The following material summarizes Late-Successional Reserve direction. For details on this direction, see the SEIS ROD (Appendix B).
Protect and enhance conditions of late-successional and old-growth forest ecosystems that serve as habitat for late-successional and old-growth forest-related species including the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
Maintain a functional, interacting, late-successional and old-growth forest ecosystem.
Land Use Allocations
There are approximately 133,700 acres of mapped Late-Successional Reserves in the district. The five components of this reserve system are:
See Map 3 for locations of Late-Successional Reserves. Occupied marbled murrelet sites, known spotted owl activity centers, and protection buffers are unmapped.
Management Actions/Direction - General
Apply the management actions/direction in the Special Status and SEIS Special Attention Species and Habitat section.
Develop Late-Successional Reserve assessments prior to habitat manipulation.
These assessments may be developed as part of province-level planning or as stand-alone assessments. If developed to stand alone, the assessments will be closely coordinated with subsequent watershed analysis and province-level planning. SEIS ROD standards and guidelines should be refined at the province level prior to development of Late-Successional Reserve assessments. Late-Successional Reserve assessments will generally include:
Only in unusual circumstances will silvicultural treatments, including prescribed fire, precede preparation of this management assessment. Late-Successional Reserve assessments are subject to review by the Regional Ecosystem Office. Until Late-Successional Reserve assessments are completed, fire suppression activities should be guided by land allocation objectives in coordination with local resource management specialists.
Projects and activities within Late-Successional Reserves (including restoration, recreation, projects for public safety, thinning, and salvage) may proceed in fiscal years 1995-96 using initial Late-Successional Reserve assessments done at a level of detail sufficient to assess whether the activities are consistent with the objectives of the Late-Successional Reserves.
Plan and implement non-silvicultural activities inside Late-Successional Reserves that are neutral or beneficial to the creation and maintenance of late-successional habitat.
Using interdisciplinary teams, evaluate other activities not described below and document appropriate guidelines.
Request review by the Regional Ecosystem Office of all activities deemed to have potential adverse effects on Late-Successional Reserve objectives. The Regional Ecosystem Office may develop additional criteria for exempting some additional activities from review.
Plan and implement silvicultural treatments inside Late-Successional Reserves to be beneficial to the creation of late-successional habitat.
If needed to create and maintain late-successional forest conditions, conduct thinning operations in forest stands up to 80 years of age. This will be accomplished by precommercial and/or commercial thinning of stands regardless of origin (e.g., planted after logging or naturally regenerated after fire or blowdown).
Limit salvage of dead trees in Late-Successional Reserves to areas where stand-replacing events exceed 10 acres in size and canopy closure has been reduced to less than 40 percent.
Retain all standing live trees including those injured (e.g., scorched) but likely to survive.
Retain snags that are likely to persist until late-successional forest conditions have developed and a new stand is again producing large snags.
Retain adequate quantities of coarse woody debris in a new stand so the future stand will contain amounts similar to naturally regenerated stands. Watershed-level or province-level plans will establish appropriate levels of coarse woody debris to be used. Levels will be typical and will not require retention of all material where it is highly concentrated or too small to contribute to coarse woody debris over the long term.
If essential to reduce future risk of fire or insect damage, conduct salvage that does not meet the preceding management actions/direction. Focus on those areas where there is high risk of large scale disturbance.
Remove snags and logs to reduce hazards to humans along roads and trails and in or adjacent to recreation sites. Leave some material where coarse woody debris is inadequate.
After disturbance in younger stands, develop direction for diameter and biomass retention consistent with the intention of achieving late-successional forest conditions. Where green trees, snags, and logs are present following disturbance, the green tree and snag direction will be applied first and completely satisfied where possible. The biomass left in snags can be credited toward the amount of coarse woody debris biomass needed to achieve management objectives.
Retain logs present on the forest floor before a disturbance event.
Retain coarse woody debris to approximate the species composition of the original stand to help replicate pre-existing suitable habitat conditions.
Deviate from these management actions/direction only to provide reasonable access to salvage sites and feasible logging operations. Limit deviations to as small an area as possible.
Road Construction and Maintenance
Construct roads in Late-Successional Reserves if the potential benefits of silviculture, salvage, and other activities exceed the costs of habitat impairment. If new roads are necessary to implement a practice that is otherwise in accordance with these guidelines, they will be kept to a minimum, be routed through unsuitable habitat where possible, and be designed to minimize adverse impacts. Alternative access methodssuch as aerial loggingwill be considered to provide access for activities in reserves.
Remove trees along rights-of-way if they are a hazard to public safety. Consider leaving material onsite if available coarse woody debris is inadequate. Consider topping of trees as an alternative to felling.
Permit fuelwood gathering only in existing cull decks, in areas where green trees are marked by silviculturists for thinning, in areas where blowdown is blocking roads, where trees are removed from the roadside to improve sight distance, and in recently harvested timber sale units where down material will impede scheduled post-sale activities or pose an unacceptable risk of future large scale disturbance. In all cases, these activities will comply with management actions/direction for salvage and silvicultural activities.
Assess the impacts of ongoing and proposed mining activities in Late-Successional Reserves.
Include stipulations in mineral leases and, when legally possible, require operational constraints for locatable mineral activities to minimize detrimental effects to late-successional habitat.
Neither construct nor authorize new facilities that may adversely affect Late-Successional Reserves.
Review on a case-by-case basis new development proposals that address public needs or provide significant public benefits. They may be approved when adverse effects can be minimized and mitigated. They will be planned to have the least possible adverse impacts on Late-Successional Reserves.
Locate new developments to avoid degradation of habitat and adverse effects on identified late-successional species.
Retain and maintain existing developmentssuch as campgrounds, utility corridors, and electronic sitesconsistent with other management actions/direction for Late-Successional Reserves.
Remove hazard trees along utility rights-of-way and trails and in other developed areas.
Consider land exchanges in Late-Successional Reserves if they provide benefits equal to or better than current conditions.
Consider land exchanges especially to improve area, distribution, and quality (e.g., connectivity, shape, and contribution to biodiversity) of Late-Successional Reserves, especially where public and private lands are intermingled.
Habitat Improvement Projects
Design projects to improve conditions for fish, wildlife, and watersheds if they provide late-successional habitat benefits or if their effect on late-successional associated species is negligible.
Design projects for recovery of threatened or endangered species even if they result in some reduction of habitat quality for other late-successional species.
Design and implement watershed restoration projects consistent with Late-Successional Reserve objectives.
In coordination with wildlife and fish biologists, implement range-related management activities that do not adversely affect late-successional habitat.
Through a planning and environmental analysis process appropriate to the action, adjust or eliminate grazing practices that retard or prevent attainment of Late-Successional Reserve objectives.
Evaluate effects of existing and proposed livestock management and handling facilities in Late-Successional Reserves to determine if reserve objectives are met. Where objectives cannot be met, relocate livestock management and/or handling facilities.
Fire Suppression and Prevention
As part of watershed analysis, plan fire management for each Late-Successional Reserve.
Emphasize maintaining late-successional habitat in wildfire suppression plans.
Use minimum impact suppression methods for fuels management in accordance with guidelines for reducing risks of large-scale disturbances.
During actual fire suppression activities, consult an interdisciplinary team to assure that habitat damage is minimized.
Until a fire management plan is completed for a Late-Successional Reserve or group of reserves, suppress wildfire to avoid loss of habitat and to maintain future management options.
Prepare a specific fire management plan prior to any habitat manipulation activities in Late-Successional Reserves. Specify how hazard reduction and other prescribed fire applications meet the objectives of the Late-Successional Reserve. Until the plan is approved, proposed activities will be subject to review by the Regional Ecosystem Office.
Apply prescribed fire in a manner that retains the amount of coarse woody debris determined through watershed analysis.
Consider allowing some natural fires to burn under prescribed conditions. This decision will be based on additional analysis and planning.
Consider rapidly extinguishing smoldering coarse woody debris and duff.
Special Forest Products
Evaluate whether special forest product harvest activities have adverse effects on Late-Successional Reserve objectives.
Prior to selling special forest products, ensure resource sustainability and protection of other resource values such as special status plant or animal species.
Where special forest product activities are extensive, evaluate whether they have significant effects on late-successional habitat. Restrictions may be appropriate in some cases.
Use adjustment measuressuch as education, use limitations, traffic control devices, or increased maintenancewhen dispersed and developed recreation practices retard or prevent attainment of Late-Successional Reserve objectives.
Rights-of-Way, Contracted Rights, Easements, and Special/Temporary Use Permits
Consider access to nonfederal lands through Late-Successional Reserves and existing right-of-way agreements. Contracted rights, easements, and special/temporary use permits are valid uses in Late-Successional Reserves.
For all new rights-of-way proposals, design mitigation measures to reduce adverse effects on Late-Successional Reserves. Consider alternative routes that avoid Late-Successional Reserves. If rights-of-way must be routed through a reserve, design and locate them to have the least impact on late-successional habitat.
Review all special/temporary use permits. When objectives of Late-Successional Reserves are not being met, attempt to reduce impacts through education or modification of existing permits.
If introduction of a non-native species is proposed, complete an assessment of impacts and avoid any introduction that would retard or prevent achievement of late-successional objectives.
Evaluate impacts of non-native species (plant and animal) existing within reserves.
Develop plans and recommendations for eliminating or controlling non-native species that are inconsistent with Late-Successional Reserve objectives. Include an analysis of effects of implementing such programs on other species or habitats within Late-Successional Reserves.
See the Special Status and SEIS Special Attention Species and Habitat section.