Kitzhaber issues order to support Oregon wood products
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Monday an executive order designed to goose Oregon's forest products industry.
Gov. John Kitzhaber on Monday issued an executive order designed to promote Oregon's wood products and sustainable forest management.
Kitzhaber announced the order while speaking at the Oregon Forest Industries Council's annual meeting Monday.
"Oregon is a leader in products that come from sustainably managed forests,” Kitzhaber said in a prepared statement. "Increasing the market for these products helps conserve forests and strengthen surrounding communities, while supporting our broader work to manage forest lands for long-term economic and environmental health."
The order asks state agencies to play a role in developing and promoting innovative uses of Oregon wood and asks the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop a way to rate wood products on their sustainability credentials.
Kitzhaber also announced his plan to convene a group of county, industry and environmental leaders to come up with a plan to help improve the financial stability of counties affected by the end of federal timber payments. He's also asking the group come up with a plan that addresses forest management in those counties that will be presented to the U.S. Congress.
Specifically, the executive order asks:
- The Oregon Department of Administrative Services to identify at least two construction projects to feature a heavy use of Oregon wood to highlight the non-residential uses of wood in construction.
- The Oregon Department of Forestry to work with other organizations to check out green building certification systems to make sure they adequately reflect the social, environmental and other benefits of Oregon wood.
- The Oregon Department of Administrative Services to investigate the increased use of Oregon wood in the renovation of state government buildings.
- The Oregon Business Development Department to work with other organizations to find ways to accelerate the commercialization of new wood products.
- The Oregon Business Development Department to work with other agencies and come up with a plan to present to the 2013 Oregon Legislature to increase the market for Oregon wood products.
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