WHEREAS, The adoption of the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994 to manage the federal forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California placed 88% of the land base in unmanaged timber reserves, substantially reduced harvest levels from these forests and placed the federal forest at risk to forest health problems and catastrophic fires.
WHEREAS, Recent events, particularly the catastrophic wild fires we have seen in 2006 and 2007 have demonstrated the unhealthy conditions of the federal forests managed under the northwest forest plan and increased congressional and public awareness and involvement with these issues.
WHEREAS, Congress is looking to timber harvest by thinning in younger, already managed 35 to 50 year old forest stand types as well as overstocked and fire suppressed stands as the means of achieving timber volume targets and providing economic stability to local communities, reducing risk of fire and improving forest health.
WHEREAS, most thinning regimes proposed to date have included some limitation on treatment of stand types based on tree size, age, or other pre-existing reserve constraints and do not address the need for long term stand replacement and forest health over the entire landscape.
NOW, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) go on record in support of the use of thinning as one of many silvicultural tools used in a management plan to provide economic benefits to local communities, reduce the risk of catastrophic fire in over stocked suppressed stands, and improve forest health.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that OLC does not believe a management regime based exclusively on thinning younger stand types is sustainable long term and do not support a management plan tied to old growth preservation. Any management plan should provide for long term sustainability and forest health over the entire landscape through the use of a variety of silviculture practices including thinning in older age stand types and regeneration harvest to provide forest re-initiation and renewal.