LA GRANDE HOSTS SMALL DIAMETER WOOD PRODUCTS FAIR
More than 200 people are expected to attend the first Eastern Oregon Small Diameter Wood Products Fair, March 2-3 at the Blue Mountain Conference Center, 404 12th St..
The fair will feature workshops, panel discussions, exhibits, product design competitions, and networking events designed to help help eastern Oregon become a leader in ecosystem restoration, wildfire risk reduction and wood products utilization.
The event is organized by representatives from U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, OSU Extension Service, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Sustainable Northwest, Wallowa Resources, Grande Ronde Model Watershed and the Blue Mountain Demonstration Area.
Experts from around the region will discuss the available supply of raw materials in the eight-county region of Eastern Oregon; examples of desirable wood products made from small diameter and underused species; and networking opportunities for those interested in innovative manufacturing of small diameter and underused wood materials.
There also will be presentations from institutions on opportunities for financial, technical and marketing assistance, plus opportunities to learn techniques and approaches to handling small diameter and under-utilized material.
The public is invited, though the event should be of particular interest to entrepreneurs, forest products business owners, timber harvesting enterprises, conservation groups, wood-processing equipment vendors, builders and engineers.
Presenters from area businesses will discuss opportunities and challenges in the industry, including production, supply and marketing.
Businesses represented at the fair will include Burnt River Juniper, Bear Creek Timber, Community Smallwood Solutions.
Susan LeVan, a technology leader from the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory, will discuss the myriad uses of small diameter wood.
LeVan has spent nearly a decade helping rural businesses turn small wood into everything from laminated beams to filters for cleaning polluted water.
Marvin D. Brown, who was recently appointed by the Board of Forestry to be the Oregon state forester, also will be on hand.
Brown assists the board in carrying out policies affecting private, state and federal forests.
Brown is particularly interested in sustainable forest management and the need to achieve social, environmental and economic benefits.
Larry Swan, forest products and economic development specialist for the Forest Service, Pacific NW Region, also will give a presentation.
For the past 10 years, Swan has worked with Oregon private businesses, government entities, economic development and community organizations and industry associations to identify and develop cooperative public/private forest product projects.
Those projects are meant to benefit local businesses and communities, create jobs in rural areas and accomplish watershed restoration objectives.
The fair will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
The cost is $50 if received by Feb. 1, including lunch, snack, reception and registration materials.
Registration is $50, or $55 after Feb. 1. An additional late fee of $15 will be charged for registrations received after Feb. 15.