Pacific Rivers Challenges BLM Replacement of the Northwest Forest Plan

August 9, 2016 —

Eugene, Ore—Late Yesterday, Pacific Rivers and a coalition of stakeholder groups filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its Resource Management Plan (RMP) for western Oregon. The RMP, which directs management of 2.5 million acres of forested lands in western Oregon would replace the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) including the Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS).

By departing from the NWFP and eliminating the ACS, Pacific Rivers, lead plaintiff in the suit, asserts that the RMP violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the Oregon and California Lands Act (O&C Act). Pacific Rivers and its coalition partners contend that this plan ignores that the O&C Act is not just about board feet produced by Oregon forests, but also about protecting watersheds, vulnerable fish, and Oregon’s $12.8 billion annual outdoor recreation industry. The O&C Act is a multiple use act that should consider all the uses and needs of Oregon’s forests.

“The O&C Act was intended to protect a wide range of values” said John Kober, Executive Director of Pacific Rivers. “We believe that clean water, healthy rivers, recreational opportunities and other values are just as important as timber and provide a greater permanent value to the public.”

The NWFP and ACS preserve some of our most iconic rivers, protecting the drinking water of over a million Oregonians, and sequestering twice as much carbon as the proposed plan. The ACS was based on the best available science in order to provide a “scientifically sound” and “ecologically credible” strategy, ensuring logging does not damage critical salmon watersheds or drinking water sources. The ACS recognized the destructive potential posed by bad logging practices, particularly in streamside corridors. The RMP reduces streamside buffers by more than half across the landscape. Eliminating the ACS poses unnecessary risks to aquatic ecosystems, particularly as watershed health has been improving since the plan was implemented.

 

Contact: John Kober, 503-915-6677, john@pacificrivers.org

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