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2019 Resolution # 2 Opposing The Forest Service’s Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision

WHEREAS, after a 15 year effort with many schedule revisions, staff turnover and changing forest conditions, the U.S Forest Service released the proposed final Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision in June 2018 to govern the management of Northeast Oregon’s 5.5 million acre Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, and

WHEREAS, after a 60 day public comment period, the agency received 306 formal objections to the plan from organizations interested in timber sale levels, unjustified limitations on road access and unwarranted restrictions on livestock grazing prompting Congressman Greg Walden to conclude, “I have concerns about people feeling like they weren’t listened to, especially regarding timber harvest levels, and

WHEREAS, forest sector objectors include the Associated Oregon Loggers, American Forest Resource Council, Boise Cascade Wood Products LLC and King. Inc. Forest Industry as well as the Eastern Oregon Counties Association that have documented the need for approximately 335 million board feet of annual saw log production just to keep existing mills operating while the forest plan revision suggests a gross annual volume of just 150 million board feet, and

WHEREAS, these objectors are united in their concerns about unreliable timber sale promises, excessive tree harvest restrictions, poor road access, unreasonable wildlife constraints, unacceptable Wilderness recommendations, punishing grazing rules, a disregard for the input of local businesses, lack of concern for neighboring property values, lack of urgency for reducing fuels in overcrowded forest stands and for post-fire salvage and stand restoration, and

WHEREAS, on December 21, 2018 President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order in which he made this observation about federal forests, “For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires….Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands.”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Oregon Logging Conference join the chorus in opposing the proposed Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision and urge the Forest Service to be responsive to those objecting to the plan, address the economic and environmental concerns of local citizens and communities and adopt a plan that provides for the timber supply needs of forest product manufacturing facilities and contractors in the region.