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Criterion 7 Indicator 54
Rationale
The Extent to Which the Institutional Framework Supports the Capacity to Undertake and Implement Periodic Forest-Related Planning, Assessment, and Policy Review Process, Including Cross-Sectional Planning and Coordination.
 
This indicator examines the institutional framework that supports the legal requirements for assessment and planning on forest lands in the United States. The institutional framework is necessary for the laws on planning to be properly implemented.

Evaluation
 
Institutional framework for non-federal forest lands — planning, assessment, and policy review
 
The Oregon Board of Forestry is the major policy-making body for private and state forest lands. Approximately every five to ten years, the Board of Forestry engages in a planning process to develop forest policies for the state. In its document, The Forestry Program for Oregon, the board sets down its vision and values for the conduct of forestry in the state, and sets objectives to achieve that vision. The Oregon Department of Forestry has the responsibility for implementing programs to achieve these objectives. To prepare for a new FPFO, the board directs the department to assess the conditions of Oregon’s forests. These assessments are used as background to develop or change policy directions for the state.
 
These policies are developed for the individual state forests in long-range management plans. Past long-range plans were primarily based on timber management and were updated every six years. Recent forest management plans are much more extensive and address all forest resources. Resource specialists from a range of disciplines and from several agencies contribute to the plans. Habitat management for fish and wildlife species plays a prominent role in forest management plans, and this involves consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Public involvement is an important component of the planning process, and public comments on review drafts are used as a planning resource.
 
Institutional framework for federally managed forests — planning, assessment, and policy review
 
The federal forest management agencies have expert staff members at various levels of the organization to work on assessments, planning, and policy questions. When major land and resource management plans are prepared, a team is assigned to work exclusively on that project. Teams may be located at the national forest, BLM district, regional, or state office level, depending on the scope of the plan. National forest headquarters and districts, and BLM districts, carry out the day-to-day implementation of major land and resource plans through the design of projects, the assessment of project effects, and the analysis of watersheds. These offices also evaluate the plans for consistency with national and regional policies.