October 31, 2021 3:30 p.m.
Governor Kate Brown announced on Saturday a new timber deal she called historic.
A statement says that nearly ten months of negotiations between private forest representatives, small forest owners, conservation officials and fisheries organizations have resulted in a historic proposal for new protections for sensitive species over more than 10 million d acres of forest in Oregon.
Governor Brown said the proposal aims to meet federal standards for a statewide habitat conservation plan. Amendments to the Forest Practices Act agreed to by the parties will be brought before the legislature.
Governor Brown said: “Today’s historic agreement is the perfect example of the Oregon Way – coming together around a table to find common ground, for the mutual benefit of all.” .
The statement said the parties agreed to a framework for:
* Riparian buffers for streams, rivers and bodies of water;
* Protection of steep slopes to minimize erosion and protect habitat;
* An approach that goes forward to improve forest roads; and
* A way forward to make adjustments and adaptation to forestry practices in the future
In January of this year, the parties began a series of meetings where they discussed proposed changes to forestry practices, pursuing a statewide habitat conservation plan from federal agencies for species. threatened and endangered, which would provide more regulatory certainty for landowners and in the long term. conservation benefits for designated wildlife species. The parties worked intensely throughout the year to formalize an agreement for submission to the legislature.
Representatives from the conservation and fishing side included the Wild Salmon Center, Oregon Wild, Trout Unlimited and others. Cascadia Wildlands, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Rogue Riverkeeper and Umpqua Watersheds are also joining the deal.
Representatives from the lumber industry included Seneca Sawmill, Roseburg Forest Products, Oregon Small Woodlands Associations, Lone Rock Resources and others.
The state will present the proposal for consideration by NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a habitat conservation plan.