A Resolution Regarding The Bureau of Land Management’s
Western Oregon Plan Revision
For Consideration By The Oregon Logging Conference
WHEREAS, The Bureau of Land Management took five years and spent $16 million revising a management plan for approximately 2.6 million acres of forest land in Western Oregon, a plan known as the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR), and
WHEREAS, these lands fall under the legal jurisdiction of the O&C Act of 1937, a law consistently interpreted by the courts to place the sustainable production of timber to support the financial interests of communities surrounded by federal lands as the “dominant use” of these lands, and
WHEREAS, the WOPR was prepared as a settlement following a United States Federal District Court finding that the Clinton/Gore era Northwest Forest Plan was in violation of the O&C Act because it did not adequately address the economic needs of local, natural resource dependent communities, and
WHEREAS, while the WOPR proposed a timber sale program of over 500 million board feet per year, this harvest level is less than one half the annual growth on the affected lands. Furthermore, the WOPR would have preserved one half of the lands for the protection of fish, water and wildlife in addition to the environmental protections applied to lands scheduled for active management and precluded timber harvest in stands greater than 160 years of age for a period of 15 years, and
WHEREAS, on July 16, 2009, the newly appointed Secretary of Interior for the Obama Administration, Ken Salazar, unilaterally rescinded the WOPR and reinstated the legally indefensible Northwest Forest Plan. His action was based on the erroneous interpretation of the Endangered Species Act that formal consultation must be done at the plan level rather than at the project level, even though the Bureau of Land Management had committed to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to conduct formal consultation at the project level.
NOW, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) go on record in demanding that Secretary of Interior Salazar reinstate the WOPR as the plan to guide the Bureau of Land Management in managing its Western Oregon timberlands and to comply with the explicit direction of the O&C Act for addressing the economic needs of timber dependent communities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the OLC support the Bureau of Land Management’s position that formal consultation under the Endangered Species Act is most appropriately conducted at the project level where the impact of site specific activities on threatened and endangered species can be measured most accurately.