Quick Note: Public Review of State Forests Plans begins

Oregon Department of Forestry: A public comment period on nine annual operations plans and revisions to three implementation plans for state-owned forests managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) begins March 30. Written comments on the 2009-10 annual plans and the longer term implementation plans, along with the accompanying forest land management classification maps, will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 13. Submitted comments should be individually directed to a specifically identified plan or set of plans.

Open house meetings also are planned in mid to late April in Forest Grove, Tillamook and Astoria to discuss the revisions to the implementation plans and collect comments. Dates and times will be announced later.

The annual operations plans identify and describe specific projects such as timber sales, road maintenance, stream enhancement and recreation projects on the nine districts with state-managed forests.

Implementation plans assess the current forest conditions (a starting point) and project a “desired future condition” that extends out several decades. These plans describe management activities, such as harvesting, roads and reforestation, that will occur over a 10-year period and contain estimates of outputs – volume and stand structure – from the forests.

Implementation plans provide the objectives for the annual operations plans, and they link the goals and strategies found in the long-range forest management plans to the annual plans. The implementation plans being reviewed are for Tillamook, Forest Grove and Astoria districts, which manage the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests.

Also being reviewed are the forest land management classification maps, which describe the management emphasis for parcels of land. The classifications vary from general stewardship (actively managed), to focused stewardship (requires additional consideration) to special stewardship (restrictions apply).

The annual operations plans, implementation plans and forest land management classification maps are available at each district office and at the Salem headquarters. All these items are posted, effective March 30, on the ODF Web site.

? Annual plans at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/STATE_FORESTS/2010_AOP_Draft.shtml

?Implementation plans and forest land management classification maps at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/STATE_FORESTS/District_Implementation_Plan_Revisions_2009.shtml

Plans also can be requested from ODF planning specialist Roger Welty in Salem. Comments may be sent to him or to any of the nine ODF districts with state forestland, and the three districts seeking implementation plan revisions. Welty can be reached by phone (503) 945-7258) or e-mail at [email protected].

(Note: The nine districts and their contact information appear later in this news release.)

In the annual plans, the total projected 2009-10 harvest volume for all nine districts is 256 million board feet. This level is similar to previous years.

(A board foot is a unit of wood that measures a foot square and an inch thick. There are about 13,000 board feet of framing lumber in an average house.)

After public comments have been considered and any changes made, district foresters will approve the annual operations plans for their districts. The annual operations plans under review are for the period from July 2009 through June 2010.

The implementation plans for the three districts are being revised to be better aligned with the performance measures approved by the Board of Forestry, ODF’s policy-setting body. The Board of Forestry performance measures call for increased revenue and having 20 percent of the acreage of the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests in structurally complex (older) forest habitat in 20 years.

The proposed revision to implementation plan reduces the long-term goal for structurally complex forests from 50 percent to 40 percent. Revised plans set harvesting at about 167 mmbf, while still achieving the 20 percent complex structure goal in 20 years. The current harvest level is 186 mmbf. The current complex structure level varies by district, with Tillamook at 6 percent, Forest Grove at 16 percent and Astoria at 21 percent.

The current implementation plans were approved 2003. After public comments have been considered and any changes made, the revised plans will be submitted to State Forester Marvin Brown for approval.

All state-managed public forests are actively managed as working forests under management plans adopted by the Board of Forestry to provide economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregonians.

Most of the revenue from timber sales is distributed to county governments and local taxing districts, and to the Common School Fund to benefit schools throughout the state. From July 2007 to June 2008, timber revenue from state forestlands produced $51.2 million for counties, local school and local taxing districts, and $9.4 million for the Common School Fund.

The Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan provides guidance for the 616,000 acres in the following districts: Astoria (Clatsop State Forest), Tillamook (western two-thirds of the Tillamook State Forest), Forest Grove (eastern one-third of the Tillamook), North Cascade (Santiam State Forest), West Oregon (scattered tracts in Benton, Polk and Lincoln counties), and Western Lane (scattered tracts in Lane County).

The Southwest Oregon State Forest Management Plan covers 18,000 acres of blocked and scattered lands in Josephine, Douglas, Curry and Jackson counties.

Each district covered by the Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan and Southwest Oregon State Forest Management Plan has a 10-year implementation plan that describes how the management activities will achieve the goals of the forest management plans. The implementation plans are posted on the ODF web site at http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/STATE_FORESTS/District_Implementation_Plans.shtml

The Coos District manages the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest in Coos and Douglas counties under the Elliott State Forest Management Plan. The Klamath-Lake District uses the Eastern Region Long-range Forest Management Plan to manage 34,000 acres in Klamath County, including the 20,000-acre Sun Pass State Forest.

The comment period is part of an ongoing public involvement process. It provides an opportunity for ODF districts to share their annual plans – and this year, implementation plans – with the public. It also is a time for the public to ask questions and offer comments on the planned activities on state forestlands.

Public participation on state-managed forest issues – other than on annual plans – occurs throughout the year. Regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Forestry, Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee and State Forests Advisory Committee have time set aside for public comments. At any time, questions or concerns may be directed to field and Salem staff, including State Forests Division Deputy Chief Mike Cafferata (503-945-7351), or public information officer Jeff Foreman (503-945-7506).

When reviewing and commenting specifically on an annual operations plan during this comment period, it may be helpful to use the less-technical summary document as a starting point. If questions arise, refer to the more detail-oriented pre-operations reports.

Written comments providing the most useful suggestions for annual plans should focus on one or more of the following: enhancing consistency, improving clarity, providing new information, and improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Written comment on the following key parts of the implementation plans and forest land management classification maps would be most helpful: accuracy of current condition, balance of desired future condition, planned actions move toward desired future, revisions meet greatest permanent value rule, roads have insignificant impact on water quality, recreation meets visitors’ needs, and land classification appropriately designated.

Comments and questions may be sent to ODF district offices or the Salem headquarters. They also may be e-mailed to Salem (specific district should be identified) to [email protected]. Addresses and fax numbers follow:

State Forests Program, Oregon Department of Forestry, Attn: Roger Welty, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310. Fax: 503-945-7376.

Astoria District (Clatsop State Forest), 92219 Hwy 202, Astoria, OR 97103. Fax: 503-325-2756.

North Cascade District (Santiam State Forest), 22965 North Fork Road SE, Lyons, OR 97358. Fax: 503-859-2158.

Forest Grove District (eastern one-third Tillamook State Forest), 801 Gales Creek Road, Forest Grove, OR 97116. Fax: 503-357-4548.

Tillamook District (western two-thirds Tillamook State Forest), 5005 East 3rd St., Tillamook, OR 97141. Fax: 503-842-3143.

West Oregon District (scattered parcels), 24533 Alsea Hwy, Philomath, OR 97370. Fax: 541-929-5549.

Western Lane District (scattered parcels), PO Box 157 (87950 Territorial Road), Veneta, OR 97487. Fax: 541-935-0731.

Southwest Oregon District (blocked and scattered parcels), 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass, OR 97526. Fax: 541-474-3158.

Coos District (Elliott State Forest), 63612 Fifth Road, Coos Bay, OR 97420. Fax: 541-269-2027.

Klamath-Lake District (Sun Pass State Forest), 3200 DeLap Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97601. Fax: 541-883-5555.

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