Case Study

Urban Wood Reuse

Clackamas County, OR: Legislation to Develop Markets for Urban Lumber


Credit: Yuriy Granov

An Oregon House Bill requires that Clackamas County establish the Clackamas Forestry Product Cooperative as a pilot program for urban wood use.

Clackamas County, OR

51 inches of rain per year. The US average is 39. Snowfall is 2 inches.


88.2% white, 3.7% Asian, 0.8% American Indian, 0.8% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 3.1% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races

While some entities develop an urban wood use effort opportunistically or in response to an event (such as a major storm, or the arrival of an invasive insect pest like Emerald Ash Borer), Clackamas County took a strategic step to first examine what it would take to make an urban wood market function and succeed.

In 2015, the Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill 2984, relating to forestry product cooperatives. The bill establishes the project as a pilot for forest products from nonforest land. It allows the project to operate outside of city limits, or within city limits where cities have elected to participate. A key item is that it creates a regulatory system intended to grant immunity from federal and state antitrust laws to participants, so that materials can be aggregated and prices fixed at the project level rather than at the participant level. It requires the State Forester to set up procedures and guidelines for the operation and oversee of the project, including establishing prices for purchase and sale under the project.

The Bill provides for reporting to the Legislative Assembly on project progress as follows:

  • In September 2015, report to an interim economic development committee;
  • In 2016, report to the regular session of the Legislative Assembly;
  • In September 2016, report to an interim economic development committee; and,
  • In 2017, issue a final report to the regular session of the Legislative Assembly.

This economic development project is innovative in its approach of using state legislation to create a county pilot project focused on developing a market cooperative for forest products from nonforest lands. The involvement of the state legislature, county officials, the State Forester, and the private sector, form an insightful partnership. Clackamas County can set a standard statewide for urban wood utilization.


Clackamas County

Oregon State Forester

State of Oregon

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