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Sustainable Resource Management: Some Observations Regarding WDNR Lands B. Bruce Bare College of Forest Resources University of Washington Seattle, WA.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Resource Management: Some Observations Regarding WDNR Lands B. Bruce Bare College of Forest Resources University of Washington Seattle, WA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Resource Management: Some Observations Regarding WDNR Lands B. Bruce Bare College of Forest Resources University of Washington Seattle, WA October 24, Forks, WA

2 2 Qualification The opinions offered tonight are mine and not those of the BNR or the University of Washington.

3 3 One Key Goal for the BNR The board of natural resources shall establish policies to ensure that the management of lands and resources within the Department's jurisdiction are based on sound principles designed to achieve "the maximum effective development and use of such lands" (RCW ).

4 4 Observation From this statute it is clear (to me) that our fore fathers viewed the Department’s role as one of an active steward.

5 5 A Second Key Goal for the BNR Washington statutes regarding the administration of the federal grant lands also reflect the primary objective of maximizing the economic returns due the benefiting institutions (AGO Opinion 11, 1996).

6 6 Observations Case law throughout the West has generally upheld the notion that income generation is a paramount obligation of Federal grant land managers. Maintenance of the corpus of the trust must also be considered.

7 7 Categories of Lands Public lands: Lands belonging to, or held in trust by the state, which are not devoted to or reserved for a particular use by law. State lands: –School lands held in trust for the support of the common schools;

8 8 Categories of Lands –University lands held in trust for university purposes; –Agricultural college lands held in trust for the use and support of agricultural colleges; –Scientific school lands held in trust for the establishment and maintenance of a scientific school;

9 9 Categories of Lands –Normal school lands held in trust for state normal schools; –Capitol building lands held in trust for the purpose of erecting public buildings at the state capital for legislative, executive and judicial purposes; –Institutional lands held in trust for state charitable, educational, penal and reformatory institutions; and

10 10 Categories of Lands –All public lands of the state, except tidelands, shore lands, harbor areas and the beds of navigable waters.

11 11 Key Statutes: Multiple Use The management and administration of state-owned lands under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources to provide for several uses simultaneously (on a single tract and/or planned rotation) of one or more uses on and between specific portions of the total ownership (RCW ).

12 12 Multiple Use Legislature directs that a multiple use concept be utilized by the department of natural resources in the management and administration of state-owned lands where such a concept is in the best interests of the state and

13 13 Multiple Use the general welfare of the citizens thereof, and is consistent with the applicable trust provisions of the various lands involved (RCW ).

14 14 Key Statutes: Sustained Yield Management of the forest to provide harvesting on a continuing basis without major prolonged curtailment or cessation of harvest. (RCW )

15 15 Sustainable Harvest The volume of timber scheduled for sale from state-owned lands during a planning decade as calculated by the department of natural resources and approved by the board of natural resources.

16 16 Timber Harvest Policy The Department will manage state forest lands to produce a sustainable even flow harvest of timber subject to economic, environmental and regulatory considerations. (Forest Resource Plan, 1992)

17 17 Even Flow Harvest A sustainable harvest wherein the planned sale volume remains constant from one decade to the next.

18 18 Observations on Even Flow Most times, an even flow interpretation is more constraining and, hence, more costly to the trusts than a more flexible interpretation permissible under RCW But, it provides some degree of volume certainty to local communities. Favored by Federal land agencies.

19 19 Nondeclining Flow A sustainable harvest wherein the planned sale volume either remains constant or increases from one decade to the next over the planning horizon.

20 20 Modulating Flow A sustainable harvest wherein the planned sale volume fluctuates up (or down) within prescribed limits from one decade to the next over the planning horizon.

21 21 Observations on Modulating Flow The most flexible (least constraining) to a trust manager. Generally produces the greatest economic returns to the trust beneficiaries. Generally leads to the harvest of all over mature timber as fast as harvest flow constraints permit leading to a

22 22 Observations reduction in the planned sale volume until re-growth leads to an increase over time. The next slides illustrate a few of these points.

23 23

24 24

25 25 Planning Scenarios DNR: Uses 60+ year rotations; on/off base acre allocations as shown; no wildlife thins; no partial cuts in the year old age classes; even flow harvest constraints; no harvests in riparian or wetland areas; nondeclining late seral conditions.

26 26 Planning Scenarios ALTS: Uses 50+ year rotations; on/off base acre allocations as shown; wildlife thins; partial cuts in the year old age classes; + 25% change in harvest from one decade to the next; partial harvests in riparian or wetland areas if on-base; nondeclining late seral conditions.

27 27 W Washington Acreage Summary

28 28 Scenario Results

29 29

30 30

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33 33

34 34 Ideas as a Member of the BNR Consider adopting sustainable forestry as the guiding paradigm. Rethink how we group lands to form sustainable harvest units. Rethink the utility of the use of “on” and “off” base lands to meet our land management objectives.

35 35 Ideas as a Member of the BNR To better meet our economic responsibilities, ensure that all management practices pass a minimum economic test before inclusion in management plans. Take steps to ensure each trust that its lands are being managed to achieve the best results.

36 36 Sustainable Forestry Managing a forest to meet all existing regulations such that environmental, social and economic factors are balanced to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

37 37 Sustainable Forestry A land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation, growing, and harvesting trees for useful products while conserving soil, air, and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat and aesthetics, and protecting: a) the resource from fire, pests, and diseases and b) lands of special significance.

38 38 Sustainable Forestry Consider key values: –biodiversity –habitat protection and enhancement –riparian/wet land protection –protection of productive capacity –protection of endangered plants and animals –protection of cultural, spiritual, and historical sites

39 39 Sustainable Forestry Definition conveys the notion that sustainability applies to many resources in addition to timber; considers the needs of future generations as well as those of the present; is concerned with ecological functions and condition; and is as much a social and economic as a bio-physical process.

40 40 Sustainability Occurs at the Intersection SocEcon Env

41 41 Observations The challenge to actually define and implement sustainable forestry is tremendous. It may be the greatest challenge for educators, resource managers, scientists, and policy makers at the start of this Century.

42 42 Observations Our College is adopting sustainability as its key integrating concept. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are being redesigned to support: sustainable forestry, sustainable urban environments and sustainable enterprises.

43 43 Observations There are not many examples of where we have successfully achieved adoption of a sustainable forestry program in Washington. Some may differ arguing that the HCP for our WDNR lands is an example of such a program.

44 44 Observations Others might argue that forest lands certified under the FSC or SFI principles qualify as examples. Others would agree with me, citing lack of compliance with the seven indicators and 67 criteria to the Montreal Process to which the USA agreed.

45 45 Quick Look at Current BNR Policy Use an even flow model (Forest Resource Plan, 1992). Definition of ownership groups. Use of “off base” acres to meet policy goals. Individual vs. consolidated trust management plans.

46 46 Current Ownership Groups W Washington: –forest board transfer (16 counties) –Federal grant and forest board purchase lands (5 administrative regions) –Capitol State Forest –OESF A total of 23 separate even flow harvests.

47 47 Current Ownership Groups E Washington: –All State lands (5 administrative regions) A total of 5 separate even flow harvests.

48 48 Observation An even flow harvest model coupled with 28 independent ownership groups may lead to more volume certainty for each group, but comes at the expense of lost opportunities to the trust beneficiaries. We should re-examine this policy.

49 49 Observation We also need to re-examine how we establish the rotation age as well as the economics associated with all management practices included in our management programs.

50 50 Current BNR Policy Off base acres do not contribute to the sustainable harvest. They include lands: –too small, isolated or costly to harvest –can not produce another crop of timber within 80 years –of risk to public resources –deferred from harvest (owl habitat, old growth, gene pool, and mature natural stands)

51 51 Observation If we adopt sustainable forestry as our guiding management paradigm, we may wish to do away with most (all) categories of “off” base lands as we recognize that all lands support the generation of desirable outputs or functions. Our current use of on and off base is biased towards timber production. We should re- examine this policy.

52 52 Responsibilities Run Separately to Each Trust No sustainable harvest is currently determined for each individual trust. Lands from various trusts may be grouped into a consolidated management plan, but only if each trust is not disadvantaged. We need to re-examine this issue.

53 53 Conclusions Exciting times lie ahead as we evaluate the use of sustainable forestry on our state trust lands.


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