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Data Information and Reporting for Indicator A.c.
Oregon Indicator of Sustainable Forest Management A.c.
Compliance with forestry regulations

Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy A:
Indicator A.c. is one of three indicators that will measure progress towards achieving Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy A: Promote a sound legal system, effective and adequately funded government, leading-edge research, and sound economic policies.
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Other Indicators for
Stategy A Reporting

Desired trend:
High levels of compliance with Oregon Forest Practices Act requirements for reforestation and other activities on private lands.  Clear public policy expectations for private forest landowners' contributions to the protection and maintenance of public forest resource values.  High levels of compliance with management plan standards and guidelines on Oregon federal forestlands.

At-a-Glance: Condition, Trend, and Information
Symbol for Mixed or Fair Condition
Symbol for Uncertain Trend
Symbol for Partial Information

Why is this indicator important?
Photo of an ODF stewardship forester helping a forest landowner on the landowner's forestland
ODF stewardship foresters help forest landowners
Oregon’s public and private forestlands are among our greatest state assets and significantly contribute to the Oregon’s quality of life. Together, private and federal landowners (primarily the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) manage over 94 percent of Oregon forestlands. 
Private property rights and the role that private forest landowners are asked to play in providing the environmental, economic, and social benefits desired by the public are important issues to Oregonians.  The Oregon Forest Practices Act is a regulatory program that attempts to both promote continued active management private forestlands and ensure public values derived from these lands are protected.  It is important to track the ability for private landowners to continue to actively and profitably manage their forests.
The Northwest Forest Plan describes a management strategy for nearly 25 million acres of federally managed land in Washington, Oregon, and northern California in the range of the Northern Spotted Owl. The management strategy for the Northwest Forest Plan consists of detailed standards and guidelines and specific land use allocations, which provide a comprehensive set of ecosystem management frameworks for three interrelated strategies:  aquatic, terrestrial, and socioeconomic. Other U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in eastern Oregon are not addressed by the Northwest Forest Plan, but operate under standards and guidelines of their individual management plans. Effective federal implementation monitoring of projects against established standards and guidelines fosters improved management and more informed planning decisions. It helps identify the need to adjust desired conditions, goals, objectives, standards, and guidelines as conditions change. Monitoring and evaluation helps the federal land management agencies and the public determine how management plans are being implemented, whether plan implementation is achieving desired outcomes, and whether assumptions made in the planning process are valid.

What does this indicator tell us about sustainable forest management?
 Symbol for Mixed or Fair Condition
Private Lands:  The Oregon Department of Forestry tracks Oregon Forest Practices Act (FPA) notifications by type of activity (Figure 1) and monitors compliance with the FPA rules. The Department emphasizes landowner and operator education to ensure long-term success in meeting FPA goals and objectives. This strategy has been successful. Forest landowner and operator compliance with requirements to notify ODF of upcoming forest operations and with other FPA and forest practices rules has historically been high. Studies reporting on compliance with reforestation, leave tree, downed wood, fish passage, and peak flow, and best management practices requirements, show good to excellent fulfillment of FPA regulation requirements (Figure 2). Compliance with reforestation rule requirements over time has been close to 100 percent (Figure 3). Currently less than 10 percent of Oregon’s private forest land has timber harvesting activities significantly constrained (encumbered) by FPA rules, as compared to the 15-18 percent of private forest land in Washington reported as encumbered by the Washington Forest Practices Act.  Figure 4 shows the percent of the area of private forest land in Oregon encumbered by FPA riparian, wetland, landslide and public safety, and wildlife resource site rules since the FPA rules were implemented in 1972.
Federal Lands:  Compliance with the standards and guidelines in the Northwest Forest Plan were monitored by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management from 1996 through 2005. Overall compliance with the standards and guidelines was very high, ranging from 95 to 99 percent depending on the year (Table 1). Adverse biological effects associated with instances of noncompliance were judged to be minimal at the regional scale, and generally low to moderate at the local scale. While compliance with Northwest Forest Plan standards and guidelines were met, Northwest Forest Plan timber harvest levels were far below planned objectives.

Private Lands:  Previous investments in landowner and operator education will likely ensure continued compliance with FPA rules over the next several years. However, it is unclear how much budget cuts have reduced the capacity of the Oregon Department of Forestry to monitor compliance with the FPA rules. Unknown is whether a sufficient number of Stewardship Foresters are in the field to effectively enforce compliance with the FPA rules on private lands and to continue high levels of forest landowner and operator education.
Federal Lands:  Annual regional compliance monitoring was discontinued in 2006 due to high compliance rates (95 percent) and the need to direct monitoring funds to the local level. National Forest and BLM District managers continue to implement an adaptive management approach and report on forest plan monitoring and evaluation in annual reports found on most National Forest websites.

Private Lands:  Historical information about FPA notifications and rule compliance is readily available. Comprehensive studies monitoring compliance with FPA rules and of FPA rule effectiveness were completed by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Private Forests Program. Other than for tracking the number of operations, the FPA computer systems and databases and number of analysts are currently insufficient to adequately monitor compliance with FPA regulations. Note that the last year for which reliable reforestation rule compliance information was available in Figure 3 was 2000. In spite of a currently underfunded Private Forests Program, the Oregon Department of Forestry had committed to maintaining a compliance audit program and to developing updated FPA computer systems and databases. 
Federal Lands:  Compliance monitoring continues on an ongoing basis at the National Forest and BLM District level for selected projects and programs. Monitoring and evaluation occurs across multiple program areas including fuels and fire management, watershed restoration and wildlife habitat management. Recreation visitor use monitoring and air quality monitoring programs are ongoing and are conducted at the regional scale. 

Types of information produced by this indicator
This indicator will produce a report on project implementation compliance on federal forestlands with approved management plan standards and guidelines.  It will also produce reports on voluntary compliance with the Oregon Forest Practices Act by private forest landowners and operators, and the effects of  the Act's compliance on private landowners' ability to manage their forest resources.

Metrics and Data Sources

Data Source
Number of Oregon Forest Practices Act notifications of operations received from private forestlands by type of activityOregon Department of Forestry Private Forests Program
Percent of inspected private commercial forest operations that are in compliance with the Oregon Forest Practices Act by rule category, such as reforestationOregon Department of Forestry Private Forests Program

Percent of private forestlands directly encumbered by Forest Practices Act best management practices compliance1Oregon Department of Forestry Private Forests and Forest Resources Planning Programs
Summary of federal forest plan project implementation monitoring resultsThe Pacific Northwest Interagency Regional Monitoring Program
1Encumbered forest land includes lands in riparian buffers, significant wetland areas, spotted owl circles, and other special areas and steep areas with a high risk of landslide.

Report: Figure 1. Number of Oregon Forest Practices Act Notifications.
This is a graph displaying the number of Forest Practices Act Notifications by Type of Activity (Total, Timber Harvest, and Other Activity) for 1990 through 2008 and the estimate for 2009
Printable graph [JPG; 109 KB]

Report: Figure 2. Compliance Rates for Specific Practices or Features
This is a chart showing compliance rates for specific practices or features (e.g., reforestation, slash treatment, harvest, road work, wetlands and stream protection, etc.).
Figure 2
Printable chart [JPG; 59 KB]
Note: Data from the Oregon Department of Forestry Best Management Practices Compliance Monitoring Project: Final Report; April 2002

Report: Figure 3. Oregon Forest Practices Act Reforestation Rules Compliance
This is a graph that displays the percentage of Oregon Forest Practices Act Rules Compliance for 1994 through 2000.
Printable graph [JPG; 35 KB]
Printable graph [JPG; 56 KB]
Note: Encumbered forest land includes lands in riparian buffers, significant wetland areas, spotted owl circles, and other special areas and steep areas with a high risk of landslide.

Report: Figure 4. Percent of Private Forest Land Encumbered by the Oregon FPA.

Evaluation by the Oregon Roundtable on Sustainable Forests on this indicator
 Initial Roundtable Evaluation of Indicator A.c. 

Report: Table 1. Overall Rate of Compliance with the Northwest Forest Plan

Overall %
N/A = Data not available
For more information, and to download specific Northwest Forest Plan monitoring reports, visit the Northwest Forest Plan Interagency Regional Monitoring Program Implementation Reports and Publications web page.

Related State, National, or International Indicators
  • Montreal Process: Criterion 7 - Legal, Institutional, and Economic Framework for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management:
    • 2003 Indicator 51 (2010 Indicator 48): Extent to which legal framework encourages best practice codes for forest management.
    • 2003 Indicator 52 (2010 Indicator 49): Extent to which the legal framework provides for the management of forests to conserve special environmental, cultural, social, and/or scientific values.