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Forestry Board to meet June 5, 6 in Salem
Contact: Rod Nichols
The Oregon Board of Forestry will hold a special meeting in Salem June 5 on the state's goals for management of federal forestlands, to be followed by the board's regular business meeting on June 6.
The Oregon Legislature directed the board in 2005 to become more involved in federal forest policy and planning. A citizen committee was formed the following year to assist the board in articulating the state's vision of how the 16 million acres of federally owned forest in the state should be managed.
The June 5 and 6 meetings will be held at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters in the Tillamook Room - Administration Building (C), 2600 State St. The June 5 meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and the June 6 meeting at 8 a.m. 
The 12-member Federal Forestlands Advisory Committee (FFAC) will hold a joint public meeting with the board to discuss a set of draft goals that, in final form, will be part of a guidance document for state involvement in federal forestland management and planning. Federal forests make up about 56 percent of Oregon's forestland base.
The committee will also present a list of issues pertinent to federal lands and seek the board's help to identify overarching themes to be included in the document. The meeting is open to the public, and public comments will be received.
At 10 a.m. that day, the board will conduct an annual performance review of the State Forester in closed executive session.
At the meeting, department staff will give an overview of insect and disease damage to Oregon's forests in 2006. An aggressive eradication program held Sudden Oak Death disease at low levels within a 26-square-mile quarantine area of southwestern Oregon. Despite significant local infestations in central Oregon, bark beetle populations declined overall in Oregon. Increased damage occurred during the year from other insect pests and diseases.
Other agenda items include a department staff summary of performance measures intended to help the board determine whether certain state-owned forestlands, such as the Tillamook State Forest, are being managed to provide the "greatest permanent value" to Oregonians. Greatest permanent value refers to sustaining healthy and productive ecosystems that provide a full range of environmental, social and economic benefits - such as wildlife habitat, timber harvest revenue to local counties, clean water, and recreation opportunities.
The staff also will review a range of possible management scenarios for the lands.
If the board decides that current management plans need improvement, the department will begin examining possible changes, based on the board's direction.
The department's Fire Program will seek board approval to begin administrative rulemaking to implement several revisions to the Oregon Smoke Management Plan. The plan regulates controlled burning on private, state and federal forestland throughout Oregon to enable landowners to manage their lands effectively while minimizing the impact on air quality.
The board will bestow the Mary Rellergert Forestry Education Award on two individuals for their contributions over the past year to forestry education in Oregon. As the department's education coordinator in the Tillamook State Forest, Rellergert touched the lives of thousands of students and teachers. The award was created after her death in 2004 to recognize outstanding forestry educators throughout the state.
The June 6 meeting is open to the public, and comments will be received on forestry-related items not included in the agenda during a public comment period between 8-8:30 a.m. Members of the public wishing to comment on specific agenda items will have opportunity to address the board during the time each item is scheduled.
Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services or assistance can be arranged by calling the Oregon Department of Forestry Agency Affairs Office at least 48 hours before the meeting - (503) 945-7200, text telephone (503) 945-7213 (in Salem). Cordless listening devices will be available to anyone with impaired hearing. They may be obtained at the sign-in table in the Tillamook Room.
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD/.