McDonald-Dunn Research Forest Planning Process

The Oregon State University College of Forestry has started the process that will lead to new McDonald and Dunn Research Forest Management Plans. Per a memo from former Interim Dean Anthony S. Davis to the college community on Oct. 21, 2019, followed by a charge letter from Dean Tom DeLuca in October 2020, an advisory committee will identify the next steps in the Oregon State University Research Forests planning process. The work will include identifying individuals who will serve on a planning committee representing the various interests of the OSU Research Forests. As work continues to update the college's inventory of its research forests and following a delay due to the pandemic, the McDonald and Dunn forest management planning committee will likely begin its work in 2021.

The new McDonald-Dunn Research Forest Plan will be a complementary and essential component of the college’s mission, reflect the college’s diverse values, and position the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest to be a model of multiple value forest management. Developing the plan will reflect ecological, recreational, cultural, financial, operational, and other attributes that emerge through a robust process.

This process will be built on the principle that informed stakeholders lead to meaningful partnerships. Ultimately, the plan will address the changes anticipated from the impacts of climate change and identify potential climate change mitigation strategies, such as carbon storage, while emphasizing management for diverse forest characteristics. The plan will ensure that the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest serves as a base for the teaching, research, and extension activity of the College of Forestry.

While the new plan is under development, all operations on the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest will be conducted in accordance with the 2005 Forest Plan

Important Documents – Forest Management Planning Process

Aug. 28 and Oct. 2 Community Information Sessions – Question and Answer Summary 

OSU Research Forests – Frequently Asked Questions


2005 McDonald-Dunn Forest Plan

From 2004-2005, a faculty led committee came together to develop the plan with the help from public input. The plan was followed until 2009 and was reinstated in Fall 2019. Operations on the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest will be conducted in accordance with the 2005 Forest Plan until a new forest management plan is finalized.

The 2005 Forest Plan centered around four important themes created by a faculty led committee:

Theme #1: Short Rotation Wood Production with High Return on Investment. Establishes and manages Douglas-fir plantations to become financially competitive with intensively managed plantations of pine and other species in the southeastern United States and elsewhere, maximizing yields of wood products valuable for domestic mills.

Theme #2: High-quality, Growth maximizing Timber Production. Emphasizes long rotations of even-aged Douglas-fir dominated plantations, established, managed, and harvested on rotation cycles that optimize yield of high-quality wood, generally one to several decades longer than for Theme 1.

Theme #3: Visually Sensitive, Even-aged Forest. Seeks to create even-aged forests of primarily Douglas-fir using a two-storied, shelter wood system to maintain continuous tree cover with options for long-term retention of some shelter trees for non-wood forest values.

Theme #4: Structurally Diverse Complex Forest. Multi-aged, mixed-species forests of primarily Douglas-fir are established and managed using group-selection harvests, while maintaining structural diversity and associated habitats within stands.

Forest plan documents (pdfs):