Legal Update on Oregon’s State Forests………………. ………………..incase you were curious

kingsmountainwestside

Please read this mornings editorial in the Oregonian:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/04/oregons_state_forests_are_not.html

LOTS OF NEWS ABOUT THE STATE FORESTS!!!
TWO BILLS IN SALEM — COME AND TESTIFY — APRIL 21 at 8AM and 3PM

A VERY BAD BILL….APRIL 21 at 8AM
HOUSE BILL 3072 would change the purpose of the state forests to make the focus timber production.  The current law calls for the state forests to be managed for “healthy, productive, and sustainable forest ecosystems that over time and across the landscape provide a full range of social, economic, and environmental benefits to the people of Oregon.”   HB 3072 would be a disaster for the search for balanced forest management in Oregon.
HEARING SET:   TUESDAY, APRIL 21 at 8AM in front of the House Agriculture Committee.  And it looks like this bill will easily pass the committee with strong Democratic support.  We need to make our voices heard.  So come to the hearing if you can, or email key representatives…

SEND AN EMAIL TO…
Committee Chair  Clem:   rep.brianclem@state.or.us
House Speaker Hunt:  rep.davehunt@state.or.us
And Copy Committee Administrator Patrino:  beth.patrino@state.or.us
OR CALL Chair Clem…  503-986-1421

THE MESSAGE:  We ask that you oppose HB 3072.  The state forests should be managed for a broad and balanced mix of values.  Timber production should not have primacy over other values.
If you are someone who gets out in the forest, let them know what you love about the Tillamook and Clatsop.

A VERY GOOD BILL…APRIL 21 at 3PM
HOUSE BILL 3249 would give the Board of Forestry the power create natural resource conservation areas.  This bill is modeled after a similar law in Washington State, where DNR manages 2% of their land as formal preserves or conservation areas.  This bill is in the House Environment and Water Committee, and a key vote on that committee is likely Rep. Debbie Boone, representative of the North Coast.  Much of the state forest is in her district.  HB 3249 would add a valuable tool to the Board of Forestry’s toolkit.  The bill has no fiscal impact, because it creates no conservation areas; it simply gives the Board the power to act decisively for conservation.

HEARING SET:  TUESDAY, APRIL 21 at 3PM in front of the House Environment and Water Committee.  We need Representative Boone to support this bill — if you live in her district, it is really important that you contact her.

SEND AN EMAIL TO…
Committee Chair Cannon:  rep.bencannon@state.or.us
Representative Boone:  Boone.Rep@state.or.us
And Copy Committee Administrator Patrino:  beth.patrino@state.or.us

THE MESSAGE:  Support HB 3249.  The Board of Forestry should have the power to give a clear and long-term conservation focus to special places on state forests.  Some ODF staff have suggested that the Board might have such authority now, but it sure isn’t clear, and this would make it clear.

WILL THE BOARD OF FORESTRY WEIGH IN?
The Board is meeting to discuss HB 3072, and they could take a public position.  If you want to hear the call or give testimony, there will apparently be something set up at ODF headquarters in Salem at 10:30 on Monday.  See you there.

BOARD OF FORESTRY MEETING APRIL 24 in GRANTS PASS.
The Department will present a species of concern strategy to replace the draft HCP, but the new strategy was designed with a target for older forest far below the current target.  Today, 50% of the forest is heading for older forest (or at least it was 50%, see next item).  The new species of concern strategy is premised on 30% heading for older forest, thus opening the way for far more clear cutting.  JUNE 3 still looks like the big meeting for the scientific review that compares the current approach with the high-cut option.  Should be interesting.

STATE FORESTER REDUCES PROTECTED AREAS BY 50,000 ACRES
State Forester Marvin Brown tossed another 50,000 acres into the clear cut pool.  Why?  The counties want it, that’s why.  There was no scientific review of this reduction of environmental protections — not even a brief memo from the area biologist considering the effects.  (And this when timber prices are at the lowest level in decades, too!)

This science-free move hurts the Department of Forestry’s credibility and undermines the Board of Forestry’s attempt to be taken seriously on broader forest policy.  Forester Brown clearly has the authority to reduce the protections — he has now lowered the target for older forest to the lowest level allowed without a rule-making process.  But his authority aside, when he makes such a move without a scientific assessment of the effect on key species, the reputations of both the Board and the Department suffer.

GOVERNOR REMAINS SILENT
I guess the Governor has enough problems already, but the Board of Forestry sure could use his help right now fending off the chainsaws in the legislature.  Last legislative session the Gov. threatened to veto a bill that would have mandated a timber focus on the state forests, and the Gov. nudged the Board to consider whether to change the current plan.  Unfortunately, he then left the Board without a chairperson for a year, and he left two members serving for many months with expired terms.  Now that we finally have a full Board and a new chair, the Governor needs to tell the legislature to give the Board time to get it right.  The Board has requested a scientific review of various management options, and I think there may be a big decision in June or July (per above).

Together we can fight for and save what we live for

Together we can fight for and save what we live for


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~ by theriverwrites on April 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “Legal Update on Oregon’s State Forests………………. ………………..incase you were curious”

  1. […] something is amiss with current practices that have helped cause the ruination of the fisheries. Forest harvesting practices by some have contributed to this. One part of the equation for sure, but without enormous assurances  of the benefits to […]

  2. […] with bruited about practices that be subjected to helped create the ruination of the fisheries. Forest harvesting practices through some beget contributed to this. Sole part of the equation after sure, but without Brobdingnagian assurances  of the benefits to […]

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