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Forestry Board to tour, meet in NE Oregon
Contact: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us
Dan Postrel, 503-945-7420, dpostrel@odf.state.or.us
The Oregon Board of Forestry will tour working forests in Wallowa County on June 8 and then hold its regular business meeting on June 9 in Enterprise.
The board tour of Forest Capital Partners’ lands will focus on three themes:
  • Maintaining working forests in eastern Oregon
  • Non-timber and conservation objectives and values of private working forests
  • Forest management practices in northeastern Oregon
Forest Capital Partners is the largest private forest landowner in northeastern Oregon. The independent investment firm also manages forestlands throughout North America.
Members of the public are welcome to join the board tour but are asked to provide their own lunch and transportation. A tour briefing will be held at 8 a.m. in the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Wallowa Unit office, 802 West Highway 82, in Wallowa.
Forest Protection Districts’ budgets and rates - The board will review and consider for final approval the forest protection district budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010, including the prorated acreage assessment rates. The districts provide wildfire protection to nearly 16 million acres of private and state forestland, as well as federal Bureau of Land Management lands in western Oregon within the forest protection districts. The budgets are funded by a combination of forest landowner and state general fund dollars. 
External Budget Coalition – State Forester Marvin Brown will update the board on ODF’s first meeting with the External Budget Coalition, which has been tasked with helping ODF improve its budget structure and funding. The advisory group is made up of elected officials as well as representatives of conservation organizations and the forest products industry. Objectives of the effort are to: 
  • Simplify the agency budget
  • Provide limits and create certainty around direct charges to working private lands, to help reduce the economic pressures that may cause landowners to convert their forests to other uses
  • Stabilize the budget by ensuring a dependable public funding source
  • Reconnect Oregonians with the values they desire from Oregon forests
  • Retain stakeholder involvement that assures agency transparency, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency
State Forests’ Greatest Permanent Value rule – ODF staff will present a framework for discussion of the fundamental policy issues surrounding the Greatest Permanent Value (GPV) administrative rules, which define “greatest permanent value” in the management of Oregon’s state forests. The board is reviewing the GPV for possible improvements. No decisions are expected at the June 9 meeting.
Private Forests policy implementation – The board will review and discuss the Private Forests Program Policy Implementation Report developed in concert with ODF staff. The report lays out the program’s vision and mission. It also specifies actions to keep Oregon’s working forests viable, including customized services to support the distinctive needs of the wildland-urban interface, family forestlands, and industrial and investment forests.
Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy – ODF staff will present the draft Statewide Forest Assessment and Resource Strategy. Over the past eight months staff have been developing the federally mandated assessment and strategy around a set of priority issues identified by a 16-member committee. These range from wildfire risk to communities, to maintaining Oregon’s forestland base, to climate change. Following the board’s review and discussion, the strategy will be submitted to the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program for federal approval. 
ODF biennial budget development – As part of an ongoing process to develop the proposed 2011-2013 ODF budget, the board will review the most recent refinements of policy packages and budget-reduction concepts. ODF staff developed the drafts based on comments from the board and department stakeholders. 
The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at 309 South River St. in Enterprise.
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 Northeast Oregon District office at least 48 hours before the meeting, 541-963-3168 (La Grande), text telephone 503-945-7213 (Salem).
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD/. Background information on the June 9 meeting agenda items will be available soon through the “2010 Meeting Schedule” link on the website.