portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article oregon & cascadia | portland metro

forest defense

State Forest 10 year Implementation Plan comments due Sept 11!

The Oregon Department of Forestry is in the process of approving 10 year implementation plans for 6 northwest and one southwest district. Comments are due September 11. Here's a sample letter and some of the more blatant problems with the Implementation Plan.
The Oregon Department of Forestry wants to hear from YOU by Sept 11th about their plans to prioritize timber "value" over wildlife and recreation "values". There is a sample letter below you can use when writing one of your own to the "planning specialist" as well as the 5 districts involved in the 10-year forest destruction "Implentation Plan".

Inadequate buffer zones, no old growth protection, and no road mitigation or promise of road obliteration are a few of the problems with the 10 year Plan, not to mention complete disregard for federal guidelines on habitat protection for the listed species in the Oregon State Forests...

Hopefully you can take the time to put your comment in the mail-- there may not be another opportunity unless someone can appeal and/or sue based on unaddressed public comment or other violations...

Note that all plans include continued logging in spotted owl, marbelled murelet and salmon habitat. Note also the ODF's own study found that current stream buffers are not protecting water quality; and that the Forest Service has determined 300 feet buffers are required for fish bearing streams, while ODF - using the same studies - feels a 25 foot buffer is adequate.

----------------------------------------------------------


Cascadia Forest Alliance has good comment points on its website at:
 http://www.cascadiaforestalliance.org
Also see Audubon's information on the plans and comment points at:
 http://www.audubonportland.org/cons/state.html
More information and maps are available at ODF's website:
http:www.odf.state.or.us/stateforests


All comments should be sent to and more information obtained from:
Jane Hope, Planning Specialist, ODF
2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310
 Jane.Hope@state.or.us
Fax: 503-945-7376

Other districts that it would be good to send a copy to:
Forest Grove District
801 Gales Creek Rd.
Forest Grove, Oregon 97116

Clackamas-Marion District
Santiam Unit
22965 North Fork Rd. SE
Lyons, OR 97358

Astoria District
92219 Hwy 202
Astoria, OR 97103

Tillamook District
4907 E. Third St.
Tillamook, OR 97141


Western Lane District
POB 157
Veneta, OR 97487

------------------------------------------------

A few facts from the plans:

Tillamook District -
- For the year 2001: 1450 acres of clearcuts, plus 3000 acres partial cuts planned.
- For the years 2002-2010: 2000-3000 acres of clearcuts, 800-1200 acres partial cuts planned.
- 1450 miles of current logging roads!
- 40-60 miles new roads for year 2001-2010, plus 800-1000 miles road improvement planned.
- Send comments to: Tillamook District, ODF, 4907 E. Third St., Tillamook, OR 97141

Forest Grove District, for the years 2001-2010 -
- 320-480 acres of clearcuts, plus 2250-3350 acres partial cuts planned.
- 796 miles of current logging roads.
- 85-125 miles new roads, plus 135-170 miles road improvement planned.
- Send comments to: Forest Grove District, ODF, 801 Gales Creek Rd., Forest Grove, Oregon 97116

Astoria District, for years 2001-2010:
- 376-564 acres of conifers clearcut and 500 acres of hardwoods clearcut planned, plus 2006-3008 acres of conifers partial cut and 186 acres of hardwoods partial cut planned.
- 520 miles of current logging roads.
- 92-140 miles new roads, plus 150-220 miles road improvement planned.
- Send comments to: Astoria District, ODF, 92219 Hwy. 202, Astoria, OR 97103

--------------------------------------------------------

SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER BELOW-- Plaguerize or modify as you will!

Jane Hope, Planning Specialist, ODF
2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310
 Jane.Hope@state.or.us
Fax: 503-945-7376

Dear Ms Hope,

Please consider this letter to be my comment on the impending decisions regarding the District Implementation Plans for Oregon State Forests. These decisions will affect the habitat of many creatures and plants, including human water supplies and soil stability, which affects all life. These decisions must be made in light of an entirely different situation than was present even last decade.

Existing policies are not even adequate, and they are rarely enforced. To relax existing policies and remove protections for the remaining aquifers and wildlife habitat, is to condemn Oregon's forests to rapid destruction that can only result in escalated degradation of State Forests.

This is public land to use, and should not be for sale. Since it is for sale, the policies governing that sale must meet standards that will realistically protect forest life, based on sound wildlife biology and population biology science.

It is imperative that the following restrictions on logging be enforced, as they are still based on sound science, and still are essential to preserving wildlife habitat in our State Forests:

1) No new roads should be built on State Lands.
There are several reasons why this is needed. One reason is because there has been no move or suggestion to obliterate or properly decommission the roads that have been built and are no longer being used, such as spurs and low priority logging roads. This means that there are also no plans to decommission future roads. Because no criteria are built into the District Implementation Plans (DIE) for what will be done to mitigate the woody debris resulting from future road-building, it can be assumed that the agency will not take responsibility for the impact caused by building roads, and so should not be allowed to build any more without reasonable assurance and proof that the agency is capable of and working toward decommissioning some of the roads that are now unnecessary.

2) Recreation should be emphasized.
So far non-motorized used of State Forests seem to be underemphasized as to their import. Public lands are for public use, and they should be PRIMARILY for public use. This emphasis needs to be reflected in the increase of hiking trails proportionally to logging roads. More hiking trails, less logging roads, would serve the needs of the public more effectively, and impact the forests far less as well.

3) No logging within 1000 feet of salmon bearing stream or creek.
State Forest practices must comply with State Law. According to State Law, forest management plans must provide for "properly functioning aquatic habitats for salmonids, and other native fish and aquatic life", and explains the necessity of, "the development of a diversity of habitats for maintaining salmonids and other native wildlife species."

4) All timber sales should be subject to a 90-day public comment period, subject to Appeals.
Currently there is no appeals process for individual timber sales in Oregon State Forests. This means that no real public imput or interest is of priority to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

5) No logging within 10 miles of spotted owl habitat

6) No logging should occur on any slope greater than 50% without an onsite inspection by the district Geotechnical Specialists. This is just common sense and State law. No logging should ever be allowed on slopes greater than 65%. All timber sales currently on the auction block that have logging intended to be done on slopes over 65% should be cancelled or modified to remove this allowance.

7) All State lands should be managed for wildlife habitat., water production and recreation.
This is also State law and should be adhered to and acknowledged in the plan. Timber production is now the emphasis. The District Implementation plans should be amended to designate specific streams and rivers as being important for wildlife habitat, clean water production, as well as for their scenic recreational value.

8) Old Growth Reserves are needed,
In the remaining areas where trees over 100 years old still stand, as the last remnants of this country's ancient forests, protections should be in place to ensure that these giants are not ever allowed to be logged. These protections need to be specifically put in place in the District Implementation plans.

9) Salmon-friendly culverts are needed. If there are salmon bearing culverts in a proposed timber sale, these should be modified to accommodate salmon, in accordance with the best science available by the ODF's own studies and by fisheries biologists for the State and Federal agencies that have declared the salmon to be a priority in Oregon's forest management policies. In keeping with the best available science, salmon bearing culverts in the vicinity of timber sales should be replaced with 100-year storm, salmon-friendly culverts. Native Coho salmon are on the brink of extinction, and more of their historic habitat is needed to be restored to ensure their survival.

I appreciate the opportunity you have given for public comment on this important decision your agency is making for all Oregonians. I hope you consider the public comments that you are receiving and realize that each letter represents at least 100 citizens' opinions, who may be too busy to write. I look forward to your timely reply and expect to see the response in writing.

For the Remaining Wild,

homepage: homepage: http://www.cascadiaforestalliance.org