Board & Committees

NOTICE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 2, 2017: The August 3, 2017 Alternative Forest Management Plan Subcommittee meeting has been canceled due to the statewide fire situation; the meeting has not yet been rescheduled for a specific date.
 
 
Summary of the Alternative Forest Management Plan Revision Project
 
April 2017
 
 
Financial Viability Work Group: The Financial Viability Work Group, consisting of eight Department managers, was formed in the fall of 2011 to assess the Forest Development Fund (FDF) decline and to explore ideas, develop options and recommend policies, strategies, and actions to maintain the Division’s financial viability.  In its analysis and search for alternative revenue sources, the Work Group evaluated many possible solutions, and noted that some mandated outputs of State Forests, such as fish and wildlife habitat and older forest structure, do not generate operating revenue.  The Work Group determined that payments for ecosystem services, increased public charges for recreation, and revenues for alternative sources merit further exploration.  However, timber receipts are likely to continue to provide the greatest share of revenue, especially in the short-term.  In December 2012, the Work Group produced their final report, with short-term and long-term recommendations for improving the FDF financial viability. 
 
Subcommittee on Financial Viability: On April 24, 2013, Governor Kitzhaber submitted a letter to the Board of Forestry with his recommendation to develop a new Forest Management Plan (FMP) with the Greatest Permanent Value (GPV) rule at its core, with a focus on financial viability.  On April 26, 2013 the Board Financial Viability Subcommittee produced their Synthesis Report describing the background on the declining FDF and with a recommendation from the Subcommittee to develop Alternative Forest Management Plans (AFMPs) and strategies to improve financial viability.
 
Subcommittee on Alternative Forest Management Plans: At the June 5, 2013 Board meeting a Subcommittee on Alternative Forest Management Plans (AFMP) was established and the Board directed the State Forester to convene a Stakeholder Group to help guide the Division’s work on the development of AFMPs.
 
 Stakeholder Group: At the September 10, 2013 meeting of the Subcommittee on Alternative FMPsAFMP Goals, Policy Sideboards, and Criteria for Success were established for the Stakeholder Group.  These goals, sideboards and criteria were discussed and endorsed unanimously by Subcommittee members.  The assignment for the Stakeholder Group was to develop and provide input to the Subcommittee on 1-3 approaches as alternatives to the current Forest Management Plan.  The Stakeholder Group worked toward these stated goals:
 
·        New FMP will be financially viable while improving conservation outcomes;
 
·        Adhere to proposed timeline; and
 
·        Consider ESA compliance options.
 
The Stakeholder Group was directed to work within the policy sideboards and use the criteria for success as a guide to determine if the management alternatives considered are likely to achieve a range of desired outcomes.  
 
Stakeholder Group Summary Report: The Stakeholder Group was formed in October 2013 and held four working sessions over a period of four months.  The members of the Stakeholder Group created a Summary Report with five high-level management options that reflect the diverse aspirations for the State’s forests: 
 
·        70/30 Approach
 
·        Timber Harvest Optimization
 
·        FMP 2.1
 
·        Restoration, Recreation, and Department Stability Plan
 
·        Land Sale Alternative
 
The alternatives are detailed in the report, along with the Group’s assessment of each alternative’s pros and cons as viewed by different members. The Group did not reach agreement on a single forest management alternative; however, all members agreed that the status quo is not sustainable – environmentally, economically or socially.
 
Science Panel: In December 2013, a Science Panel was formed to provide an independent, expert-based evaluation of the performance of each of the five management options proposed by the Stakeholder Group. The document Focal issues to be addressed by the ODF Science Panel informed the BOF of the issues the Science Panel intended to address and the scientific process the panel would use to evaluation the alternatives.  The key question for the panel was “How does each of the proposed alternative management approaches perform against the ‘Great Permanent Value’ goal relative to the status quo management?”
 
Science Panel Assessment Report: The Science Panel produced their final Assessment Report in August 2014, this report documents the Science Panel’s analysis of the alternative forest management approaches and where practical, their component parts.  With the ultimate goal of having the analysis contribute to the development of a new plan that will provide increased (or at least stable) revenue while also meeting the other objectives under the mandates of the Board of Forestry and the State Land Board.  The report was reviewed by the Subcommittee on September 4, 2014 and at public meetings with Stakeholder Group members on September 17 and 22, 2014. 
 
Draft Options, Landscape Management Approach/Land Allocation Approach: At the September 29, 2014 meeting the Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs, reviewed the Draft Options Package intended to address the twin goals of financial viability and improved conservation outcomes.  The draft options were a Landscape Management Approach and a Land Allocation Approach. The Landscape Management approach would build upon structure-based management and conservation designations set forth in the current FMP and the FMP 2.1 stakeholder proposal.  The Land Allocation approach would designate forestlands into zones, primarily for timber harvest production and conservation.  The Land Allocation approach would build upon the 70/30 stakeholder proposal.  A common set of overarching conservation measures accompanied each of the draft options including: to pursue a Habitat Conservation Plan, the conservation of habitat for Northern Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelets, Riparian Area Management, monitoring and research, and a conservation/recreation fund.  The Subcommittee considered the draft options and recommended the Board proceed with a Land Allocation approach.  The recommendation to move towards a Land Allocation approach is a significant shift away from the approach currently employed on State Forests known as Structure Based Management.
 
Public Survey and Comments: A report with the public survey and comments was produced in November 2014.  This report is the result of community meetings and ODF lead roundtables, allowing participants to weigh-in on the Oregon alternative forest management planning process.  The events invited community members to drive the conversation through initiating discussions, providing feedback and voice comments through an informal forum, with opportunities to interact with ODF staff and forestry-connected stakeholders.
 
Land Allocation Recommendation: At the November 5, 2014 Board meeting the Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs, recommended proceeding with a Land Allocation option to the Board (Staff Report).  The Board reached a unanimous decision to accept the Subcommittee recommendation to direct the Division to utilize a Land Allocation approach as the primary strategy for developing a comprehensive forest management plan.  The Board also directed the Division to consider a range of production strategies and conservation measures and to model and evaluate strategies and measures that present the highest likelihood of achieving the twin goals of financial viability and improved conservation outcomes. 
 
Draft Financial Viability Report: The Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs had a meeting on February 17, 2015 where the Draft Analysis of Financial  Viability and Conservation Measures document that defines and establishes principles for conservation and production was reviewed.  After discussion during their March 4, 2015 meeting, the Board of Forestry concluded that the best process moving forward would be for Subcommittee members to engage in an active exploration with the original group of stakeholders on the implementation and outcomes of a Land Allocation approach on State Forests.
 
Stakeholder Synthesis Report: At the April 22, 2015 Board Meeting, the Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs, reviewed their April 8, 2015 meeting with stakeholders on the concept of a Land Allocation approach to managing State Forests.  Several topics and themes emerged from the stakeholder responses which are in the Stakeholder Synthesis Report.  This was an informational item for the Board and no decision was made.  The Subcommittee expectation was to have staff use the stakeholder inputs to more thoroughly analyze the Land Allocation approach, bringing back to the Subcommittee information and/or reports that will help refine the detailed development of the Alternative FMP (memo). 
 
State Forests Alternative FMP Presentation: At the June 3, 2015 Board Meeting, the State Forests Division gave a presentation on Alternative FMPs, reviewing landscape-level data, forest growth information, and a basic understanding of current conditions and possibilities associated with managing State Forests. The presentation also covers planning area constraints, inoperable areas​, stand level inventory, and modeling information.  This was an information item for the Board and no decision was made.  The Board and the Division did acknowledge the importance of everyone continuing to move forward with the Alternative FMP process, recognizing the twin goals of achieving financial viability and improving conservation outcomes.         
 
Technical Expert Review Group (TERG): In the Summer of 2015 the State Forests Division convened a working group with the support of three stakeholder groups: the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties, the Oregon Forest & Industries Council, and the North Coast State Forest Coalition for the purpose of evaluating the data and modeling methods the Division is using to model the revised forest management plan.  The group, known at the Technical Expert Review Group TERG, consisted of three forest modeling experts and Division modeling staff.
 
Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs (Division Presentation and TERG Testimony): At the October 19, 2015, Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs meeting the Division provided a memo which included draft maps depicting potential production and conservation emphasis areas, model outputs, conservation metrics and other information.  The maps displayed current stand age and estimated stand age in 100 years within each emphasis areas.  The Division presented information describing forest and landscape conditions, fish and wildlife habitat, and distribution of threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Division also characterized potential spatial, financial, and conservation outcomes related to management of Northwest State Forests under a land allocation approach.  Draft results indicate that, under a 70/30 (production/conservation) Land Allocation approach, financial viability goals could be met for about 20 years, but beyond this time the Division would again face financial challenges due to a lack of sufficient harvest-age timber.  Members of the TERG provided testimony (OFIC, NCSFC and CFTLC) at the meeting, stating the that TERG process had been productive, but that more broad modeling was needed for the development of an Alternative FMP.  The Subcommittee directed the Division to refine the data modeling to better reflect current inventory and growth and yield, to continue modeling the 70/30, and to also model a three-zone approach, the current FMP, and the Forest Practices Act for comparison.  The Division committed to bringing a timeline with check-ins and decision points to the November 5, 2015 Board meeting for the modeling process.  
 
Board Direction to Model Four Management Approaches: At the November 5, 2015 Board meeting after a review of the October 19, 2015 Subcommittee on Alternative FMPs meeting and an update from the Division that the timeline for modeling was still in development. The Board directed the Division to model for closer evaluation the four management approaches in a Land Allocation context that would cover a range of production and conservation strategies and to consider pursuing a programmatic Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance tool. The approaches included management under:
 
1.      The current FMP
 
2.      A two-zoned approach
 
3.      A three-zoned approach
 
4.      The Oregon Forest Practices Act
 
State Forests Priorities Change: At the March 9, 2016 Board Meeting, the Division gave an update on the Alternative FMP process.  Given the urgency of ODF’s financial situation, the complexity of analysis needs, and the uncertainty posed by multiple Notices of Intent, the Division will focus efforts on four key priority areas:
 
1.      Third-party technical review of inventory and growth and yield data and processes for near and longer term use;
 
2.      Alignment of IPs with the current FMP and further implementation;
 
3.      Further exploration of ESA compliance mechanisms;
 
4.      Continued adaptation of State Forests business practices to seek efficiencies.
 
This was an informational item only for the Board and no decision was made. This change to State Forests priorities put the Alternative Forest Management Plan on pause. 
 
List of Key Documents