High Value Conservation Areas (HVCA)
Showcasing conservation on Oregon’s state-owned forestlands
Delivering Greatest Permanent Value (GPV) benefits for Oregonians, the Board of Forestry approved high value conservation area designations in June 2013. These designations highlight unique conservation characteristics of different forestland areas, and demonstrate ODF’s commitment to ensuring important environmental activities continue for future generations.
The decision changed the Oregon Forest Land Management administrative rule (OAR 629-035-0030), renaming these conservation areas once known as "special stewardship areas," to high value conservation areas and special use areas.
High value conservation areas (HVCAs) highlight portions of state-owned forests where management is focused on wildlife habitat, aquatic and streamside habitat and unique, threatened and endangered plants. Special use areas are designated to show where forest management is influenced by special considerations, for example: cultural or historic resources, recreation areas, areas with public safety hazards or transmission lines to name a few.
Through dividing “special stewardship areas” into two new categories, identifying state-owned forest areas focused on conservation management becomes clearer to identify and understand.
The draft 2015 Annual Operations Plan for each of the state forest management districts contained information on the implementation of the revised Forest Land Management Classification System, including High Value Conservation Areas. These draft plans were available for public review and comment from March 17 through May 2, 2014. During this period, ODF held a series of open houses showcasing conservation areas in Forest Grove, Tillamook, and Astoria. Attendees learned more about state forestlands, forest management, and locations of conservation areas.
The public comments received during this period were reviewed and considered prior to approval of the Forest Land Management Classification maps by the State Forester and as the Districts finalized the Annual Operations Plans for approval by the District Forester. Those comments directed at a specific district are included in an appendix of the district’s Annual Operations Plan along with the district’s response. Those comments directed at two or more districts, along with our responses, can be found by clicking here.
You can visit conservation areas on your own, through our set of self-guided conservation tours: