Forest Land Management Classification System Rulemaking
The Forest Land Management Classification System (FLMCS) (OAR 629-050-0055) was adopted by the Board of Forestry in 1998. This rule states that State Forests be classified for the purposes of implementing forest management plan strategies. The FLMCS is a method of describing the management emphasis of an area of state forestland. The management emphasis identifies the extent to which an area of land can be managed for a variety of forest resources. It also identifies when a particular forest resource may need a more focused approach, or possibly an exclusive priority, in its management.
The current framework of the FLMCS places all state forestland within one of three land management classifications. The classifications are: (1) General Stewardship, (2) Focused Stewardship and (3) Special Stewardship.
Subclasses are assigned for the specific forest resources that require a Focused Stewardship or Special Stewardship Classification. Focused Stewardship has 13 subclasses, while Special Stewardship has 16 subclasses. Some of the subclasses identify areas for the conservation of natural resources, such as Aquatic and Riparian for streams, and Plants for threatened and endangered plants or unique plant communities. Other subclasses identify areas for the conservation of social values, such as Recreation for campgrounds and day-use areas. Finally, there are subclasses that identify administrative areas on the forests, such as Energy and Minerals for the rock quarries that supply material for surfacing the forest roads, or Transmission that identifies the rights-of-way of the large power lines that cross state forestland.
BACKGROUND OF RULEMAKING PROCESS
During the spring and early summer of 2010, members of the Board, Department staff, legislators and other interested parties began a conversation about the authority and mechanisms to provide enhanced conservation protection for specific areas of state forestland. An outcome of these conversations was that several parties developed specific language and mechanisms forming the basis of legislation that was introduced during the 2011 session as House Bill 2736. Conversation on this topic moved from the legislative arena to the Board's authority at the March and April 2011 meetings.
In April 2011, the Department was asked to recommend a pathway for Board work on conservation areas. The Board affirmed this work and incorporated it into the Board Work plan for State Forests in 2012, with a focus on opportunities to enhance visibility of conservation areas currently provided by existing forest management plans and policy. Staff determined that to achieve enhanced visibility for conservation efforts on State Forests, the administrative framework for the FLMCS would need to be amended.
Following preliminary review of proposed FLMCS rule language with key stakeholder groups and State Forests Division staff, the Board approved draft rule language in November 2012 (link below).
The stakeholder groups included the Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee, State Forests Advisory Committee and the North Coast State Forests Coalition. Review by Division staff included both Salem and Field staff that work to implement the FLMCS on a regular basis.
Proposed Rule Amendment (OAR 629-035-0055)
NEXT STEPS IN THE RULEMAKING PROCESS
Public hearings are scheduled as follows:
March 12, 2013 at the Community Hall in Cannon Beach (207 North Spruce) beginning at 6 pm.
March 13, 2013 at the Hillsboro Main Library (2850 Brookwood Parkway) beginning at 6 pm.
Written comments on the proposed amended rule may also be sent to ODF in any of the following ways:
John Barnes, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, 2600 State Street, Building D, Salem OR 97310.
The public comment period has been extended to run through April 19, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.