Urge the Oregon Board of Forestry to use best available science in State Forest management
Oregon's constitution requires the Oregon Board of Forestry to use the best available science in state forest management, something they are currently failing to do, as concluded by an independent science review team from Oregon State Universit's Institute for Natural Resources. On April 29th, this team presented their analysis of the controversial ‘Species of Concern’ management strategy and new ‘performance measures’ at the Oregon Board of Forestry meeting. These strategies are being used to justify increasing timber harvest on Oregon’s Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests.
Following the presentation of the science team's report on April 29th, Clatsop County Commission sent a letter to the Oregon Board of Forestry calling on them to use the best available science when making decisions about increasing harvest. Given Clatsop County's heavy reliance on timber revenue at this time, its dedication to using the best available science suggests a break with the Board and neighboring Tillamook County on their historical call to increase harvest no matter the consequences.
It’s time to send the plans back to the drawing board. The Oregon Department of Forestry is collecting comments on this issue until Wednesday, May 25 on the 10-year implementation plan for much of the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests.
Send a letter to the Board today asking them to reconsider the 10 Year Plan to use the best available science in order to protect our streams, endangered species and innumerable recreation opportunities on Oregon’s State Forests. You can use the sample letter below or write your own letter and send it to:
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310
Or click here to send a letter directly through the Sierra Club
We encourage you to contact the board any time prior to their next meeting on June 8th.
Dear Rod Nichols,
I am writing to provide comments on the draft Annual Operations Plan and 10-year Implementation Plan for the Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests that are now open for public comment.
I urge you not to approve the Annual Operations Plan and 10-year Implementation Plan at this time, and to instead work to develop plans that have a better grounding in the best available science, provide more protection for salmon anchor habitats, provide long-range protection from clear cutting in salmon anchor habitats, and retain a goal of 50% of the forest to be older and complex.
The current plans will result in much higher levels of clear cutting including in some salmon anchor habitats which creates unwarranted risks to salmon spawning grounds.
I am also opposed to the extensive road construction outlined in the draft Annual Operations Plan and 10-year Implementation Plan. Currently, the forest districts in the plan have more than 1600 miles of road, and the draft plans call for an addition 260 to 350 miles of new roads. Very few miles of road will be removed. We need fewer roads in many parts of the state forests in order to protect clean water and restore salmon streams, not hundreds of more new road miles.
The independent science review completed by Oregon State University's Institute for Natural Resources found that consistently the best available science was not used in developing these drafts.
Oregon law requires the use of the best available science in state forest plans, as well as for forest plans to restore salmon habitat. It is clear that you have not met even these most basic standards in the draft plans.
The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests belong to all Oregonians, but the 2011 Annual Operations Plan and 10-year Implementation Plan puts forward an approach that is far too focused on timber production over all other values.
I urge you to reject these plans and instead prepare plans with stronger provisions for conservation and recreation, including designating significant areas that would be permanently protected for salmon, recreation, carbon sequestration, and the development of old growth forest in the Tillamook, Clatsop and other state forests2011.
[your name here]