Video of W.O.P.R. rally on the steps of the state capital in Salem
After two months of review, Governor Ted Kulongoski today asked the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) not to adopt its proposed forest management plan, commonly known as the Western Oregon Plan Revision, and to open the plan for an additional public comment period once the BLM has addressed his concerns.
The Governor cited BLM's decision not to complete consultation on Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts as a major obstacle to the successful implementation of the proposed plan. The plan defers consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service until harvest projects are identified.
"I had every reason to believe that the plan would fully address BLM's obligations under the Endangered Species Act. I believe that delaying this work is the wrong approach and is legally inconsistent with the requirements of the ESA," Governor Kulongoski said. "Furthermore, this approach could set a bad precedent that opens the door for other federal agencies to do the same."
The Governor also expressed concerns related to water quality, wilderness areas, insufficient monitoring provisions and the lack of any acknowledgement that the BLM will utilize forest management strategies that fight global warming. Additionally, he is concerned that the BLM has failed to garner the support of Oregon's congressional delegation, which is critical to the success of the plan. The U.S. Congress eventually will be asked to allocate funding.
"Any management plan should incorporate the best available science on strategies that recognize and support the role our forests play in carbon sequestration and that future forest ecosystems are better able to accommodate a warmer climate," the Governor said. "For the long-term economic health of our counties, we must ensure that these forests are managed in a way that takes climate change into account."