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1996 Reforestation Accomplishment Report
This is a report prepared by the Forest Practices Program staff on the administration of the forest practice reforestation rules during 1996.

 
STAND ESTABLISHMENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: On operations which were completed prior to 1992, the reforestation rules required landowners to "establish" stands three to six years after harvesting. In 1996 a total of 1,244 units including 47,511 acres were required to be established. The 1996 compliance examinations indicate that based on the local government, industrial, and individually owned operation acreage where compliance inspections were made, 99.8% of the acres and 98.8% 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 80.5% of the acres requiring stand establishment in 1996.
 
PLANTING ACCOMPLISHMENT: Clear-cut harvests and similar harvest operations completed after 1991 are required to have reforestation activities, such as site preparation and planting, completed two years after the end of harvest. Planting accomplishments were first reported in 1994. In 1996, 3,288 units including 102,604 acres required planting under the statute requirements which became effective in 1991. Compliance information is available for 74.6% of the total acres in this category. There is a compliance rate of 98% based on acres checked and 97% based on the number of units checked.
 
Compliance investigations will continue in the near future on the remaining 1,235 operations (35,213 acres). Inaccessible units and increasing FPF workloads are among the reasons for delays in compliance determination of these operation areas. Most of these units are expected to also meet the reforestation or planting requirements.
 
Beginning in 1997 the first units planted under the 1991 statutes will be required to be 'free to grow', free from brush competition and of good form.
 
The Forest Practices program completed a comprehensive revision of the forest practice reforestation rules in 1994. This process resulted in Board of Forestry approval of administrative rules which apply to all harvest operations completed after January 1, 1995 These rules replace the former stand establishment rules and now regulate all reforestation requirements under the Forest Practices Act.
 
1996 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 1996. This report provides information on stand establishment accomplishments achieved under the forest practice rules, planting accomplishments achieved under statutory requirements in 1996, and information on Department of Forestry administrative procedures.
 
Oregon’s Reforestation Requirements
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. The number of harvesting units subject to stand establishment rules will significantly diminish after 1996.
 
In 1991, the Oregon Legislature amended the Oregon Forest Practices Act through SB1125. One result of these changes was the establishment of the reforestation of clear-cuts and other similar harvest units. The new statutes required that reforestation efforts must commence within twelve months after completion of a clear-cut operation, and that, where required, planting must be completed within two 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.
 
New forest practice reforestation rules adopted by the Board of Forestry in 1994 replace the former administrative rules and supersede the 1991 statute requirements. Reforestation of harvest units completed after January 1, 1995 will be regulated under these rules.
Administrative Procedures
For all reforestation requirements, the department administrative procedures include:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Making compliance examinations to determine whether the reforestation effort resulted in established stocking within the required time period.
 
Results of Compliance Examinations
Of the 1,244 units (47,511 acres) requiring "establishment" under the regional reforestation rules in 1996, 747 units (36,578 acres) were found in compliance; 178 units (1,629 acres) have completed land use changes; 11 units (68 acres) are in violation of the rules; and 308 units (9,236 acres) remain in an undetermined status. Based on data gathered by department forest practices foresters, compliance information is available on 80.5% of the total acres. There is a compliance rate of 99.8% based on these acres and 98.8% based on the number of units checked.
 
Of the 3,288 units (102,604 acres) requiring "planting" under the clear-cut reforestation statute in 1996, 2,298 units (75,488 acres) were determined to be in compliance; 42 units (745 acres) were in violation; 21 units (394 acres) had timelines for compliance extended for special circumstances; and 927 units (25,977 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 74.6% of the total acres. There is a compliance rate of 98% based on these acres and 97% based on the number of units checked.
 
Table I shows reforestation accomplishments for the past seven years.
 
Table I
YEAR
Total Acres (note) Requiring Compliance
Acres on Which ODF Made Determinations
Acres Determined to be in Compliance
% of Acres Checked that are in Compliance
1990
96,869
96,647
94,044
97.3%
1991
89,526
89,526
85,959
96%
1992
85,689
85,689
82,030
95.7%
1993
98,078
96,495
92,714
96%
1994
186,903
145,291
141,376
97.3%
1995
194,607
153,808
151,994
98.8%
1996
150,115
112,902
111,695
98.9%
note:  The data for 1994-1996 include compliance acres for establishment and planting
 
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 prior to 1994 was approximately 33. The increase to 145 in 1994 was followed by decreases in 1995 to 63 reported violations and 53 in 1996. These violations have a variety of causes. These occurred almost exclusively on non-industrial private lands and have involved small acreage units. The Department continues to implement a number of pro-active prevention activities to further reduce reforestation violations.
 
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 1996, 178 (1,629 acres) resulted in a land use change. 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.
 
Table II and Table III summarize the 1996 reforestation accomplishments by Department of Forestry districts and areas, and for Oregon as a whole. This report was prepared by the Forest Practices staff in cooperation with the Department of Forestry field units.