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1995 Reforestation Accomplishment Report
This report was prepared by the Forest Practices Program staff on the administration of the forest practices reforestation rules during 1995.
 
SUMMARY
 
Stand Establishment Accomplishments: On operations which were completed prior to 1992, the reforestation rules required landowners to "establish" stands after harvesting. In 1995 a total of 2,109 units including 87,577 acres were required to be established. The 1995 compliance examinations indicate that based on the local government, industrial, and individually owned operation acreage where compliance inspections were made, 99.6% of the acres and 99.6% of the units under the old rules were reforested or changes in land use were completed according to the reforestation requirements. Compliance checks have been completed on 82.9% of the acres requiring stand establishment in 1995.
 
Planting Accomplishments: Operations completed in 1992 or after are now required to be "planted" under revised statute and rule requirements. Under these requirements, planting or seeding of harvested areas is required after approximately two years. Portions of harvest units that are converted to non-forest land uses may be exempted from this requirement. In 1995, 3,360 units including 107,030 acres required planting under the statute requirements which became effective in 1991. Compliance information is available for 82.7% of the total acres in this category. There is a compliance rate of 98.2% based on acres checked and 98.1% based on the number of units checked. Beginning in 1997 the first units planted under the statutes and new rules will be required to be 'free to grow'. This means the trees are free from brush competition, have good form, and have a high probability of becoming or remaining vigorous and healthy.
 
Compliance investigations will be completed in the near future on the remaining 783 operations (33,437 acres). Inaccessible units and increasing FPF workloads are among the reasons for delays in compliance determination of these operation areas. Some additional units had compliance dates extended to 1997, at which time they will be inspected. Most of these units are expected to also meet the reforestation or planting requirements.
 
1995 REFORESTATION ACCOMPLISHMENT REPORT
 
The purpose of this document is to provide the Board of Forestry and other interested citizens with information on the reforestation accomplishments on private and local government forest lands, resulting from administration of the Oregon Forest Practices Act during 1995. This report provides information on stand establishment accomplishments achieved under the forest practice rules, planting accomplishments achieved under statutory requirements in 1995, and information on Department of Forestry administrative procedures.
 
Stand Establishment Accomplishments
Forest practice rules in effect prior to 1995 required reforestation of economically suitable forest land whenever, as a result of an operation, the stocking was reduced below a specific minimum level. "Economically suitable" forest lands were defined as Class I or Class II lands in eastern Oregon and lands capable of a mean annual production of at least 50 cubic feet per acre per year at culmination in western Oregon.
 
With the exception of the southwest Oregon interior subregion, the minimum allowable stocking level in all forest regions was 25 percent crown closure, or 80 square feet of basal area per acre of trees 11 inches DBH or larger. In the southwest Oregon interior subregion, a minimum stocking level of 15 percent crown closure or 40 square feet of basal area per acre of trees 11-inches DBH and larger was allowed, with prior approval, if no more than 40 percent of the basal area is harvested during a five-year period. Historically, this variance has not been requested.
 
If these standards were not met, reforestation was required using acceptable species well-distributed in the operation area. The time limits and minimum stocking densities varied with the growing conditions in each forest practices region as follows:
 
Table 1
RegionMinimum Number of Trees Per AcreTime Limit For Establishment
Northwest
Coastal subregion
150
3 years
Interior subregion
150
5 years
Southwest
100
4 years
Eastern
100
6 years
 
The reforestation rules were revised during 1994. The number of harvesting units subject to stand establishment rules will significantly diminish after 1995. The last units requiring reforestation under these older rules will be checked for compliance in 1997.
 
Clear-cut Reforestation Requirements
Since 1991 The Oregon Legislature amended the Oregon Forest Practices Act through SB1125 in 1991. One result of this legislation was new standards for clear-cut reforestation that superceded the forest practice act. The Act required that reforestation efforts must commence within 12 months after the completion of the clear-cut operation, and that planting must be completed within two planting seasons. These planted stands must meet free to grow standards by the end of the fifth growing season after planting. These statutes apply statewide with no regional or subregional differences. The first year when units on which free to grow compliance checks will be reported is 1997. The statute requirements were modified by the Board of Forestry through rules that apply to all operations completed after January 1, 1995. Reporting on planting and free to grow accomplishments under the new rules will begin in 1997 and 2002, respectively.
 
Administrative Procedures
For all reforestation requirements, the department administrative procedures include:
Notifying each landowner, at the time of notification, that reforestation will be required if stocking is reduced below specific minimums as a result of the operation.
  1. Upon completion of an operation, informing each landowner of which part of the operation is subject to the reforestation requirements, the minimum number of trees per acre which must be established, and the deadline for establishment.
  2. Making compliance examinations to determine whether the reforestation effort resulted in established stocking within the required time period.
 
Results of Compliance Examinations
Of the 2,109 units (87,577 acres) requiring "establishment" under the regional reforestation rules in 1995, 1,652 units (71,436 acres) were found in compliance; 100 units (954 acres) have completed land use changes; 7 units (244 acres) are in violation of the rules; and 350 units (14,943 acres) remain in an undetermined status. Based on data gathered by department forest practices foresters, compliance information is available on 82.9% of the total acres. There is a compliance rate of 99.6% based on these acres and 99.6% based on the number of units checked.
 
Of the 3,360 units (107,030 acres) requiring "planting" under the clear-cut reforestation statute in 1995, 2,594 units (79,604 acres) were determined to be in compliance; 55 units (1,570 acres) were in violation; 278 units (7,362 acres) had timelines for compliance extended for special circumstances, such as slashburn restrictions during fire season, seedling nursery failure, and inclement weather; and 433 units (18,494 acres) remain in an undetermined status. Field examinations continue to indicate planting standards (trees/acre) are usually significantly higher than the minimum requirements of the Forest Practices Act. Compliance information is available on 82.7% of the total acres. There is a compliance rate of 98.2% based on these acres and 98.1% based on the number of units checked.
 
Table II shows reforestation accomplishments for the past seven years.
Year
Total Acres Requiring Compliance
Acres on Which ODF Made Determinations
Acres Determined to be In Compliance
% of Acres Checked That Are In Compliance
1989
90,343
89,935
87,991
97.8%
1990
96,869
96,647
94,044
97.3%
1991
89,526
89,526
85,959
96.0%
1992
85,689
85,689
82,030
95.7%
1993
98,078
96,495
92,714
96.0%
1994
186,903
145,291
141,376
97.3%
1995
194,607
153,808
151,994
98.8%
 
Violations and Extensions
Landowners who have operations which are violations of the reforestation requirements either have been, or will be, cited and given repair orders. Landowners may face additional enforcement actions if the repair orders are not complied with in a timely manner. The average annual number of reforestation violations was around 33 prior to 1994. Recent years have seen larger than average number of violations; 145 in 1994 and 62 in 1995. There are a variety of causes which have contributed to this increase. Since 1994 the number of acres requiring compliance determinations for planting or establishment has nearly doubled because harvest units from both the older rules and 1991 legislation have due dates in those years. Second, the 1991 legislation which required units to be planted within two years of harvest were intended to catch reforestation problems early. One effect of early detection might be increased numbers of violations. Finally, changes in log markets in the early 90's encouraged some non-industrial private landowners to harvest timber who, at the same time, may have lacked the experience or knowledge to plan and implement a reforestation project. The Department is pursuing a number of pro-active prevention activities to improve overall reforestation accomplishments.
 
Changes in Land Use
Reforestation is not required when the purpose of the harvesting operation is to convert the operation area to a land use that precludes the continued growing and harvesting of forest tree species. Of the operations in compliance in 1995, 100 (954 acres) resulted in a land use change. Land use change data is reported on table III for all rules.
 
In addition to making rule compliance determinations, forest practices foresters continue to coordinate with the department's Service Forestry Program. They alert service foresters when non-industrial plantations are identified which may meet the minimum forest practice reforestation standards but which also may be in jeopardy from brush competition, animal damage, or other problems. Service foresters can then make early contacts with the affected landowners and offer assistance in managing these young timber stands so they will reach maturity.
 
Tables II and III summarize the 1995 reforestation accomplishments by Department of Forestry districts and areas, and for Oregon as a whole.
 
This report was prepared by Debbie Panther and Robert Lundblad of the Forest Practices staff.