Young trees grow beside a seasonal pond in OSU's Dunn Forest. (Photo by Steve Lundeberg, OSU News and Research Communications)

The Oregon State University College of Forestry invites community members to a listening session Wednesday, Aug. 31, regarding the development of a new management plan for the OSU-owned McDonald and Dunn research forests.

Together the two forests cover roughly 12,000 acres in the Coast Range foothills northwest of Corvallis and are used by the public for a range of recreational activities.

The forests are presently managed under a plan developed in 2005. A few months after starting as the college’s Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean in 2020, Tom DeLuca formed a College Research Forests Advisory Committee to create a draft vision, mission and goals statement and to develop a process for creating a new forest management plan for McDonald and Dunn forests.

The listening session is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. People can attend in person in Room 117 of Peavy Hall, 3100 SW Jefferson Way in Corvallis and also via Zoom.

Those wishing to attend the Aug. 31 session are asked to register online. A Zoom link will be provided to those who select the virtual option, and doors will open at 6 p.m. for the in-person audience.

The listening session aims to generate suggestions for how the goals of the research forests can be incorporated into the new forest management plan. Participants will have the opportunity to provide input on the following:

• What should the plan include to ensure the forests provide opportunities for innovative education, research and outreach?

• What should the plan include to ensure the forests provide opportunities to learn about and demonstrate how sustainable management can balance multiple objectives?

• What should the management plan include to ensure the forests provide opportunities for recreation and community connections?

The listening session will be structured for a one-way flow of information from community members based on responses to the above questions, rather than in a format where college leaders and faculty reply to questions by those in attendance.

People attending in person should park in the lot labeled B3 behind Richardson Hall and enter Richardson Hall, which is connected internally with the Peavy Hall. Room 117 is on the first floor on the north side of the building.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by Aug. 29 to Ann Van Zee, ann.vanzee@oregonstate.edu.

The Aug. 31 session is the first of three the college is planning. The listening sessions are part of a collaborative input-gathering process that also involves an external Stakeholder Advisory Committee and internal Faculty Planning Committee, DeLuca said.

The committees kicked off the process with a joint meeting in June and will work in tandem for the next year to assist in the development of the new forest management plan.