O&C and Monumentizing: Dueling Rulings

From the SF Chronicle

I’m following up on Jon’s idea that laws help us figure out what are “right” decisions. I think the O&C story is a illustration of how the laws’ interpretation by the courts can be not particularly helpful if a decision has to be made in real time (that is, before the end of litigation, appeals and so on.) I know many TSW readers know a great deal about this..so hopefully can give us additional information and perspective. Here’s a link to this op-ed in the Mail-Tribune (from Medford? Hard to tell from website).

A federal judge’s ruling that 40,000 acres of former Oregon & California Railroad lands in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument must remain in timber production is far from the last word on this question, and even if it is eventually upheld, it would affect only a portion of monument land and perhaps much less than the 40,000 acres in the ruling.

Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled in a case filed by the American Forest Resource Council, a timber industry group. The AFRC argued that the expansion of the monument declared by President Barack Obama in 2017 improperly overturned the intent of Congress when it passed the O&C Act in 1937, designating more than 2 million acres of forest in 18 Western Oregon counties for sustainable timber production. Congress had granted title to the lands in 1866 to the railroad company as incentive to complete the Oregon portion of the Portland to San Francisco railroad. When the company failed to sell the land to settlers as required, Congress took it back in 1916, and added more acres from a similar land grant in 1919. The O&C Act placed all those lands under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management for permanent forest production.

This E&E News story is also interesting with more legal details..

Here’s AFRC’s side of the story (from their newsletter):
In late 2019, the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. issued favorable rulings in two major cases enforcing the O&C Act. (October and November 2019 newsletters). The Swanson III case seeks to
require BLM to offer its declared allowable sale quantity (ASQ) each year, which is one of the mandates of the O&C Act. The other case involves challenges led by AFRC and the Association of O&C Counties to the 2016 Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for western Oregon BLM lands.

Judge Leon ruled in September, “Every year, BLM is required to sell or offer for sale an amount of timber that is not less than the declared annual sustained yield capacity of the timberland subject to the O&C Act.” He also found that “the record establishes that BLM has repeatedly failed to comply with the O&C Act’s timber sale mandate.” In November, he ruled that the 2016 RMPs violated the O&C Act’s mandate that all O&C timberlands “shall be managed” for “permanent forest production” under sustained yield principles. This is because the RMPs set aside 80% of the land base into “reserves” where harvest is severely curtailed.

The court instructed the parties to file proposals in these cases as to the appropriate remedy, which were submitted on January 27. The plaintiffs’ proposal, incorporating both Swanson III and the RMP challenges, involves preparation of an amended or revised plan, an ongoing requirement to sell the ASQ, and interim direction on volume while the plan is being reviewed. The government’s proposals ask in large part for the Court to return BLM to an open-ended administrative process while keeping the existing plans in place. Response briefs will be filed in late February and a final order could be issued any time after that.

In the November ruling, Judge Leon also invalidated President Obama’s expansion of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument that encompassed about 40,000 acres of O&C lands. Both the government
and intervening environmental groups have appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, also called the “D.C. Circuit.” Resolution of the appeal is likely to take at least 12-15 months.

Does anyone know why the “government” chose to appeal the decision?

Downgrading wildlife in land management plans

Siskiyou Mountains Salmander, Plethodon stormi, (c) 2005 William Flaxington


The Center for Biological Diversity has notified the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its intent to sue for failure to respond to its petition to list the Siskiyou Mountains salamander as a threatened or endangered species. The species is found primarily on BLM lands, but also on the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Klamath National Forests.   Prior listings were avoided largely because of provisions in the Northwest Forest Plan to protect the species:

Conservation groups first petitioned for protection of the salamander under the Endangered Species Act in 2004. To prevent the species’ listing, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed a conservation agreement in 2007, intended to protect habitat for 110 high-priority salamander sites on federal lands in the Applegate River watershed. In 2008 the Fish and Wildlife Service denied protection for the salamander based on this conservation agreement and old-growth forest protections provided by the Northwest Forest Plan.

Here’s what’s changed (from the 2018 listing petition):

The Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) which replaces the Northwest Forest Plan, has the express purpose of substantially increasing logging on BLM lands with the range of the salamander and elsewhere (USBLM 2016, p. 20). The WOPR was originally proposed in 2008 and abandoned by the BLM in 2012 after years of litigation. In August 2016 the BLM issued a final Environmental Impact Statement implementing the WOPR (USBLM 2016).

The WOPR presents a substantial new threat to Siskiyou Mountains salamanders in Oregon because it will allow increased timber harvest in late-successional areas, decrease optimal salamander habitat, increase habitat fragmentation, eliminate requirements to conduct predisturbance surveys in salamander habitat, and allow logging of previously identified known, occupied salamander sites. The WOPR removes protections for salamander populations formerly included in species protection buffers on BLM lands. Although some of the reserves on BLM lands have been enlarged in the WOPR, timber harvest emphasis areas will often be subject to more intensive logging, and logging of known, occupied Siskiyou Mountains salamander sites is allowed.

This demonstrates again the value of including regulatory mechanisms as protective measures in forest plans: they can keep species from being listed under ESA. There is already a pending lawsuit against the new WOPR (now officially called the Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon), and the Forest Service should keep this in mind when it revises its forest plans that are now governed by the Northwest Forest Plan (especially the “survey and manage” requirement).

The trend seems to be in the other direction, however (see also greater sage grouse). And when a species is listed, regulatory mechanisms are needed in forest plans to contribute to their recovery and delisting. Yet the Forest Service is removing such mechanisms from forest plans for grizzly bears, lynx and bull trout (Flathead National Forest), Indiana bats (Daniel Boone National Forest: to “provide flexibility to implement forest management activities”), and black-footed ferrets (Thunder Basin National Grassland:  “greater emphasis on control and active management of prairie dog colonies to address significant concerns related to health, safety, and economic impacts on neighboring landowners”).   Since plant and animal diversity was one of the main reasons for NFMA it shouldn’t be a big surprise to see these kinds of retrograde actions ending up in court.


Oregon logging history map

Oregon Wild has compiled an  interactive map of logged and thinned areas on public and private lands across the state of Oregon.  If nothing else, it’s hard to look at this and accuse anyone wanting to keep logging out of new parts of their public lands of being an “extremist.”

Oregon Wild intends to use this mapping tool to help advocate for forest conservation and demonstrate that while there have been temporal pulses of increased logging intensity over the years, logging is always very active on both public and private forests in Oregon. In fact, if anything, the analysis on this site underrepresents the true extent of logging taking place.

The tool is also a great visualization of the few Wilderness and roadless wild lands remaining in the state – while it does not highlight these areas, they are clearly visible by their noticeable lack of logging units. These last bastions of wild landscapes are far too rare in Oregon, a reason Oregon Wild is working to protect what is left.

We can also use the tool to push back on misinformation spouted by timber interests.

  • Many say that logging on public land was “shut-down” by the spotted owl and Northwest Forest Plan, first implemented in 1994, but the data shows that logging continued apace throughout the Northwest Forest Plan region after the plan was adopted.
  • Logging advocates also say we need the increase the “pace and scale” of logging to reduce fire hazard in the dry forests of eastern and southwest Oregon, but the data show that thinning has already occurred across vast portions of these forests.

New lawsuit to protect red tree voles from logging project

(Complete story here.)

Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service to stop an 847-acre logging project on the Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon, about 22 miles southeast of Cottage Grove.

Red tree vole surveys were also conducted during the fall of 2016. According to the lawsuit, the Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team found 75 vole nests in the forests slated for logging, but the Forest Service decided to proceed with the project.

The North Oregon Coast population of voles is considered a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from the Siuslaw River north to the Columbia River, due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

(A candidate species is warranted for listing, but precluded by higher priorities.)

But here’s the part I thought might be interesting:  “The Bureau of Land Management also lifted survey and management guidelines for the species in 2016.”  As things get worse off for a species everywhere else, the national forests will necessarily be under more pressure to provide regulatory mechanisms to protect the species, and conditions external to a national forest will make it harder and more important to provide conditions on the national forest that promote a viable population.  (Implications for revising the northwest forest plans?)

Lone Rock Timber Receives Threat

From the News-Review, Roseburg, OR:

Lone Rock Timber Management Company has asked the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for additional patrols in response to a threat made against the company by conservationists, according to the sheriff’s call logs.

The call, made just before 6 p.m. Thursday, said a group of conservationists are upset that Lone Rock is logging in the Susan Creek area, land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and are threatening to burn Lone Rock “to the ground.”

Lone Rock requests extra police presence in wake of threats

Doesn’t mention the name of the group.


Posted on Facebook on May 7, 2018 by Francis Eatherington:

“Yesterday we hiked into the BLM forest that Lone Rock Timber had threatened to cut down for a new road, and we found it just cut down. Very sad. All the big trees were horizontal on the ground. We counted the rings on some stumps and found them to be 400 years old. On the hike in we went past LRT’s 19-acre plantation they had just cut and yarded, and we could see about an acre of tiny trees they had left to cut at the top of their unit. Even though it was clearcut 40-years ago, this time LRT insisted they had to cut this 70’-wide road through BLM land to get a mechanical harvester into that little acre they had left. They couldn’t cut it manually like they did before. This is an obvious scam by Lone Rock – they will get far more timber from our public old growth forest then they will access from their land. Not only are the old-growth trees gone, a new road bulldozed across this ancient forest will be a horrible scar, spreading it’s edge-effect far into the remaining old growth forest.”

Posted on Facebook on May 7, 2018 by Doug Heiken:

“The reason that Lone Rock Timber gave for needing access through this stand of ancient trees, was they needed to get a mechanical harvester (tree killing robot) into the area so they could log a stand of small trees on their own land. However, before the road even got built Lone Rock was able to log all but about 1 acre of their land. Which means these ancient trees fell just so they could bring their robot in to fell an acre of second growth. This is SO wrong! I smell a scam. The timber industry is to blame and BLM is complicit.”


Here seens a fair-minded piece that looks at (and talks to) both sides (and explains the O&C rights of way). But be careful, as there are a couple of interesting stories and you only get five free ones.

In this case they claim that BLM has embarked on a ‘back-room deal with Lone Rock Timber to log ancient forests,’ when the truth of the matter is that Lone Rock Timber has the legal right under our reciprocal right-of-way agreement with the BLM to construct the road to gain access to our property,” Luther said, adding some of the trees in the posted photos are outside of the proposed logging area.

If I lived in the area, I would be tempted to go see for myself (and share the photos here).

BLM O&C plan changes may lead to ESA listing

One of the factors considered in listing a species under ESA is the adequacy of exiting regulatory mechanisms.  One of the biggest payoffs from national forest and BLM planning may be the adoption of such mandatory mechanisms that would protect a species and reduce or eliminate the need to list it under ESA.

The Northwest Forest Plan included a requirement to survey for rare species prior to logging projects – “Survey and Manage.” BLM amended its Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Resource Management Plan in August 2016 (see prior discussion on this blog here).  One significant change in the approach to managing at-risk species was eliminating the Survey and Manage requirement.  Here is the statement regarding this change from the BLM:

“The Proposed RMP, like the action alternatives, does not include the Survey and Manage measures of the No Action alternative. The Survey and Manage measures were included in the Northwest Forest Plan to respond to a goal of ensuring viable, well-distributed populations of all species associated with late-successional and old-growth forests. This goal of the Northwest Forest Plan was founded on a U.S. Forest Service organic statute and planning regulation, which did not and do not apply to the BLM, and is not a part of the purpose for this RMP revision. As detailed in the analysis in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, the Proposed RMP will allocate a larger Late-Successional Reserve network than the No Action alternative, will protect older and more structurally-complex forests, and will continue to provide management for many of the formerly Survey and Manage species as Bureau Sensitive species. The Proposed RMP can achieve the purpose of this RMP revision and respond the BLM’s statutory authorities and mandates without the Survey and Manage measures.”

Here is a response:

Conservation groups Monday petitioned the government to list the rare Siskiyou Mountains salamander under the federal Endangered Species Act, claiming federal land managers’ apparent reneging on old “look before you log” provisions in potential future logging sales imperil the rare forest amphibian.

Since 2007, the BLM has been required to survey for rare species like the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and manage 110 high-priority sites for the benefits of salamanders and their habitats. This survey-and-management plan, was also known as the “look before you log” approach, generally includes logging buffers should sales move forward.

Conservation groups originally filed for Endangered Species Act protection for the salamander in 2004. The 2007 conservation agreement, as well as old-growth forest protections under the Northwest Forest Plan, were cited by the Fish and Wildlife Service when it denied Endangered Species Act protection for the salamander.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will now have to consider the effect of the changes in the BLM plan, and may decide that listing this species is warranted.  That could lead to further restrictions on logging.  Of course BLM could then blame someone else – for forcing it to recognize that protecting species and ecosystems is part of its mission.


Massive Crater Lake Wilderness Area Fantasy

Oregon Wild has proposed a massive half million acre Wilderness Area, partly to “protect” Crater Lake. The Klamath County Commissioners are saying no, with fears that summer fires would affect public health, and that those unhealthy forests need active management.


Here is a map of what Oregon Wild wants done.

Oregon’s O & C Forest Lands: “The Rest of the Story”

Register Guard Viewpoint

Stephen P. Mealey*

After reading recent guest opinion pieces (Keene 2/4/14, and Doppelt 2/5/14) citing climate change as a primary reason to curtail management of the O&C forests, I felt compelled as Paul Harvey might have put it: “to tell the rest of the story”. The following is a key message from the forestry chapter of the 2013 draft National Climate Assessment (NCA): “Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of forests to ecosystem change and tree mortality through fire, insect infestations, drought, and disease outbreaks. Western U. S. forests are particularly vulnerable to increased wildfire and insect outbreaks…” In 2012, U. S. Forest Service researchers supporting the NCA concluded: “By the end of the 21st century, forest ecosystems in the U. S. will differ from those of today as a result of changing climate…wildfires, insect infestations, pulses of erosion and flooding and drought-induced tree mortality are all expected to increase during the 21st century.”

Around 48% of the 2.2 million acres of O&C forests are unhealthy and fire-prone, conditions that will only worsen with prolonged climate warming. Nearly 25% are classified as Fire Regime Condition Class 3 (FRCC3) meaning the risk of losing key ecosystem components (i.e., soil, water, wildlife) to uncharacteristic wildfires that are larger and more intense and severe than normal, is high. In addition to climate warming, these conditions reflect the long-term policy of fire exclusion and the dramatic reduction of timber management since 1990. Natural disturbance cycles have been altered, and have not been replaced by managed systems. Most of these “at risk” forests are called “Dry Forests” by Jerry Franklin and Norm Johnson and are generally found between the southern end of the Willamette Valley and California on the BLM Roseburg and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area. Forest types include Southwest Oregon mixed conifer, dry ponderosa pine, red fir, dry Douglas fir, and California mixed evergreen habitats.

The 2000 National Fire Plan and the 2012 National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy are federal/state government partnership initiatives to address the problems of the O&C at risk forests and those like them throughout the West. Goals are: restore and maintain landscapes that are resilient to fire related disturbances; provide for fire adapted human communities that can withstand wildfire without loss of life and property; and, make efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions. The most fundamental principle is: Actively manage at risk forests to make them more resilient to disturbance and protect human communities. To restore the FRCC3 O&C forests to resilience in a 20-25 year time period, 15,000-20,000 acres per year need to have tree densities reduced through selective harvest and prescribed fire while maintaining Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife population goals for wildlife.

Management of at risk forests to restore resilience is not a “Trojan Horse” to “get the cut out”, as some claim. Clearly, the absence of active management is at least one of the principal factors resulting in the 2002 Biscuit Fire, Oregon’s largest. There, forest types the same as those at risk on the O&C forests burned in many places with uncharacteristic and harmful effects blowing the entire topsoil horizon out to sea in many places and destroying ESA protected Northern Spotted Owl habitat. The need for active management of the O&C forests is part of a much larger state problem. Many of Oregon’s more than 18 million federal forest acres reflect an unhealthy condition made worse by climate warming where most are considered at risk of uncharacteristic wildfire and nearly 40% (Dry Forests) are considered at high risk. In the past 10 years over 3 million acres in more than 20,000 wildfires have burned affecting 10% of Oregon’s total forest land and 16% of its timber land. These fires have come at significant economic and ecological costs. A hopeful response in Oregon’s Blue Mountains with much FRCC2&3 forests is a Forest Service program dubbed “accelerated restoration” designed to provide more timber for mills while restoring resilience to tree-killing insects, disease and wildfires.

Oregonians should be grateful especially to Congressmen DeFazio, Walden and Schrader, and Senator Wyden for addressing the needs for healthy forests and healthy communities in their respective proposals for management of O&C forests. While their approaches differ in some respects all agree that active forest management to restore forests and associated communities is imperative ecologically and economically. Proposed timber harvest in “Moist Forests” not only benefits local communities economically but can, if well distributed, create high quality early seral habitat beneficial to a wide array of wildlife species including elk and deer which are in steep decline.

Finally, in September 2013, the Pinchot Institute in Pennsylvania convened some of the nation’s leading thinkers in conservation science and practice to re-examine the vision, goals, and methods for conserving and sustainably managing forests in the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch where humans are massively changing Earth’s life support systems. More active management of forest ecosystems was seen as important to conserving biodiversity and maintaining other essential values of forest ecosystems such as water resource protection. Unmanaged “static” conservation reserves in rapidly changing “dynamic” ecosystems were not seen as useful options. That’s the rest of the story.

*Steve Mealey lives near Leaburg. He is Vice President for Conservation, Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest American hunter/conservationist organization in America. The Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887.

Wyden’s Bill Preview (?)

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this Preview. I received on an email trail that supposedly starts from Wyden’s office. I am as likely as the next person to be bamboozled. Still, just in case, I thought it worth sharing. As I reformatted this from the email, I had many thoughts, but I will reserve them until I find out for sure that it’s not an elaborate and brilliantly crafted hoax.

For too long, Oregon’s 2.1 million acres of O&C grant lands have been ground zero for the battle between those seeking to halt logging in the Northwest and those seeking to return to the unsustainable logging levels of a bygone era.

This legislation would end the gridlock by using science to guide management of the O&C lands, roughly doubling timber harvests over the next 10 years compared to the last 10 years and providing certainty for local communities. At the same time, this bill will permanently protect old growth trees, ensure habitat for sensitive species, and put in place strong safeguards for drinking water and fish.

This bill amends the Oregon and California Revested Lands Sustained Yield
Management Act of 1937, so the O&C Grant Lands in 18 Oregon counties are
managed to foster long-term forest and environmental health while producing
sustainable levels of timber.

It achieves these goals and resolves longstanding land management disputes by separating the Oregon and California Grant Lands into roughly equal “forestry emphasis” and “conservation emphasis” areas.

Ensuring Predictable and Sustainable Timber Harvests
The legislation requires the Secretary of the Interior to provide a long-term sustained yield of timber in forestry emphasis areas, using forestry principles developed by Drs. Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin, two highly respected Northwest scientists. It includes specific directions for managing dry and moist forests. In forestry emphasis areas, sustainable timber production is a clear management priority, eliminating the uncertainty and conflicting direction that have contributed to the decline in forest management on O&C lands.

Over the past decade, harvests have averaged 149.5 million board feet per year, and were at just 167 million board feet in 2012, according to the BLM. Even that low level is likely to fall off by more than 30% in about a decade, according to the agency’s projections. The status quo, thinning only approach leads to only about 115 million board feet of harvests in about 10 years, unless the agency can move forward with a new strategy for the O&C forests. This bill represents a new strategy that works and can become law.

This strategy takes the most controversial harvests off the table. It ensures that:
● Old growth stands over 120 years old and trees over 150 years old cannot be harvested.

● Timber harvests and thinning projects cannot significantly impact stream
quality, fish, highly erodible land, wetlands, endangered or threatened
species, or tribal cultural sites.

● Spotted owl nest trees are protected and harvests that may impact endangered species require coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Moist Forests

● Harvests must retain 30 percent of the original trees in a stand. Trees along streams can count toward this 30 percent, but any old growth trees protected are above and beyond this threshold. The remaining trees are to be no uniformly spaced throughout a stand, ensuring more natural distribution of trees.

● Stands in the moist forests will be harvested when the average age of the
trees in the stand reach 80 to 120 years of age.

● Continues thinning projects that leave more than 50 percent of trees in stands.

Dry Forests

● Resiliency to fire is the management emphasis for dry forest stands.

● Harvesting to reduce the density of trees in dry forests is promoted;
however, one third of all of the dry forests must be selected to remain as
denser landscape scale patches for endangered species.

● Harvesting must ensure the oldest 35 percent of the trees in an area remain after the operation.

● Provides new flexibility for county governments to reduce fire danger within half a mile of homes, and private landowners to within 100 feet of their own homes.

Streamlining Environmental Reviews

This bill would cut environmental and court reviews of proposed timber sales nearly in half, taking commonsense steps to streamline review procedures, while maintaining environmental laws.

While federal Environmental Impact Statements take an average of 3.6 years,
according to one study, this bill would require the BLM to finalize its O&C
environmental impact statements within 18 months after the bill becomes law.

First, it streamlines the timelines for environmental and judicial reviews;

Second, it eliminates the individual environmental impact statements for each timber sale, and replaces them with two large-scale environmental impact statements – one each for dry and moist forests – that examine 10years’ worth of timber sales on O&C lands;

Third, it requires frontloaded coordination between federal agencies during
environmental reviews; and Fourth, it requires upfront studies of areas to prioritize treatments.

● The streamlined EIS procedures continue to allow for judicial review, but
eliminate unnecessary delays by setting strict, but achievable deadlines. For example, the draft Environmental Impact Statements must be released within a year of enactment, and finalized within 18 months of enactment.

● Lawsuits must be filed no later than 30 days after a final decision is made by the BLM. In addition, only those who participated in the BLM comment
process and raised their objections are eligible to file suit. An expedited court procedure requires trials to begin within 180 days, to ensure lawsuits are heard in a timely manner.

● Once the 10year EIS is finalized, the BLM must simply document that a
proposed project meets the criteria analyzed in the EIS, rather than
conducting a project specific environmental review. Projects may only be challenged on the grounds that they failed to conform with the EIS.

● Eliminates the time consuming “survey and manage” requirements of the
Northwest Forest Plan on the forestry emphasis areas of the O&C lands.

● The US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service will conduct a five year check in, to ensure operations and impacts to species follow the original EIS.

● This bill leaves the Endangered Species Act untouched, and the habitat for
the plants and animals that the Endangered Species Act protects are managed
to help try to recover these species.

Protecting Streams, Drinking Water and Fish

The bill creates the first specific legislative protections for aquatic areas and watersheds on O&C lands, by requiring the BLM to protect and restore water quality for drinking water and aquatic species in streams and lakes.

● It protects water quality for all O&C lands. In forestry emphasis areas,
riparian reserves would encompass an area 150 feet from streams containing fish, and 75 feet from other streams. The modified reserves allow for greater timber harvests, while maintaining habitat and water quality protections.

● Within those reserves, thinning is allowed to improve forest and stream
health. Thinning is allowed for trees under 80 years old in moist forests,
and for trees under 150 years in dry forests. An additional buffer of 75
feet on streams without fish can be used for sustainable harvests in stands
less than 80 years of age.

● In conservation emphasis areas, riparian reserves are permanently protected under the same approach currently used under the Northwest
Forest Plan.

● Watershed assessments will be conducted to identify streams most in
need of protection. Riparian reserves can be adjusted based on those

● Permanent road construction is prohibited in key watersheds, and the
BLM is directed to generally decrease the quantity of roads on its lands.

● Sets aside $1 million per year for transporting and placing large trees in
streams to improve water quality and fish habitat.

● To speed up restoration accomplishments, the following clearly beneficial
restoration activities are excluded from analysis typically required by
NEPA: Placing trees in streams to benefit fish species, planting of native
trees along streams, replacing culverts that prevent fish from migrating,
and removal of user created roads.

● The removal of excess roads on BLM lands is a priority. A new “Legacy
Roads and Trails” program is created for these lands and is authorized to
spend $5 million annually.

Management in the Conservation Areas

Conservation areas will be managed for general conservation benefits, including old growth protection, watershed health, native wildlife, climate management, recreation, and tourism.

● In the conservation areas, road building with limited exceptions and
mineral development is prohibited. Timber harvests are allowed, but are
limited to those that improve habitat and forest health. This is achieved by
thinning and retaining older and larger trees.

Portions of the conservation areas will be designated for more specific management and additional protections:

● Oregon Treasures: Wild Rogue Wilderness expansion (56,400 acres),
Rogue River Wild and Scenic Rivers expansion (93 miles), Molalla
Recreational River designation (15.1 miles), Table Rock Fork Recreational
River designation (6.2 miles), Chetco Wild and Scenic River update

● Devil’s Staircase Wilderness: 30,540 acres

● Cascade Siskiyou National Monument Expansion: 5,700 acres

● Illinois Valley Salmon and Botanical Area: 16,300 acres

● Recreation and Backcountry Areas: Rogue National Recreation Area
(nearly 95,000 acres); Molalla National Recreation Area (24,000 acres);
Pacific Crest Trail Protection Corridor (8,200 acres); Primitive
Backcountry Areas: Grizzly Peak (3,000 acres), Dakubetede (27,700
acres), Wellington Wildlands (5,700 acres), Mungers Butte (9,800 acres),
Brummitt Fir (1,500 acres), Crabtree Valley (2,000 acres)

● Drinking Water Special Management Units (total acres: 47,000):
McKenzie, Hillsboro, Clackamas, and Springfield Drinking Water Special
Management Units.

● Special Environmental Zones: 95,600 acres of current or proposed
BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

● Wild and Scenic Rivers (total miles: 47): Nestucca River, Walker Creek,
North Fork Silver Creek, Lobster Creek, Jenny Creek, Spring Creek,
Franklin Creek and Wasson Creek

Increasing Revenues for Counties

The revenues generated from the sale of timber from these lands will be shared with the counties and pay for the cost of managing the lands, without increasing the federal deficit.

● Every county is guaranteed at least as much funding as it would have
received under the O&C Act of 1937, if it had elected to receive those funds
in Fiscal Year 2013.

● The BLM will receive 25 percent of revenues – up to $20 million – to fund
management of the O&C lands.

● Each year, $4 million of the revenue generated from timber harvests will go to the U.S. Treasury, to prevent an increase in the federal deficit.

● The remaining revenue shall be paid annually to the O&C counties.

● If there is insufficient revenue to meet the county’s minimum payment,
money will be taken from the U.S. Treasury payment and then the BLM
administrative repayment to cover the balance.

Consolidating the Checkerboard of Land Ownership

The bill provides new ways to consolidate land ownership and reduce the
checkerboard of public and private lands. Within six months of the date of
enactment, BLM will identify lands suitable for sale or exchange with private or state owned lands. BLM is authorized to sell or exchange Federal land in order to consolidate land in an effort to improve management efficiency and productivity or to improve the ecological value of conservation areas.

● BLM will sell a portion of the acres it identifies or has previously identified for disposal and use the revenue from the sales to purchase land near to BLM holdings.

● If land in forest emphasis areas is sold, the land purchased with these funds will be managed as a forest emphasis area. Sales of conservation emphasis area lands shall be used to purchase lands for conservation emphasis.

Additional provisions

● This Act sets aside 50,000 acres for special joint management and research
by the BLM and Oregon State University and other institutions of higher
education. The Secretary will choose lands near Oregon State University
from both the timber emphasis areas and the conservation areas. The lands
will be managed to conduct ecological forestry demonstration projects,
research and monitor suspected impacts, and produce timber. If the land fails to be actively managed, it will revert back to management by the BLM.

● Land is restored to two Oregon tribes: the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua
Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and
nds may not be used for gaming, and commercial forestry activities on these lands must follow applicable federal laws, and there will be no net loss of O&C lands.

● Management restrictions on the Coquille Tribe’s lands are lifted to make their treatment equal to other tribal” (sorry that’s the way the email ended).