The Institute for Natural Resources is established at Oregon State University. In administering the institute, Oregon State University may seek the cooperation of other public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities).
The Institute for Natural Resources shall serve the following purposes:
Serve as a clearinghouse for scientifically based natural resources information.
Provide scientifically based natural resources information to the public in integrated and accessible formats.
Coordinate efforts with other state agencies and bodies to provide natural resources information to the public in a comprehensive manner.
Facilitate and conduct research.
Provide information and technical tools to assist decision-making on natural resources issues.
Assist the State Parks and Recreation Commission in carrying out the Natural Areas Program by maintaining a data bank that contains a classification of natural heritage resources and an inventory of the locations of the resources. At a minimum, the institute shall record in the data bank the location of state natural areas, the natural heritage resources in those areas, sites that are inhabited by rare species, and lists that rank by rarity species, plant communities and ecosystem types. The institute shall make the information included in the data bank available to private landowners, researchers and local, state and federal agencies.
Assist the State Parks and Recreation Department in carrying out the Natural Areas Program by reviewing and providing recommendations on proposals for registration and dedication of natural areas.
When making observations on private land, an employee of Oregon State University, or another public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) that is providing administrative support, who is compiling information for the Natural Areas Program pursuant to subsection (2)(f) of this section must obtain permission from the landowner before entering private land, collecting information or entering the information into the data bank.
Using existing resources, state agencies designated by the Governor shall enter into a memorandum of understanding, or other agreement deemed appropriate by the Governor, with the institute that defines and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the agencies in order to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that agency resources are used efficiently.
State agencies may contract with the institute to fulfill agency needs regarding the collection, storage, integration, analysis, dissemination and monitoring of natural resources information and natural resources research and training. [Formerly 352.239]