Ben Deumling, co-owner and manager of the Zena Forest and Sawmill, talks about how we as Oregonians can realize a mutually beneficial relationship with our natural forest resources that can provide both healthy ecosystems as well as a robust local economy. He draws on the work he has done with his own business, as well as his work with landowners and forest policy in western Oregon. The Zena Forest is the largest contiguous block of forest left in the Willamette Valley, and a significant reserve of native Oregon white oak habitat. The forest is managed for long term complexity and resilience, while at the same time providing a steady supply of logs for the onsite sawmill and millwork operation. Ben is constantly working to bring these normally competing values of ecological and economic viability into alignment, and has pioneered the use of a wide range of locally manufactured wood products to that end.
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Event photo: Teresa Dalsager