Coos Bay Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Coos Bay Record of Decision

Coos Bay District Resource Management Plan Table of Contents:

- Tables

- Figures

- Maps

- Appendices

Timber Resources


Objectives

Provide a sustainable supply of timber and other forest products.

Manage developing stands on available lands to promote tree survival and growth and to achieve a balance between wood volume production, quality of wood, and timber value at harvest.

Manage timber stands to reduce the risk of stand loss from fires, animals, insects, and diseases.

Provide for salvage harvest of timber killed or damaged by events such as wildfire, windstorms, insects, or disease, consistent with management objectives for other resources.

Land Use Allocations

Lands available for scheduled timber harvest are as follows:

Land Use Allocation   Approximate
Acres
General Forest Management
Areas (including visual resource
management class II, rural
interface, and TPCC restricted)
  55,300
Connectivity/Diversity Blocks   6,600

Management Actions/Direction - All Land Use Allocations

Conform all management activities within the range of Port-Orford-cedar to the guidelines described in the BLM Port-Orford-Cedar Management Guidelines to mitigate damage caused by Phytophthora lateralis. Site-specific analysis for projects within the range of Port-Orford-cedar will consider possible effects on the species.

Management Actions/Direction - Matrix (General Forest Management Area and Connectivity/Diversity Blocks)

General

Declare an annual allowable sale quantity (ASQ) of 5.3 million cubic feet (32 million board feet).

The ASQ for the RMP is an estimate of annual average timber sale volume likely to be achieved from lands allocated to planned, sustainable harvest. This estimate, however, is surrounded by uncertainties. The actual timber sale levels may differ, as timber sale levels will be an effect of overall forest management rather than a target that drives that management. Harvest of this approximate volume of timber is considered sustainable over the long term based on the assumptions that the available land base remains fixed, and that funding is sufficient to make planned investments in timely reforestation, plantation maintenance, thinning, genetic selection, forest fertilization, timber sale planning, related forest resource protection, and monitoring.
 
The ASQ represents neither a minimum level that must be met nor a maximum level that cannot be exceeded. It is an approximation because of the difficulty associated with predicting actual timber sale levels over the next decade, given the complex nature of many of the management actions/direction. It represents BLM's best assessment of the average amount of timber likely to be awarded annually in the planning area over the life of the plan, following a start-up period. The actual sustainable timber sale level attributable to the land-use allocations and management direction of the RMP may deviate by as much as 20 percent from the identified ASQ. As inventory, watershed analysis, and site-specific planning proceed in conformance with that management direction, the knowledge gained will permit refinement of the ASQ. The separable component of the ASQ attributable to lands in key watersheds carries a higher level of uncertainty, due to the greater constraints of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and the requirement to do watershed analysis before activities can take place.
 
During the first several years, it is unlikely that the ASQ will be offered for sale. The RMP represents a new forest management strategy. It will take time to develop new timber sales that conform to the RMP.

Maintain a well-distributed pattern of early and mid-seral forest across the Matrix.

Retain snags within a timber harvest unit at levels sufficient to support species of cavity-nesting birds at 40 percent of potential population levels. Meet the 40 percent minimum throughout the Matrix with per acre requirements met on average areas no larger than 40 acres.

Apply silvicultural systems that are planned to produce, over time, forests with desired species composition, structural characteristics, and distribution of seral or age classes (see Appendix E).

Develop plans for the locations and specific designs of timber harvests and other silvicultural treatments within the framework of watershed analyses.

Select logging systems based on the suitability and economic efficiency of each system for the successful implementation of the silvicultural prescription, for protection of soil and water quality (See Appendix D), and for meeting other land use objectives.

Base silvicultural treatments and harvest designs on the functional characteristics of the ecosystem and on the characteristics of each forest stand and site. Treatments would be designed—as much as possible—to prevent the development of undesirable stand characteristics. The principles of integrated pest management and integrated vegetation management would be employed to avoid the need for direct treatments. Herbicides would be used only as a last resort.

Plan harvest of marketable hardwood stands in the same manner as conifer stands, unless the land is otherwise constrained from timber management. Volume from projected hardwood harvest would be in addition to the allowable sale quantity estimate. Where hardwood stands became established following previous harvest of conifers, plan to re-establish a conifer stand on the site.

Provide a renewable supply of large down logs well distributed across the Matrix landscape in a manner that meets the needs of species and provides for ecological functions. Models will be developed for groups of plant associations and stand types that can be used as a baseline for developing prescriptions.

A minimum of 120 linear feet of logs per acre, averaged over the cutting area and reflecting species mix of the unit, will be retained in the cutting area. All logs shall have bark intact, be at least 16 inches in diameter at the large end, and be at least 16 feet in length. Logs shall be distributed throughout the cutting area, and not piled or concentrated in a few areas. Decay class 1 and 2 logs will be credited toward the total. Where this management action/direction cannot be met with existing coarse woody debris, merchantable material will be used to make up the deficit.

In areas of partial harvest, apply the same basic management actions/direction, but they can be modified to reflect the timing of stand development cycles where partial harvest is practiced.

For unscheduled harvests, see the Riparian Reserves and Late-Successional Reserves sections.

Minimize disturbance of identified fragile sites (TPCC System Nonsuitable Woodlands and Suitable Woodlands).

Management Actions/Direction - General Forest Management Area

Schedule regeneration harvests to assure that, over time, harvest occurs in stands at or above the age of volume growth culmination (i.e., culmination of mean annual increment). This refers to the age range which produces maximum average annual growth over the lifetime of a timber stand. In the planning area, culmination occurs between 60 and 80 years of age. To develop a desired age class distribution across the landscape and to provide for some commodity output, regeneration harvests will be scheduled in stands as young as 60 years.

Retain late-successional forest patches in landscape areas where little late-successional forest persists. This management action/direction will be applied in fifth field watersheds (20 to 200 square miles) in which federal forest lands are currently comprised of 15 percent or less late-successional forest. (The assessment of 15 percent will include all federal land allocations in a watershed.) Within such an area, protect all remaining late-successional forest stands. Protection of these stands could be modified in the future when other portions of a watershed have recovered to the point where they could replace the ecological roles of these stands.

Retain 6-8 green conifer trees per acre after regeneration harvest to provide a source of snag recruitment and a legacy for bridging past and future forests. Retained trees will be distributed in variable patterns (e.g., single trees, clumps and stringers) to contribute to stand diversity.

In addition to the green tree retention management action/direction, retain green trees for snag recruitment in harvest units where there is an identified, near-term (less than three decades) snag deficit. These trees do not count toward green-tree retention requirements.

Management Actions/Direction - Connectivity/Diversity Blocks

Maintain 25-30 percent of each block in late-successional forest at any point in time. The percentage of habitat will include habitat in other allocations such as Riparian Reserves. Blocks may be comprised of contiguous or noncontiguous BLM-administered land. The size and arrangement of habitat within a block should provide effective habitat to the extent possible.

Manage available forest land on a 150-year area control rotation. Regeneration harvests will occur at a rate of approximately 1/15 of the available acres per decade. Because of the limited size of operable areas within any given block, up to three decades of harvest could be removed at any one time from a single block to make a viable harvest unit. Eventually each connectivity/diversity block will have 4 to 5 different age class represented.

Retain 12-18 green conifer trees per acre when an area is regeneration harvested. Distribute the retained trees in variable patterns (e.g., single trees, clumps and stringers) to contribute to stand diversity. The management goal for the retained trees and subsequent density management would be the recovery of old-growth conditions in approximately 100 to 120 years.