Coos Bay Pilot Project Background
The Secretary of Interior has endorsed the first component of the Coquille Indian Tribe's Landscape Management Proposal in which the Tribe and the BLM will work together to develop a demonstration timber sale pilot in coordination with professors Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin. This pilot will demonstrate the professors' ecological principles of variable retention regeneration harvest in the Oregon coast range.
The Department of the Interior, BLM pilots will serve two purposes: 1) demonstrate the principles of ecological restoration and evaluate the economic merits of the restoration strategy outlined by Drs. Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin in moist and dry forests; 2) serve as a continuing source of information to help the BLM identify challenges and barriers to implementation and modify management strategies in the future.
The areas chosen for the pilots are: 1) Middle Applegate Watershed, which occurs as two largely contiguous blocks of Dry Forest on either side of the Applegate River (Medford District); and 2) Roseburg Pilot Project which has Dry Forest in the classic checkerboard pattern in the lower watershed and a large contiguous area of Moist Forest in the upper watershed.
Dry Forests are defined here as forests that belong to the Oregon White Oak, Ponderosa Pine, Jeffrey Pine, Douglas-Fir, and dry White Fir and Grand Fir plant series as have been described and defined by plant ecologists. Dry Forest landscapes are dominated by one or more of these plant series. In southwest Oregon, they are concentrated in the interior valleys between Roseburg and Medford. Moist Forests are defined as Western Hemlock, Tanoak, Red Fir, Mountain Hemlock, and moist White Fir and Grand Fir plant series.
The objective of these pilots is to demonstrate the ecological and economic merits of the restoration strategy outlined by Drs. Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin.
The DOI and BLM are committed to work with other agencies, state and local governments to explore the options for how management of BLM lands should fit into a more comprehensive financial and ecological solution. We anticipate these pilot projects developing over the next 12 to 18 months.
The pilots are intended to help inform public dialogue on development of future management policy for BLM-managed forest in western Oregon. While the public will be involved, testing a collaborative process is not the purpose of the pilots. The BLM will provide the public opportunities to participate in several meetings, workshops, and field visits as well as comment on the environmental analysis for each pilot. While there may not be unanimously shared perspectives of the pilots, the BLM is hopeful that there will be substantial agreement.