Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $3.6 Million for the Tualatin Mountain Forest Project 

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is awarding $3.63 million to further support the Tualatin Mountain Forest Project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Legacy Program. 

This new federal funding builds off of the $10 million foundation Merkley and Wyden announced for the project last year. The additional investment will further help the project conserve and manage the economically and ecologically significant forestland in Multnomah County. 

“It is essential to conserve Oregon’s forests to help ensure this land remains healthy, well managed, and accessible to Oregonians, visitors, and future generations,” said Merkley, who serves as chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the U.S. Forest Service and secured these funds in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill. “It’s great to see the Forest Legacy Program I’ve long championed continue to boost the Tualatin Mountain Forest project. I will keep working to make sure the federal government does its part to create and conserve healthy, resilient forests across Oregon.” 

“These federal resources expand outdoor recreation opportunities in the Tualatin Mountain Forest and invest in OSU’s world-class research into how this natural treasure can keep thriving despite the climate crisis,” dijo Wyden.  “I’m gratified these 3,000-plus acres in the Portland metropolitan area will be stronger as a result. And I will continue battling for similar multiple-use investments in Oregon forests that manage them with foresight for generations to come.”

The USFS’s Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is funded historically through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The FLP is also receiving a significant boost from the Ley de Reducción de la Inflación (IRA). Through the FLP, the USFS teams up with state agencies, local partners, and Tribes to encourage the protection of privately-owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. This award for Oregon is part of a larger $154 million investment this year through the FLP. This will support 26 projects to conserve nearly 168,000 acres of working forests that support rural economies in 17 states.  

Information about the award can be found below: 

  • $3.63 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the Tualatin Mountain Forest Project. This proposed acquisition will establish a 3,111-acre working research forest owned by Oregon State University. Pioneering forestry methods like climate-smart forestry, the project will serve as a national model for an actively managed forest that balances the needs of financial productivity, carbon sequestration, healthy watersheds, and diverse plant and wildlife communities. By creating public access to 24 miles of trails, this project will benefit both locally underserved residents and the Portland Metropolitan Area’s outdoor recreation economy.   

“We thank Senators Merkley and Wyden for supporting Trust for Public Land’s efforts to convert 3,100 acres of timberland into a climate-smart research forest,” dicho Mitsu Iwasaki, Associate Vice President and Northwest Director at Trust for Public Land. “Managed by OSU, the forest will serve as a hub for studying forestry practices and climate resilience. Additionally, it will feature 24 miles of publicly accessible hiking and biking trails near Forest Park, Portland, for everyone to enjoy. This project exemplifies how we can conserve our environment while enhancing outdoor access for all.”