Oregon State University
College of Forestry:     Forest Engineering | Forest Resources | Forest Science | Wood Science and Engineering

The PNWTIRC developed from concerns expressed by a number of forest geneticists in the region, that research efforts were not adequately keeping pace with the rapid expansion of applied breeding programs. In March of 1982, an ad hoc committee was formed with representatives from four private companies and Oregon State University (OSU). Their mission was to evaluate the need for additional research and explore methods of organizing it.

Based on an informal survey of current tree improvement research in the region and the results of a questionnaire by the Northwest Seed Orchard Managers Association, the committee concluded that additional tree improvement research was indeed needed to augment ongoing programs. Furthermore, the committee concluded that formation of a research cooperative was the best way to help meet this need. They believed that the funding could probably be secured, despite the poor economic conditions at the time, because many organizations in the region were already strongly committed to tree improvement. It was recognized that further delay in acquiring needed information would only lead to inefficiencies in breeding programs in the future and less revenue from tree improvement than anticipated.

A proposal for a cooperative to be centered at OSU was developed by the ad hoc committee and circulated among forestry organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest in October of 1982. Extensive review of the proposal occurred over the next six months, culminating at a public forum held in Corvallis on March 18, 1983.

Response to the proposal from many public and private forestry organizations was enthusiastic, so on July 1, 1983, the PNWTIRC was officially established. The membership includes representatives from public agencies and private forestry companies in western Oregon, western Washington, and coastal British Columbia.