems that are plaguing plants around the world.  This event happens February 15 at 7pm at the Corvallis Public Library.

Seeing the forest for the trees

On a steep, south-facing mountain slope about 20 miles east of Sweet Home, two dozen people are talking ideas for the management of 1,600 acres of mostly 40- to 110-year-old Douglas firs.  They represent the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State University, private timber land owners, environmental groups and loggers.  FES professor Klaus Puettmann represented OSU in the group.

An Ecosystem Being Transformed – Yellowstone 15 Years After the Return of Wolves

On the 15th anniversary of the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, a quiet but profound rebirth of life and ecosystem health is emerging, scientists conclude in a new report. “Yellowstone increasingly looks like a different place,” said William Ripple, a professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, and lead author of the study. “These are still the early stages of recovery, and some of this may still take decades,” Ripple said. “But trees and shrubs are starting to come back and beaver numbers are increasing.

New forestry projects show promise in Southern Oregon, professors say

Initial results from experimental timber projects in southern Oregon indicate it's possible to retain old trees, protect watersheds and wildlife and still provide jobs, a pair of forestry professors said. Jerry Franklin from the University of Washington and Norm Johnson of Oregon State University released a report summarizing their work so far on three pilot projects on Bureau of Land Management forests.