About the Tillamook State Forest
The Tillamook Burn, and today’s Tillamook State Forest which has emerged from the fires of the mid-20th Century, provide a compelling setting in which to teach about all the resources and values associated with this remarkable forest, and by association, forests elsewhere in our state and region.
The Tillamook Burn was the collective name for a series of wildfires that struck the northern Oregon Coast Range mountains in the 1930s and 1940s. The fires blackened more than 550 square miles and brought profound environmental, economic and social change to Northwest Oregon.
Today’s Tillamook State Forest is the product of a monumental reforestation effort undertaken in the 1950s and 1960s. More than 72 million seedlings were planted by hand-many of them by school children and volunteers-across the blackened landscape. The site of today’s TFC was entirely planted by school children in the 1950s and 1960s and was recently named a special Oregon Heritage Grove by the Oregon Heritage Tree Commission.
The young Tillamook State Forest is now a place of hope, providing a wide range of resources and experiences, from clean water to wildlife habitat, from timber and revenues to recreation.
Visit the Oregon Department of Forestry page for more information about the Tillamook and other state forests.
The vision for the Center grew out of a desire to share the unique and meaningful story of this landscape with future generations. Planning for the Center began in 1996, led by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust.
Following a major homework phase that included visits to other visitor centers in the region and discussions with resource specialists, teachers and project managers, planning and concept design began in earnest in 1997. Linked with this were property acquisition, and the development of interpretation and education programs. Long before any facility related developments, the Oregon Department of Forestry began offering innovative education and interpretation programs for schools and for forest visitors reaching more than 6,000 people each year. The strategy: create quality educational programs, and an interested audience, well in advance of opening the Center.
No state tax dollars were involved in creation of the TFC. The total cost of the project is $10.7 million, funded in part by a partnership facilitated by the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust. More than 400 donors-including foundations, individuals, business and organizations-have contributed to the project.