FYI, from the American Forest Resource Council’s October newsletter:
AFRC Submits Comments on the Eastside Screens EA
On October 12, AFRC submitted comments in response to a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) published by the Forest Service that considers amendments to a set of guidelines known as the Eastside Screens. The PEA specifically proposes amending that portion of the Eastside Screens that prohibits harvest of any tree over 21 inches in diameter. See August Newsletter for a summary of the findings in the PEA.
Our comments urged the Forest Service to adopt the alternative that best meets the goal of the EA, which is described as “maintaining the abundance and distribution of old forest structure.” The effects analysis outlined in the PEA was based on a robust review of scientific literature and concluded that the Adaptive Management Alternative would permit the “development of more open late old structure than all other alternatives.” As such, AFRC expressed our full support for adoption and implementation of the Adaptive Management Alternative in order to maximize the attainment of the goals of the proposed amendment and the goals of the Eastside Screens.
We are hopeful that AFRC is not alone in its support for the scientifically supported replacement for the 21-inch rule and that the Forest Service adopts this alternative that will allow its forest management professionals the flexibility to effectively manage the diverse forest ecosystems in eastern Oregon without the burden of an arbitrary diameter limit. /Andy Geissler