|Abstract or Summary
- The three major public forest land managing agencies In Oregon (USDA - Forest
Service, Bureau of Land Management and State of Oregon) were studied to determine
how public lands are allocated to different uses. This project looked at pertinent laws
and policies to develop an understanding of the impacts these have on the supply of
public timber available for harvest.
Three forests were closely evaluated: the Siskiyou National Forest, the Coos
Bay BLM District and the Elliott State Forest. These three forests established a base for
comparing and contrasting the various laws and policies between agencies.
Each forest manages its lands in much the same way. All have a mandate to
meet multiple-use objectives. The Forest Service must follow this direction because of
the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (P.L. 86-517) and the National Forest
Management Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-588). The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of
1976 (P.L. 94-579) gave the Bureau of Land Management the authority to manage with
multiple-uses In mind. With a recent revision of the Oregon State Board of Forestry
mission statement, they also are directed toward multiple-use management (passed 22
The Bureau of Land Management and the State both also have direction that
may conflict with the idea of multiple-use management. On Oregon and California
railroad lands the BLM Is directed to manage for timber production In perpetuity (0 & C Act of 1937, P.L. 75-405). Managing for the "best interest of the state" (maximize profit)
is the primary goal for state owned forest lands (OHS 530.050 and OHS 530.490).
Nineteen aspects of forest management were identified ranging from water
quality to harvest dispersion to recreation. These were classified as either a legal, legal
with exception or discretionary requirement for each of the public agencies. Although
all manage with multiple-uses in mind, the Forest Service has more restrictions placed
on land allocation decisions. For example, maintaining species viability and diversity
is a legal requirement for the Forest Service but discretionary for both the BLM and the
All three agencies have legal requirements for water and air quality,
riparian/wetland, threatened and endangered species, reforestation, prevention of
irreversible damage and cultural resources. The Clean Water and Air Acts, the
Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Federal Land Policy
and Management Act and Oregon Revised Statute Chapter 527 are several of the various
laws which specify regulations for these categories.
Species viability and diversity, old-growth and suitability of forest lands for
timber production are legal requirements for the Forest Service but discretionary for
the BLM and State agencies. Harvest dispersion and minimum harvest age are also
discretionary for the BLM and State but they are legal with exception requirements for
the Forest Service. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 specified certain
requirements for both harvest dispersion and minimum harvest age but allowed for
several exceptions. For example, exceptions for determining the minimum harvest age
were made for thinning and other stand improvement measures and catastrophic
There are two parts to economic considerations: maximize profits and
community stability. The State must manage with profit maximization in mind,
however, both the Forest Service and BLM are not required to look strictly at generating the most revenue. The BLM and State agencies have a direct mandate toward local
communities while the Forest Service does not. Both the Forest Service and BLM have
legal direction to consider departures from sustained yield. The State, however, has a
legal requirement to consider only sustained yield management.
Visual quality, fish and wildlife enhancement, dispersed and developed
recreation and management intensity must all be managed. There are, however, no
specific requirements concerning the implementation of these general objectives. The
actual management alternatives are discretionary to all three agencies.
The impact on timber available for harvest was also studied between the
agencies. This impact was evaluated on acres that have not been legally withdrawn
through wilderness designation, etc. The Forest Service has allocated more acres to
uses other than timber on a larger percentage of national forest lands than has either
the Bureau of Land Management or State agencies. Forest Service acres allocated to
timber also have more restrictions in place which impact the amount of timber
available for harvest.
Large constraints on the amount of lumber available for harvest were felt on the
Siskiyou National Forest as a result of water quality, riparlan/wetland, old-growth,
harvest dispersion, minimum harvest age, visual quality, and dispersed recreation.
Species viability and diversity resulted in a medium constraint on the Siskiyou's
Old-growth was the only category which significantly constrained on the Coos
Bay BLM District's harvest level. A medium constraint resulted from the
riparlan/wetland and visual quality categories. Both the Forest Service and BLM
incorporated the allowable cut effect. The allowable cut effect means that the harvest
level can be based on potential increases in volume resulting from intensified
management. For example, precommercial thinning increases projected growth of
forest stands. The allowable cut effect takes advantage of this increase in the calculation of long term sustained yield. This had a positive impact on the amount of
timber available for harvest for both the Siskiyou and Coos Bay forests. The State did
not implement the allowable cut effect.
Only riparian/wetland had a large constraint as a result of incorporating the
nineteen categories evaluated on the Elliott State Forest. A medium constraint on the
harvest level resulted from the visual quality objective.
There are both similarities and differences between the three agencies.
Multiple-use is a common management theme to all three, however, the Bureau of Land
Management and the State have fewer legal requirements than the Forest Service.
Impacts on timber available for harvest are greatest on the national forests when
compared to Bureau of Land Management and State forest lands.