Small Forestland Owners Receive Added Relief from the Private Forest Accord’s Impacts on Harvest
By State Senator David Brock Smith
The Oregon State Senate passed House Bill 2161 B, a measure that will increase the value of small forestland owner forest conservation tax credit for Small Forestland Owners (SFOs) by increasing certified stumpage value by 25 percent.
“When the Private Forest Accord was passed during the 2022 Legislative Session, many of our Small Forestland Owners were negatively impacted by the loss of harvest potential and value on their forestlands of less than 5000 acres,” said Senator David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford). “These small forestland owners are family-owned businesses that play a critical role in our communities and their economies. Having many of these small forestland owners within my Senate District, I drafted this legislation to assist them and other SFOs across the state by increasing their forest conservation tax credit.”
Under current rules, a small forestland owner may apply for a forest conservation tax credit for an amount that is one half of the stumpage value (at time of harvest) retained between the inside edge of the small forestland owner minimum option and the edge of dry stream channel. For an example, for Types I and II areas, in western forests with fish-bearing streams, the buffer is between 50-100’ for large forest owners, whereas the small forest owner buffer requirement is between 50-100’ from the stream edge, with similar stream type, stream size and tree type classification (based on regional soil quality).
“The bill as I originally drafted would have doubled the value of the credit to the full stumpage value at the time of harvest in all the retained area and would have eliminated certain watershed restrictions. The forest riparian buffer zones would also not be applied on land that is designated exclusively for farm use. Violation penalties on these farmlands (beaver, wildlife) would have been reduced by half. The credit would have also applied to all timber retained at harvest.
“I would have preferred my original language and the greater benefits to our Small Forestland Owners the base bill would have brought them. I am however glad we were able to work towards these increased benefits for these family small forestland owners and appreciate the support in these efforts,” Brock Smith concluded.
Senator David Brock Smith represents Senate District 1, which includes Curry, Coos, and Douglas Counties. This press release and an archive of previous press releases issued by Senator David Brock Smith’s office are available on the web at: www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithd