Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's time for a new direction in our federal forests

There was recently a meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Washington, D.C., regarding federal forestlands in western Oregon. I participated in the meeting, as did nearly the entire Oregon congressional delegation. The meeting was the second with Salazar arising from our concern about lack of timber-related jobs and the economy in the wake of the withdrawal of the federal Bureau of Land Management's Western Oregon Plan Revisions, which would have created thousands of jobs had it been implemented. The meeting centered primarily around three proposed pilot projects that would attempt to improve forest conditions and create limited timber harvest. While I'm hopeful for success, my expectations are low. Even the two professors in charge of the projects, Norm Johnson of Oregon State and Jerry Franklin of the University of Washington, attempted to lower expectations by cautioning that "the uncertainty created by the draft Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan affects what might potentially be accomplished as a part of any pilot projects given the abundance of owls in the Roseburg and Medford District." The uncertainty comes from a labyrinth of overlapping federal rules that make any attempt to manage these federal lands nearly impossible. Hal Salwasser, dean of the OSU College of Forestry, recently referred to federal forest management as "dysfunctional."...more

No comments: