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Elliott State Forest Planning Update Elliott State Forest Planning Update Oregon Department of Forestry and Department of State Lands “Stewardship in Forestry”

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Presentation on theme: "Elliott State Forest Planning Update Elliott State Forest Planning Update Oregon Department of Forestry and Department of State Lands “Stewardship in Forestry”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elliott State Forest Planning Update Elliott State Forest Planning Update Oregon Department of Forestry and Department of State Lands “Stewardship in Forestry” Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 5/7/2015 Overview...  Background  Current management  Issues driving the plan revision  The proposed Habitat Conservation Plan  Current issues  Contingency planning  Summary and Next Steps

3 Background...

4 Elliott State Forest 93,000 Acres East of Reedsport 91% Common School 9% Board of Forestry Established in 1930

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6 Current management  In accordance with DSL Asset Management Plan:  “…manage forest lands to increase timber harvest levels to the extent possible while maintaining a sustainable, even-flow harvest of timber, subject to economic, environmental and regulatory considerations…”

7 Sustainable Harvest Level  Estimated annual biological growth  75 million board feet per year  2005 Cost-Benefit Analysis by Mason, Bruce, and Girard  Assumed one-third of forest primarily for protection of threatened and endangered species and Forest Practices measures  Resulted in sustainable harvest level of 50 million board feet per year

8 Current Management Since murrelet ITP expired in  1995 HCP for owl  Take Avoidance for Murrelet  Two seasons of dawn watch surveys  A/R Strategies of 1995 Plan  100-foot buffer on fish-bearing streams  50-foot on perennial non-fish  Protect channel integrity on all other

9 Current Management Landscape view...  55% of forest in year rotations (green)  45% of forest in year rotations (light blue)  23% of forest in reserves (overlaying) (dark blue)

10 Current Management Harvest and gross revenue...  475 acres clearcut harvest per year  500 acres commercial thinning per year  Approximately 25mmbf and $13.5 mm / yr Avg Annual Vol/Value mmbf, $7.9 mm Avg Annual Vol/Value mmbf, $13.5 mm

11 Issues Driving Plan Revision  Marbled murrelet ITP expired Oct. 3, 2001  Coho salmon listed February 2008  Broader scientific knowledge base now  Other species at risk for listing

12 Predicted Murrelet Habitat About 17,269 acres or 19% of the forest

13  Greatest long-term benefit to people of Oregon  Enhanced management certainty  Protects and enhances habitat for threatened and endangered species  Covers northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, coho salmon, and other species of concern Proposed HCP Multi-Species FMP/HCP...

14 Proposed HCP Draft Covered Species List… Fish  Coho salmon – coastal  Chinook Salmon  Steelhead trout  Coastal cutthroat trout  Chum salmon  Pacific lamprey  River lamprey  Brook lamprey Mammals  Fisher Birds  Northern spotted owl  Marbled murrelet  Bald eagle  Northern goshawk Amphibians  Red-legged frog  Southern seep salamander  Tailed frog

15 Proposed HCP Key Strategy Concepts...  Sustained, even flow of timber harvest to provide revenue to the Common School Fund  Conservation areas to protect most important existing habitat  Aquatic / riparian strategies that provide for properly functioning aquatic habitats  Habitat defined by structural characteristics of forest

16 Proposed HCP Landscape View...  Advanced Structure 40-60% of forest; includes 20-30% in conservation areas  Intermediate Structure 25-55% of forest  Early Structure 5-15% of forest

17 Proposed HCP Legend  Management Basins  Forest Boundary Lakes T&E Core Areas Unique, Steep, Visual Areas <50% Advanced Structure >50% Advanced Structure

18 Proposed HCP Harvest and net revenue...  650 acres clearcut harvest per year  1400 acres commercial thinning per year  Approximately 40mmbf and $16 mm /yr net Clearcut Volume 24 mmbf Thinning Volume 16 mmbf

19 Current Issues  Substantive comments on draft HCP/DEIS  Regional joint policy – USFWS/NMFS  Center for Biological Diversity Lawsuit  Other related issues –  Murrelet listing status  Withdrawal of BLM’s WOPR  Vacation of 2008 owl critical habitat revision  Review of 2008 owl recovery plan

20 Current Issues Substantive HCP/DEIS Comments…  USFWS  Level of murrelet take  Amount of owl habitat remaining at end of ITP  Addressing potential future barred owl issues  Monitoring habitat effectiveness  Monitoring unlisted covered species  NMFS  A/R strategies re: large wood, temperature, increasing road miles, mitigation for upland activities, identification of unstable slopes and implementation of BMPs  Consistency with other regional HCPs – WA DNR

21 Current Issues Regional Joint Policy…  USFWS/NMFS policy on ESA procedures  Inappropriate to use ESA Section 10 (HCP) for one agency’s species while using ESA Section 7 (Consultation) for the other agency  USFWS indication it may be possible to move forward with HCP that does not include NMFS species

22 Current Issues CBD Lawsuit…  Plaintiffs  Center for Biological Diversity  Umpqua Watersheds, Inc.  Cascadia Wildlands Project  Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center

23 Current Issues CBD Lawsuit…  Filed on August 11, 2008, in U.S. District Court against USFWS regarding the 1995 Elliott HCP  Failing to reinitiate consultation on impacts of logging on northern spotted owl in light of new information  Increased threats from habitat loss, barred owl and disease  Plaintiffs have requested that USFWS be enjoined to reinitiate consultation  Lawsuit stayed until Dec 31, 2009  Effect on HCP process unknown at this point

24 Current Issues Other Related Issues…  Murrelet listing status  Withdrawal of BLM’s WOPR  Vacation of 2008 owl critical habitat revision  Review of 2008 owl recovery plan

25 Contingency Planning  A – Retain 1995 owl HCP and take avoidance for murrelet  B – Suspend work on revised HCP, develop new plan using take avoidance, terminate 1995 HCP  C – Continue managing under 1995 HCP and revised HCP until revision process is successfully concluded  D – Sell Elliott State Forest  or Combination of B & C

26 Contingency Planning Alternative A…  Retain 1995 owl HCP and take avoidance for murrelet  Estimated volume mmbf  27 percent of biological growth  Pro – Certainty in relation to owl impacts  Con – Relatively low harvest volume  Timing – Immediate upon decision by SLB, BOF

27 Contingency Planning Alternative B1…  No HCP, State Forests take avoidance / modify 2006 FMP  Conservation areas 20-40%  Estimated volume 40 mmbf  54 percent of biological growth  Pro – Potential for higher economic return  Con – Legal uncertainty in regard to take avoidance standard; uncertainty in terminating/mitigating 1995 HCP  Timing – possibly begin take avoidance Sept 2011

28 Contingency Planning Alternative B2…  No HCP, State Forests take avoidance / new FMP that manages to FPA or other standards  Conservation areas 15-25%  Estimated volume 45 mmbf  60 percent of biological growth  Pro – Potential for higher economic return  Con – Greater legal risk in relation to listed species ; uncertainty in terminating/mitigating 1995 HCP  Timing – possibly begin take avoidance Sept 2011

29 Contingency Planning Alternative C1…  Continue multi-species HCP with USFWS and NMFS  Conservation Areas 25-30%  Estimated volume 30 mmbf  40 percent of biological growth  Pro – Increased flexibility and legal certainty  Con – Complex and lower harvest level than take avoidance  Timing – unknown – depends on federal processes – October 2010 at the earliest

30 Contingency Planning Alternative C2…  Continue multi-species HCP with USFWS only  Conservation Areas 25%  Estimated volume 35 mmbf  47 percent of biological growth  Pro – Increased flexibility and legal certainty  Con – Complex and lower harvest level than take avoidance; joint regional policy may prevent  Timing – unknown – depends on federal processes – October 2010 at the earliest

31 Contingency Planning Alternative C3…  Continue revised owl only HCP with USFWS  Conservation Areas 25%  Estimated volume 35 mmbf  47 percent of biological growth  Pro – Increased flexibility and legal certainty  Con – Complex and lower harvest level than take avoidance; continued murrelet surveying and set asides; joint regional policy may prevent  Timing – unknown – depends on federal processes – October 2010 at the earliest

32 Contingency Planning Alternative C4…  Suspend work on HCP while WOPR and NSO critical habitat is resolved  Conservation Areas 25%  Estimated volume mmbf  27 percent of biological growth  Pro – Clarity on how issues may affect process  Con – Could take several years to resolve issues; harvest level relatively low during this period; may not be a benefit to wait  Timing – unknown.

33 Contingency Planning Alternative D…  Sell Elliott in part or complete  Pro – Potential for higher returns to Common School Fund.  Con – Resistance by some constituent groups and public; unknown long-term whether this would produce best economic return for CSF  Timing – Begin implementation upon SLB decision; process may take 1-2 years

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35 Issue Summary  NMFS unlikely to accept proposed a/r strategies  Additional USFWS issues will reduce harvest  Uncertainty in regard to regional joint policy  Uncertainty in regard to CBD lawsuit  Other factors – WOPR, Owl Recovery Plan, Owl Critical Habitat

36 Basic Policy Questions  Is the volume and revenue cost of meeting the federal services request for changes to the HCP worth the management certainty an HCP would provide?  Would the potential for increased volume and revenue of a take avoidance plan be worth the uncertainty in sale planning, public trust and potential legal challenges?

37 Next Steps  December 8, 2009 SLB meeting  Details on alternative planning pathways for future management of the ESF  Public comment forum provided  February 2010 SLB meeting  Board decision on next steps for ESF management

38 Elliott State Forest Oregon Department of Forestry and Department of State Lands “Stewardship in Forestry”


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