Gilchrist, Sun Pass state forests deliver $1.09 million for county, local services along with environmental, social benefits
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry released a report to state forest trust land counties highlighting economic, environmental and social accomplishments in fiscal year 2021, including distributing nearly $1.1 million in revenue to Klamath County and local service providers.
Klamath County is home to the Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests, with a combined size of about 98,000 acres.
ODF recently released its Council of Forest Trust Land Counties annual report, which highlights the array of economic, environmental and social contributions from approximately 729,000 acres of actively managed state forestland. It includes a recap of timber sales and revenue distribution, conservation and forest health activities, and recreation use, including popularity and number of visitors, among other statistics.
Statewide, counties and local governments received revenues of $71.4 million in fiscal year 2021, collected from timber sales on state-owned forests. Revenues are distributed based on timber sales within a particular jurisdiction. Other highlights include replanting more than 3 million trees, hosting more than 11,000 campers at ODF campgrounds, and maintaining about 230 miles of trail.
Counties and local service providers receive approximately 64 percent of net revenues from timber harvests on state forests. The remaining revenues finance most aspects of state forest management, including ODF’s recreational offerings, environmental enhancement projects, replanting after timber harvest, and forest road maintenance. The state’s share of revenue was approximately $42.8 million in fiscal year 2021. The agency also receives a portion of all-terrain vehicle operating permit fees.
“State forests provide immense social, environmental and economic benefits, not just for communities around state-managed forestlands, but for all Oregonians,” said State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “As working lands, state forests generate essential revenue for rural communities, while also providing clean water for Oregonians, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and a place for people to reconnect with nature.”
State forests managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry are distributed across 15 counties, with the largest being the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests on the north coast, the Santiam State Forest in the northern Cascade Range, and the Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests in Klamath County. Other scattered tracts can be found throughout western Oregon. Many State Forests employees also are part of Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, providing critical resources and expertise during fire season.