A Resolution Concerning the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Management Plan for Western Oregon. By The Oregon Logging Conference. February 25, 2016
WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management has released a draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for managing 2.5 million acres of forestland in Western Oregon, including over 2 million acres of “O&C” lands that will be in effect for the next 20 years, and
WHEREAS, this is the second attempt to replace the 20 year old Northwest Forest Plan developed by the Clinton Administration in 1994. The first rewrite was unilaterally withdrawn by the Obama Administration upon taking office in 2008, and
WHEREAS, the O&C Act of 1937 requires that the BLM’s forest land in western Oregon be managed predominantly for timber production to sustain and grow the economies of the counties where the land occurs and that 75 percent of the proceeds of timber sales be shared with the counties to finance important government services, and
WHEREAS, in spite of this legal mandate to manage the land for sustained timber harvests to benefit rural counties, the draft RMP alternatives range from having a maximum of 32 percent of the land managed for timber to a low of just 14 percent, all in clear violation of the O&C Act of 1937, and
WHEREAS, the preferred alternative would allocate just 24 percent of the land to sustained timber production and authorize timber harvest levels equal to just 20 percent of the annual timber growth on the O&C forest lands in clear violation of the law’s sustained yield mandate, and
WHEREAS, the O&C forest lands grow in excess of one billion board feet of timber per year and timber inventories have increased during the imposition of the Northwest Forest Plan as considerably less timber has been harvested than grown, setting up a possibly disastrous forest health crisis as insects and disease invade the forest and catastrophic wildfire risks increase, and
WHEREAS, while the regional timber harvest levels are woefully inadequate to sustain neither the forest industry nor the counties, to make matters worse, the harvest is geographically allocated to harm the southwest Oregon counties disproportionately, in an area where federal timber is in the highest demand.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) go on record in strong opposition to the Bureau of Land Management’s draft Resource Management Plan for western Oregon and request that the agency go back to the drawing board to re-draft a plan that truly considers the true capacity of the O&C forests to produce timber in a sustainable manner to benefit rural counties.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the OLC believes the entire range of alternatives addressed in the draft RMP are illegal and in clear violation of the O&C mandate identifying timber production as the dominant use of the forests under its jurisdiction.