Forest Service Releases Assessment of Current Conditions of Northwest Forests

feature IconPress release from the US Forest Service:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service released a Bioregional Assessment evaluating the social, economic and ecological conditions and trends covering 19 units across WA, OR and northern CA in a brief and easy-to-understand format.

The assessment uses the best available science and focuses on capturing current conditions and changes on the national forests and grasslands. It provides recommendations on how the Forest Service could address the challenges facing forests, grasslands and communities in the plans that govern how land management decisions are made.

“The release of this assessment gives our region the data and scientific analysis to make future well-informed, landscape-level decisions that benefit our six northern forests,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region in California. “Furthermore, we’re now able to move forward and prepare for updating land management plans to provide essential commodities and recreational opportunities, manage and reduce risk from wildfires through vegetative management and other proactive landscape efforts, provide clean air, water and habitat for plants and animals, and preserve our cultural resources, for present and future generations.”

The Forest Service and other federal land management agencies are required by law to develop plans that guide the long-term management of public lands. These plans are developed using public input and the best available science. They establish priorities for land managers and provide strategic direction for how the plan area is to be managed for a period of ten years or more. They may be periodically amended or revised entirely to address changing conditions or priorities.

“This assessment will make it more efficient to modernize our land management plans and reflect the new science, and changes to social, economic, and ecological conditions across this region,” said Glenn Casamassa, regional forester for the Pacific Northwest Region in Oregon and Washington. “It will also preserve the tenets of the Northwest Forest Plan that are working well, so that work can continue effectively and efficiently.”

The Northwest Forest Plan covers nearly 25 million acres of federally managed land in Oregon, Washington and northern California focusing on managing the entire landscape for long-term social and economic stability.

The Bioregional Assessment is not a decision document and does not impact current forest management. Instead, it will be used to shape ongoing engagement with stakeholders, state, county, Tribal governments and Forest Service staff as they prepare for the next steps in the planning process together.

More information on Modernizing Forest Plans in the Northwest is available online or through a GovDelivery email subscription.

 

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9 comments

  • These forests are desperately in need of logging, and thinning them out. Before Europeans got here, the Natives pulled every Doug Fir out of the ground they could. They also used axes to “ring” the bigger fir trees, to kill them. They did this because the fir is an infestation and fast growing tree. The natives knew the firs were choking out the Oaks, which they needed for their acorns, which were a staple for them. I learned all this from a botanical archeologist. He also said the fir has encroached into grasslands, and harm the food sources there. Cut baby cut.

    • Angela Robinson

      “They did this because the fir is an infestation and fast growing tree. ”

      Firs are not an infestation…they aren’t an invasive plant/tree like Scotch Broom. Forest (ecological/biological) succession is a natural cycle.

      Oddly, in the Oregon coast range, in perfect conditions, the hemlock would be the climax forest. Which is a “useless” tree unlike fir and spruce. (Someone sold me a cord of hemlock once, I’m still mad at them decades later. 🙂

      Humans did/do view that natural succession as “infestation”…but it isn’t. I’m not even disagreeing with your other statements, but left to it’s own devices nature has other plans that jibe with ours.

      • Angela Robinson

        edited to add:

        My ggggrandfather was logging the redwoods in the 1850s right down on Ryan’s Slough. The trees covered what is now Eureka and a lot of what is now open pature around the bay. If the redwoods started returning, would they be an “infestation”. I believe they are the climax tree for the area.

        The oak tree landscape was/is the artificial landscape in this situation.

    • That isn’t entirely wrong but that is actually natural history that is relevant to the Central valley, not Humboldt county or anywhere near us.

    • @ stuber….Where did they get the axe’s to do this with before the Europeans came???

  • Black Rifles Matter

    Allow more forest service grazing permits. Whether it be cattle or sheep or goats. Generally start with cattle to eat the grass and then send the goats through to clean up the brush and little fir and cedar tees sprouting. It’s amazing how ruminants can help when managed properly. And to all the people who will say they do more harm than good….. well, I’d rather have a thinned out healthy forest, than a burnt one.

  • Around 3% of old growth forest intact. That’s the status of our forest in the Northwest.

  • Local sawmills matter.

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