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Forestry Board to discuss fire economics, biomass at Lakeview mtg
Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us
Dan Postrel, 503-945-7420, dpostrel@odf.state.or.us
The economics of wildfire protection, management of federal forestlands, and use of forest biomass are among topics that the Oregon Board of Forestry will take up at its Sept. 7 meeting in Lakeview. On Sept. 8, the board will tour a large area of insect-killed timber on federal and private forestland.
Wildfire economics project – The board will hear a presentation on the U.S. Wildfire Cost-Plus-Loss Economics project, an effort to better assess the true costs of fighting wildfires. The project has developed an improved method for defining the economic effects of wildfires on people’s lives and livelihoods, structures and cultural and natural resources.
Federal Forestlands Advisory Committee - The board will receive an update on the work of a public/private partnership to implement the committee’s recommendations for management of the federally owned forests in Oregon. The recommendations are contained in the board’s report, “Achieving Oregon's Vision for Federal Forestlands,” adopted in January 2009.
Oregon forest biomass – A panel will discuss the use of forest biomass (such as tree limbs, mill residuals and other byproducts of forest management) in Oregon and examine future opportunities. Projects currently underway in the state use forest biomass to generate electricity, heat buildings, produce specialized fuels and provide other forest products. At the direction of Senate Bill 1072 (2005 legislative session), ODF seeks to foster an environment in which Oregon’s forest biomass industry can flourish while improving forest health conditions.
Wildfire funding issues/opportunities – The board will hold a follow-up discussion with ODF staff of various wildfire protection funding-related items that were discussed at its June meeting. 
Biological diversity policy responsibilities – ODF staff will describe how current statutes and administrative rules influence biological diversity through department programs. This discussion is follow-up to a white paper, “An Overview of Contemporary Biological Diversity Conservation in Oregon,” that was presented to the board in March. 
Executive session – At the conclusion of its public meeting, the board will hold an executive session to discuss the State Forester’s regular performance review.
The Sept. 7 meeting is open to the public, and comments will be received on forestry-related items not included in the agenda during a general comment period after 8:30 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.
Meeting time and location - The board meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Lakeview Interagency Office, Fremont-Winema National Forest Headquarters, in the Lost Forest/Crane Conference Rooms, located at 1301 S. G St., in Lakeview.
Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services or assistance can be arranged by calling the department’s Agency Affairs Office at least 48 hours before the meeting, 503-945-7200, text telephone 503-945-7213.
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8, the Board of Forestry will tour the “red zone,” a large tract infested by mountain pine beetle, located primarily in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The dead and dying trees pose a significant wildfire hazard to the National Forest as well as adjacent private lands. Tour speakers will discuss the challenges affected landowners face and the response of wildland fire agencies to the added risk. Members of the public are welcome to join the tour but must provide their own transportation.
The tour will depart from the Oregon Department of Forestry office, located at 2290 North Fourth St., in Lakeview. A tour briefing will be held at 8 a.m. Members of the public wishing to join the Board are asked to bring their lunch and provide their own transportation.
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at: www.oregonforestry.gov. Background information on the Sept. 7 meeting, including staff reports, is available through the 2011 “Meeting Schedules” link on the website.