The supervisor of Oregon’s state forests has approved plans to increase logging and limit environmental protections on a quarter of a million acres in the coast range.
The Astoria and Forest Grove district plans follow a change in policy last year at the Board of Forestry. New priorities include increasing timber revenue up to 15 percent, and scaling back how much older forest there’ll be in the future.
State forester Doug Decker says the new plans won’t increase logging as much as they could have. He says that’s because he wanted to give the Board of Forestry what he calls a “deferral” period to evaluate plans and policies.
“We’ve taken a first step — and there will be about a five percent increase in harvest levels on the Astoria and Forest Grove districts during this deferral period. That’s less than there would’ve been without taking this deferral,” he said.
The Oregon Sierra Club and Wild Salmon Center oppose some aspects of the plans — including the smaller areas for habitat protections.
Federal wildlife officials also have an eye on Oregon state forests, because they could help recover the Northern Spotted Owl. The threatened bird lives in older trees.
(This first appeared on opbnews.org.)
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