A Resolution Supporting Oregon’s Forest Protection Laws and the Authority of The Board Of Forestry To Administer Them

By the Oregon Logging Conference – Adopted February 23, 2017

WHEREAS, The Oregon Forest Practices Act (the Act) was passed by the Oregon Legislature in 1971 establishing rules and regulations for managing and protecting forest resources on all state and private forestlands, and

WHEREAS, in the four decades since the law was enacted, the rules have been updated and modernized numerous times as science and empirical experience have improved the professional understanding of forest ecosystems and effective management practices, and

WHEREAS, the Oregon State Board of Forestry is responsible for adopting the rules that govern how the Oregon Forest Practices Act is implemented and for evaluating, and changing the rules as needed, and

WHEREAS, current rules address reforestation requirements after harvesting; regulate silvicultural practices such as clearcutting and herbicide application; requirements for protecting wildlife and sensitive habitats; rules for protecting fish habitat including buffer requirements along fish bearing streams; and protecting water quality with strict rules for constructing and maintaining roads, stream crossings and rules restricting hauling logs in wet weather, and

WHEREAS, numerous environmental organizations have attempted in recent years to amend the Forest Practices Act and its provisions for protecting Oregon’s forests through the initiative petition process, attempting to put complex, scientific forest management issues such as clearcutting, roadbuilding and herbicide application before the voting public and

WHEREAS, these are attempts to undermine and circumvent the responsibility and authority of the Board of Forestry and the State Legislature to perform their respective duties as prescribed in state law to modernize, update and amend the Forest Practices Act as necessary to protect the state’s forest resources when warranted.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) go on record in opposition to ad hoc, piecemeal efforts by special interest groups to amend complex forest protection laws through the initiative petition process.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the OLC encourage the Board of Forestry to assert itself as the authority responsible for the administration, oversight, and implementation of the Act and the source of suggested amendments as they become necessary and supported by sound peer reviewed science.