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Oregon Forest Practices Act
Key Elements of Oregon's Forest Practices Act
Operators must notify the Oregon Department of Forestry at least 15 days before starting operations to allow time for cooperative discussion before activities begin.

The FPA and forest practice rules apply to any of the following activities that are part of the commercial growing and harvesting of forest trees: 
  • timber harvesting,
  • road construction and maintenance,
  • slash treatment,
  • reforestation, and
  • pesticide and fertilizer use.

If tree stocking is below rule standards after harvesting, landowners must plant trees within two years and have a healthy, freely growing stand by the sixth year.

Slash Treatment
The forest practice rules allow burning and other valuable management tools as long as soil, air, and water are protected.

Chemical Application
The rules recognize that fertilizers and pesticides are valuable management tools, if soil, air, and water are protected.

Landslides & Public Safety
Harvesting and road construction on steep slopes above homes or roads are regulated to minimize the risk of landslides to public safety.

Road Construction & Maintenance
The forest practice rules recognize the necessity for a well-designed and maintained road system; soils and water quality must be protected.  more... 

The forest practice rules recognize timber harvesting as an important practice. Soils, wildlife habitat, and water quality must be protected.

Water Protection
Forest practice rules require tree retention along many streams, wetlands, and lakes. Operators must protect soils, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality.

Wildlife Sites
Operators must time operations and retain trees near specific wildlife sites to protect those sites and avoid excessive disturbance of specified wildlife species.

Scenic Highways
Operators must retain a screen of trees along certain state and federal highways.

Other Notes
  • Changes of Land Use: The FPA expressly does not prohibit changing the use of forestland to another use. However, such changes are subject to other state and local regulations.
  • ORS 527.722(4) allows counties to prohibit, but in no other manner regulate, forest practices in specific areas outside UGBs if an acknowledged exception to an agricultural or forestland goal has been taken. The intent of this allowance is to provide a way for counties to protect outstanding natural features if harvesting or other forest practices might damage them.
  • Nothing in the FPA limits local government authority over other activities associated with development permits. Local governments retain the authority to regulate those activities, regardless of whether they have adopted local forest practice regulations under ORS 527.722.
  • The Oregon Department of Agriculture notes that ORS 634.055 through 634.065 prohibit local governments from regulating storage or use of pesticides (only the state may do that). Based on this interpretation, if a local government adopted a local forest practice regulation, it would not have the authority to regulate forest pesticide use, even if the regulation met the standards in ORS 527.722.

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