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Forestry Board meeting March 4 to focus on state, private forestlands
Contact: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, or
Dan Postrel, 503-945-7420
 
Ensuring the sustainability of Oregon’s state- and privately owned forestlands will top the agenda when the Board of Forestry meets on Wednesday, March 4 in Salem.
 
Private Forests – The board will discuss a draft issue paper on the challenge of retaining Oregon’s private forestlands in forest use. The paper summarizes the statutory and policy framework surrounding this issue, with an aim to help the board explore alternative policies for reversing the current trend toward fragmentation of forests and conversion of these lands to non-forest uses.
 
State Forests – The board will consider for approval a work plan that focuses on several issues pertaining to Oregon’s state-owned forests. The 2009 draft plan update identifies seven policy-level tasks:
  • Improve the board’s set of performance measures for ODF’s State Forests Division
  • Consider revision of the Northwest Oregon State Forest Management Plan to better achieve desired outcomes
  • Consider for approval a revised State Forest Management Plan and a federal Habitat Conservation Plan for the Elliott State Forest
  • Reaffirm the board’s vision for recreation on Board of Forestry lands
  • Assess the adaptive management framework for the state forests
  • Review land acquisition and exchange plans, and consider for approval specific acquisition and exchange proposals
  • Evaluate opportunities for improving economic performance on board lands (timber and ecosystem services)
 
Forest vitality - The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will provide a progress report on the Board of Forestry’s efforts to integrate key policy initiatives for private and public forestlands into a single board work plan. When the board approved the Forest Vitality Work Plan in 2005, it endorsed the concept of linking five policy topics:
  • Ensuring the sustainability of private forestlands and improving the forest sector’s economic viability
  • Creating a unified vision of the contribution of federal forestlands to Oregon
  • Maintaining working forests
  • Promoting practices to restore forest health
  • Developing forestry carbon-offset markets
 
The overall goal of the work plan is to encourage private and public landowners to continue to make investments to create economically viable and environmentally healthy forests.
 
Department of Forestry budget – The board will receive an update on the general economic and revenue outlook for the state as background for a presentation on the department’s fiscal situation. ODF staff will discuss the status of 2007-2009 budget reduction planning efforts. They will also report on progress to date in developing the 2009-2011 budget, with attention to state and federal economic stimulus actions and how they may affect department revenues during the biennium that will start on July 1, 2009. 
 
The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in the Tillamook Room – Administration Building (C), at Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, 2600 State St., in Salem.
 
The 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 shortly after 8 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).
 
Upon completion of the regular business meeting, the board will enter into closed executive session to address two items:
  • State Forester’s performance review
  • Advice and counsel from the Oregon Attorney General’s office as to how Ballot Measure 49 affects enforcement of certain provisions of the Oregon Forest Practices Act
 
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD/. Background information on the agenda items is located under the heading, “Staff reports.”