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Criterion 1 Indicator 3
Rationale
 
Extent of Area, by Forest Type, in Protected Area Categories, as Defined by Iucn or Other Classification Systems
 
Some forest lands are set aside for non-commodity uses, in various protective designations. These reserved lands have the potential to supply diverse habitats for many animal and plant species. However, in order to evaluate the contribution of these reserved lands to biological diversity, more information is needed than just the total number of forested acres in reserved land classifications.
 
It is also important to know how many acres of different forest types are found in reserved land categories, because each forest type provides a unique combination of ecological, economic, and social benefits. Many plant and animal species require a specific set of environmental factors that are found predominately within a particular forest type. As a result, it is important that all forest types be included in the state’s reserved areas.

Can This Indicator Be Quantified
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified seven (labeled as 1a, 1b, and 2-6) "Protected Area Management Categories" (Gland, et. al., 1994), to be used to communicate and disseminate data about reserved land areas (see Map 3-1). The seven areas are labeled as 1a, 1b, and 2 through 6, and are listed below. These reserved categories provide a variety of ecological, economic, and social benefits including: scientific research, wilderness protection, preservation of species and genetic diversity, protection of natural and cultural features, tourism and recreation, education, and sustainable use of resources from natural ecosystems.
 
 
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The seven IUCN categories are listed below, along with the comparable land designations most commonly used in Oregon for these categories.
 
Class 1A — Scientific Reserves
 
Comparable designations in Oregon:
Experimental forests
Areas of critical environmental concern
The Nature Conservancy lands
Research natural areas

 
Class 1B — Wilderness Area
 
Comparable designations in Oregon:
Wilderness areas
Administratively Withdrawn

 
Class 2 — National Parks
 
Comparable designation in Oregon:
National park

 
Class 3 — Natural monument
 
Comparable designation in Oregon:
National monuments

 
Class 4 — Habitat/Species Management Area
 
Comparable designations in Oregon:
Wildlife reserves
Late successional reserves
Key watersheds

 
Class 5 — Protected for conservation and recreation
 
Comparable designations in Oregon:
National scenic areas
National recreation areas
Special interest area

 
Class 6 — Protected for sustainable use of natural ecosystems
 
Comparable designation in Oregon:
Adaptive management areas

 
A geographical information system (GIS) was used to overlay a digital layer containing information on the seven IUCN protected area categories, with another digital layer containing information on the forest types derived from ODFW gap vegetation data (see Indicator #1). Then, the analysis calculated how many acres, by forest type, are in each reserved area category in Oregon. The results are shown in the following two tables.
 
Table 3-1. Forest area in IUCN protected area categories in Oregon, by acres
 
 
Forest Type1A1B23456TOTALS
Douglas Fir13,413301,951002,237,7951,371194,8582,749,388
Douglas Fir / Mixed8,088290,6989662451,503,84612216,6992,020,554
Ponderosa Pine37,57785,4003,7937,826151,38122,8470308,824
Spruce; Hemlock4914,8480054,6564,7324,94979,234
True Fir; Mt.        
Hemlock19,543849,451102,6927,462530,27736819,4741,529,267
Lodgepole Pine; Subalpine Fir10,578370,57119,733074,77728,4120503,871
Mixed Conifer2544,55200272,16328930,712347,741
Deciduous2841,5690021,09001,15624,099
Grass; Shrub; Regenerating Forest45227,6931,4310387,79910,36322,923450,661
N.E. Mixed Conifer29,645277,88404030168,8560476,788
 119,6542,264,617128,61515,9365,233,784237,250490,7718,490,427
 
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Table 3-2. Percent of total tree species area in IUCN protected area categories, in Oregon
 
Forest Type:1A1B23456TOTALS
Douglas Fir0.194.320032.040.022.7939.36
Douglas Fir / Mixed0.124.170.01021.5303.128.93
Ponderosa Pine0.541.220.050.112.170.3304.42
Spruce; Hemlock00.21000.780.070.0719.7
True Fir; Mt. Hemlock0.2912.171.460.17.590.010.2821.9
Lodgepole Pine; Subalpine Fir0.155.310.2801.070.4107.22
Mixed Conifer00.64003.900.444.98
Deciduous00.02000.300.020.34
Grass; Shrub; Regenerating Forest0.020.4005.550.150.336.45
N.E. Mixed Conifer0.423.9800.0102.4206.83
 
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In addition to the seven IUCN protection classes, an additional protection category is of great importance to the health of Oregon’s forest ecosystems. This category is riparian buffers. Although riparian buffers would logically fall within IUCN class 4 (habitat/species management areas), we have chosen to treat them separately because we used different assumptions to estimate the area by forest type within the buffers. We assumed that 30 to 70 percent of the federal matrix land (that is, federal land in a non-reserved category) on the west side of the Cascades is reserved in riparian buffer strips, and that 5 percent of the federal land base east of the Cascades is reserved in riparian buffers (Johnson, et. al., 1993). We also assumed that on non-federal forest lands, approximately 2 to 5 percent of the land is reserved in riparian buffers because of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. The results are shown in the following table.
 
Table 3-3. Estimated area of forest land reserved in riparian buffers, by percentage and acres
 
Forest Type1A1B23456TOTALS
Douglas Fir13,413301,951002,237,7951,371194,8582,749,388
Douglas Fir / Mixed8,088290,6989662451,503,84612216,6992,020,554
Ponderosa Pine37,57785,4003,7937,826151,38122,8470308,824
Spruce; Hemlock4914,8480054,6564,7324,94979,234
True Fir; Mt.        
Hemlock19,543849,451102,6927,462530,27736819,4741,529,267
Lodgepole Pine; Subalpine Fir10,578370,57119,733074,77728,4120503,871
Mixed Conifer2544,55200272,16328930,712347,741
Deciduous2841,5690021,09001,15624,099
Grass; Shrub; Regenerating Forest45227,6931,4310387,79910,36322,923450,661
N.E. Mixed Conifer29,645277,88404030168,8560476,788
 119,6542,264,617128,61515,9365,233,784237,250490,7718,490,427
 
View / download this Table
 

Trends
 
Since the 1980s, several additional areas have been designated as wilderness areas (IUCN Class 1b), or as habitat/species management areas (IUCN Class 4), in Oregon. These areas add to the total number of acres reserved under special designations, as well as adding to the variety of forest types that are under these special classifications.
 

Data Source and Availability
The following sources provided the digital data used to create the IUCN land protection classes layer for Oregon. This data is readily available from state and federal land management agencies.
 
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provided the digital data on forest types.
An extremely well thought-out, thorough, and high quality project dealing with biodiversity and the protection of biodiversity across the state has been produced by the Defenders of Wildlife out of Lake Oswego, Oregon (http://www.defenders.org). "Oregon’s Living Landscape: Strategies and Opportunities to Conserve Biodiversity" consists of a 325 page full-color atlas and narrative as well as an interactive CD-ROM complete with text, maps, data, and software that enables the user to create their own maps and perform their own analyses. The scope of this project includes the entire state, not just forested land. The goals of this project are to:
 
  • Promote more biodiversity-friendly management
  • Expand the existing network of conservation lands
  • Focus conservation actions on best opportunities
  • Provide conservation tools and incentives
  • Coordinate data collection and management
  • Expand public awareness and understanding
  • Apply principles of adaptive management

Reliability of Data
 
For general statewide land classification, the data is very reliable.
 

Scale
 
Statewide.
 

Recommended Action for Data Collection
None.

Definitions
 
Areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC) — Designated areas administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. ACECs are areas on BLM lands that contain one or more of the following attributes:
  • Significant historic, cultural, or scenic value.
  • A fish or wildlife resource; for example, habitat for endangered or threatened species.
  • A natural process or system that is rare, fragile, or threatened.
  • A natural hazard area (e.g., avalanche, landslide, dangerous cliffs, or flooding).
In addition, these areas must have substantial significance to become an ACEC. The management of the areas varies according to the type of important resource being protected. In general, grazing rights, if already established, are allowed to continue but may be limited. Otherwise, these areas are to be preserved or protected.
 
Experimental forest — Designated areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service. Areas designated and managed for research into ecological processes that influence forest ecosystem health. There are two experimental forests in Oregon, the H. J. Andrews and the Starkey.
 
National monument — Designated area administered by the National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service. There are three national monuments in Oregon. National monuments are managed similar to national parks.
 
The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the President to declare by public proclamation landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest situated on lands owned or controlled by the government to be national monuments.
 
National park — Designated area administered by the National Park Service. Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon.
 
The mission of the National Park Service is "...to promote and regulate the use of the... national parks... which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916)
 
National parks are generally large areas possessing nationally significant natural, cultural, or recreational resources. These areas generally contain a wide variety of attributes including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining, and consumptive activities (including timber harvest) are prohibited.
 
Research natural areas (RNAs) — Areas established and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. RNAs provide biodiversity reserves and are for "non-manipulative research, observation, and study" (Forest Service Manual 4063), and are not meant for uses that "directly or indirectly modify ecological process."
 
The level of acceptable use varies, depending on the fragility or the rarity of the ecosystem for a particular RNA and the objective for that RNA. In general, timber harvesting, grazing, and road building are prohibited, and motorized recreation and prescribed fire is limited.
 
Special interest areas — Areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service. These areas are recognized for special scenic, cultural, geological, botanical, zoological, paleontological, or other special values. Like the ACECs, these areas are managed primarily for the protection of their special features and secondarily for public use and enjoyment.
 
Wild and scenic rivers — Rivers and river segments may be proposed for listing to Congress by the Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, and by states. Congress makes the actual designations of rivers.
 
The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was enacted by Congress in 1968. The purpose of this act is to protect "certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations." (National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 1968)
The act provides blanket protection against federally licensed dams, diversions, and other on-river development on designated river segments. It also sets aside a quarter-mile-wide riparian corridor in which development is restricted on public lands. Private lands in designated wild and scenic corridors are generally open to development. Designations can be made for both whole rivers and river segments, and not just for rivers that are wild and pristine. Reaches of river with road access, private property, and other significant development can qualify as scenic or recreational segments, as long as they are freeflowing.
Once designated as wild and scenic, rivers are classified and administered (corresponding to the degree of pre-existing development) in one of the following categories.
 
Wild river areas — Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America.
 
Scenic river areas — Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
 
Recreational river areas — Those rivers or sections of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.
 
Wilderness area — Designated area administered by the U.S. Forest Service or BLM. The U.S. Forest Service manages 36 wilderness areas in Oregon, with a total of approximately 2.1 million acres.
 
Wilderness areas are managed "To secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness." (Wilderness Act of 1964)
Wilderness areas are defined by the Wilderness Act as those areas affected primarily by the forces of nature, possessing outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive type of recreation. These areas are federally owned, undeveloped, and generally over 5,000 acres in size. Wilderness areas contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historic value, and are reserved and managed to allow natural ecological processes to operate freely. There are no timber harvests, road building, or motorized recreation allowed, and only limited grazing and prescribed burning is allowed. Mining is allowed only on claims established before the designation.
 
Wilderness study areas (WSA) — Areas being considered for Congressional designation as wilderness; and managed as wilderness in the interim by the responsible federal agency, either BLM or the U.S. Forest Service.
 
Wilderness areas are managed to protect their wilderness characteristics. They must be at least 5,000 acres, or if smaller, be contiguous to lands that are already designated as wilderness. WSAs must generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature with the imprint of man substantially unnoticeable. A WSA must be roadless but does not have to possess outstanding opportunities for solitude. WSAs are managed in a manner so as not to impair their suitability for preservation as wilderness.
 
FEMAT —Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team. An interagency task force created after President Clinton’s Forest Conference held in Portland, Oregon in April 1993. FEMAT was authorized to develop a new approach to forest management and land allocation on federal forest lands in the range of the northern spotted owl, which includes federal lands in western Oregon, western Washington, and part of northern California. The team developed the following land use designations, in order to protect habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl, other threatened and endangered species, and old-growth-dependent species, on federal forest lands, and to allow the development of new forest management approaches.
Adaptive management areas (AM As) — These areas are federal forest lands within the range of the northern spotted owl that have been designated as areas for the development and testing of new approaches for the integration and achievement of ecological, economic, and other social objectives. The U.S. Forest Service and BLM will work with other organizations, government entities, and private landowners to accomplish these objectives on AMAs.
 
Four adaptive management areas are established in Oregon:
  • Applegate — 268,600 acres.
  • Blue River — 153,200 acres.
  • Little River — 83,900 acres.
  • Northern Coast Range — 247,000 acres.
Administratively withdrawn — These reserved areas are identified in current national forest management plans at the district level, as having preferred recreational value and are not scheduled for timber harvest.
 
Congressionally withdrawn — These reserved lands have been reserved by Congress for specific purposes. Included in this category are national parks and monuments, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, and national wildlife refuges. These categories were all established by separate laws, before FEMAT developed its new plan.
 
Key watersheds — These are watersheds designated within the range of the northern spotted owl to provide additional riparian area protection. Key watersheds are essential for maintaining and recovering habitat for at-risk stocks of anadromous salmonids and resident fish species.
 
No new roads will be constructed in the roadless areas of key watersheds. Outside the roadless areas, FEMAT recommends no net increase in roads. In other watersheds, a watershed analysis must be conducted before any land management activities can occur within any roadless areas in the watershed.
 
Late successional reserves (LSRs) — These reserved areas are designed to maintain a functional, interactive, late-successional and old-growth forest ecosystem. They serve as habitat for late-successional and old-growth related species such as the northern spotted owl.
 
In LSRs, thinning will be allowed in any stand that is less than 80 years old, in both natural and plantation stands. Salvage is permitted in areas larger than 10 acres that have been damaged by catastrophic events, such as fire, insects, or disease. Any thinning or silvicultural treatments inside reserves require review by an interagency team to ensure that the treatments are beneficial to the creation of late-successional forest conditions.
 
Matrix land — These lands are the remaining federal forest lands in the range of the northern spotted owl, that remain outside reserves (LSRs, riparian reserves), Congressionally withdrawn areas (national parks, monuments, wilderness areas), and administratively withdrawn areas (special interest areas, areas of critical environmental concern, research natural areas, etc.). Matrix lands are available for timber harvest at varying levels.
 
Management guidelines for matrix lands vary by geographic area. Examples of guidelines are requirements for the retention of snags and downed wood, retention of a specified volume of each cutting unit, or managing for stand spacing and rotation age.
National recreation area — This designation was established by Congress for the purpose of assuring and implementing the protection and management of public outdoor recreation
opportunities. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is the only such area in the state.
 
National scenic area — This designation was established by Congress to protect areas of outstanding scenic beauty. Hells Canyon National Scenic Area is the only such area in Oregon.
 
National wildlife refuge — These areas are established by Presidential proclamations or by Congress for the protection of wildlife. There are 18 national wildlife refuges in Oregon.
 
Riparian reserves — These areas include portions of watersheds where riparian-dependent resources receive primary emphasis and where special standards and guidelines govern land use. On federal forest lands, every watershed within the range of the northern spotted owl has riparian reserves. In general, on federal forest lands, a riparian reserve is a buffer strip surrounding streams, wetlands, ponds, and lakes, and is generally considered as a "no cut" zone of 100 to 300 feet from the stream bank. Riparian reserves provide thermal cover (shade), soil stabilization, large down wood to the streams, and other ecological functions essential to healthy streams.
 

Selected References
 
Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, United Kingdom. 1994. Guidelines for protected area management categories. World Conservation Monitoring Center, IUCN.
 
Johnson, Norman K., et. al., 1993. Sustainable harvest levels and short-term timber sales for options considered in the report of the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team: methods, results, and interpretations.
 
Lorensen, T., and Birch, K. 1994. Economic analysis of proposed water classification and protection rules. Oregon Department of Forestry, Salem, OR.