TitleForests, Farms & People: Land Use Change on Non-Federal Land in Oregon, 1974-2014
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGray AN, Hubner D, Lettman G, McKay N, Thompson J
Date Published06/2016
InstitutionOregon Department of Forestry
CitySalem, Oregon
Keywordsagriculture, forestry, GIS, land use

Oregon has done remarkably well in preserving forests, farms, and rangeland from development. Ninety-seven percent of all non-Federal land in Oregon that was in resource land uses in 1974 remained in those uses in 2014. Ninety-nine percent of all non-Federal land in Oregon that was in resource land uses in 1984, after comprehensive land use plans were implemented, remained in these uses in 2014. With the housing industry still reeling from the 2007 financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, development of resource lands in Oregon hit a record low between 2009 and 2014. Development of resource land to low-density residential or urban uses is consistent with land use goals, plans, and zoning. Most development of resource lands occurs adjacent or close to existing developed areas, thereby minimizing development scattered though Oregon’s forests and farm lands. Structures continue to be built on lands remaining in forest, agricultural, and range uses at high rates, even after the implementation of county comprehensive land use plans. However, the impact of these additional structures on management of Oregon’s resource lands is lessened because most of the structures built are relatively close to land in low-density residential or urban uses. It is notable that for land in wildland forest use owned by forest industry and non-Federal public owners, both the rate of development of wildland forest to low-density residential and urban uses and the number of structures built on land remaining in wildland forest use remained low over the study period. Most development of land in wildland forest use occurred on other private (non-industrial) ownerships.


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