Oregon's state forests provide habitat for a variety of species, including some listed as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, like the Northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) can serve as a more holistic and cost-effective way to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Currently the Oregon Department of Forestry is evaluating the potential advances or drawbacks that an HCP could provide on Board of Forestry (BOF) lands in western Oregon.
The agency is embarking on a multi-phased approach to fully evaluate what a Western Oregon HCP would mean for state forests covered under the HCP. The first phase included a business case analysis
to evaluate cost and revenue impacts of pursuing an HCP as an alternative approach to ESA compliance. This cost-based analysis compared state forests under an HCP and a no-HCP scenario. The comparisons found that there was greater opportunity under a potential HCP to better protect high-value habitat while also expanding land available for harvest.
Current status - This project is currently in Phase 2: Strategy Development and Stakeholder Engagement. This phase is expected to conclude with a first administrative draft of a Habitat Conservation Plan that would be presented to the Board of Forestry in July 2020. This will provide the Board with the information needed to determine if it is in the best interests of the state to continue with Phase 3: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis.
The mutliagency governance structure consists of a Steering Committee and Scoping Team. The Scoping Team is comprised of technical experts from ODF, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries and Oregon State University. The Scoping Team will work collaboratively to develop conservation strategies for consideration in a potential HCP. A multi-agency Steering Committee - including ODF, ODFW, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of State Lands, U.S. FWS and NOAA Fisheries - will be developing the mission, goals and objectives for a western Oregon HCP and providing policy direction to the scoping team.
A meeting to provide an update on the HCP process
will be held Wednesday, June 12 in Salem. RSVP is requested by clicking here.
Topics will include updates on the HCP permit and plan area, the covered species list, expected covered activities, and the proposed MIssion, Vision and Goals to guide the direction and future of the HCP. You can view a recording of a previous presentation in the right sidebar.
- To date, ODF has hosted informational meetings prior to each Board of Forestry meeting to provide an opportunity for the public, stakeholders, department staff and consultants to share concerns and ideas for improvement. Meeting dates and information will be listed here.
This effort will be expanded as Phase 2 commences. This will provide an opportunity for two-way dialogue between the public, stakeholders, department staff and consultants to share concerns and ideas for improvement. You can also click here to receive notifications and updates regarding the HCP process and upcoming meetings.