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Statewide forest assessment on Forestry Board March 3 agenda
Contact: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425
 
The Oregon Board of Forestry will hear reports on a statewide forest assessment, scientific review of the state forest plans, and restructuring of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) budget when it meets on March 3 in Salem. 
 
Statewide Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy
ODF staff will give a status report on the Statewide Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy project. A 16-member committee has identified six priority issues to be addressed by the federally mandated assessment:
  • Communities at risk from wildfire
  • Maintaining Oregon’s forestland base
  • Diversity of forest habitats
  • Invasive Species
  • Quality of aquatic habitats
  • Climate change
 
The committee made up of landowners, representatives of forestry and environmental organizations, and federal and state resource agencies has developed a set of questions that address three types of forest conditions and trends, including those:
  • that remain more or less stable or predictable over time.
  • that change widely and are much less predictable over time.
  • whose outcomes could be interpreted differently as to importance contingent on the perspective of the interpreter.
 
Under the 2008 Farm Bill, states that participate in the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry programs must complete an assessment.
 
Private Forests work plan 
ODF staff will present a revised-draft board work plan that addresses two primary questions:
  • How will the board provide direction on Private Forests program budget and financing with a goal to reduce vulnerability to economic cycles and increase the consistency of funding and resources?
  • How will the board monitor Private Forests program policy implementation to address the challenges on private forestlands, with an aim to achieve sustainable forest management across all Oregon forestlands?
 
The board previously identified forest fragmentation and the conversion of forestland to other uses as the key challenges to conserving Oregon’s nearly 11 million acres of privately owned forest.
 
Scientific review of State Forest plans
In response to requests by the Board of Forestry and the State Land Board for a current scientific perspective on the revised state forest management plans, staff will present options for an outside review of the northwest and southwest plans. To be conducted by the Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team (IMST), the review will:
  • examine the efficacy of the revised plans
  • evaluate the Species of Concern and Salmon Anchor Habitat strategies
  • gauge how effectively the social and economic effects of the plans have been addressed
     
Appointed by the governor and legislative leadership, the IMST is made up of scientists with recognized expertise in an array of natural resource disciplines.
 
Mid-Columbia Steelhead Conservation and Recovery Plan
Sue Knapp, natural resources advisor to the governor’s office, will report on Oregon’s Mid-Columbia Steelhead Conservation and Recovery Plan that was recently approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. The plan describes the population status of and recovery plans for Endangered Species Act-listed steelhead in the Fifteen-mile Creek, Deschutes, John Day, Umatilla, and Walla Walla river sub-basins of the Columbia River.
 
The presentation will set the stage for the board to consider endorsing ODF’s actions within the Conservation and Recovery Plan.
 
Department of Forestry budget restructuring
Staff will present a set of objectives for improving ODF’s budget structure and funding levels. They will seek the board’s endorsement to pursue the objectives by drawing on a broad coalition of interests willing to craft suggestions for achieving them and to work with the board and ODF in seeking legislative support during the 2011 legislative session.
 
2011-2013 budget development
The board will receive a status report on development of the ODF budget for the 2011-2013 biennium.
 
2011 legislative concepts
The board will receive an update on the status of draft legislative concepts for the 2011 Oregon legislative session.
 
Meeting time and location
The Board of Forestry meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Oregon Department of Forestry office, the Tillamook Room – Administration Building (C), 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 an 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 ODF Agency Affairs Office at least 48 hours before the meeting, 503-945-7200, text telephone 503-945-7213.
 
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD/. Background information on agenda items for the Nov. 6 meeting is available through the 2010 Meeting Schedule link.