Eugene Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Eugene Record of Decision

Eugene District Resource Management Plan Table of Contents:

- Tables

- 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

Acres available for scheduled timber harvest are as follows:

Matrix
  General Forest Management Areas 37,900
(including VRM Class II, RIA, TPCC restricted, and District Designated Reserves)
  Connectivity/Diversity Blocks 23,800
Adaptive Management Area 5,500

Lands with no scheduled harvest are as follows:

Late-Successional Reserves (LSR)
(See discussion of these in the previous section, Silviculture Appendix D, Wildlife section, and Special Status/SEIS Special Attention Habitat section.)

Riparian Reserves
(See Special Status/SEIS Special Attention Habitat section)

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

Determine the probable level of harvest based on the productivity of lands available for timber production and on the silvicultural treatments planned for these lands.

Maintain an early and mid-seral forest and plant communities/associations across the Matrix.

Apply silvicultural systems that will produce, over time, forests that have desired species composition, structural characteristics, and distribution of seral or age classes. All silvicultural systems will be sustainable, economically practical, and capable of maintaining the long-term health and productivity of the forest ecosystem (see Appendix E for discussion of silvicultural systems and harvest methods).

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, and for meeting other land use objectives.

Schedule regeneration harvests to assure that, over time, harvest will occur in stands at or above the age of volume growth culmination (i.e., Culmination of Mean Annual Increment). This refers to the age range that produces maximum average annual growth over the lifetime of a timber stand. In the planning area, culmination usually occurs between 70 and 90 years of age but varies due to stand conditions and treatments. During the first decade, regeneration harvests may be scheduled in stands as young as 56 years old, in order to develop a desired age class distribution across the landscape and to provide some commodity output.

Base silvicultural treatments and harvest designs on the functional characteristics of the ecosystem and on the characteristics of each forest stand and site. Treatments will be designed, as much as possible, to match historical stand conditions such as species composition. The principles of integrated pest management and integrated vegetation management will be employed to avoid the need for direct treatments. Herbicides will be used only as a last resort. Utilize genetically improved planting stock when available (see Forest Genetics Program, Appendix M). Maintain long-term soil productivity and protect water and soil resources. Implement Eugene District's Best Management Practices (see Appendix C for a detailed discussion of BMPs).

Encourage full utilization of harvested timber while reserving structural components, such as snags and coarse woody debris, consistent with objectives for wildlife management, biological diversity, site productivity, and compatible with safety, fire concerns, and watershed objectives. Plan harvest of marketable hardwood stands in the same manner as conifer stands, if the land is not otherwise constrained from timber management. Volume from projected hardwood harvest will be included in the probable sale quantity estimate. Where hardwood trees became established following previous harvest of conifers, plan to reestablish a conifer stand on the site.

Retain late-successional forest patches in landscape areas where little late-successional forest persists. This management action/direction will be applied in 5th 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.

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. Down logs will reflect the species mix of the original stand.

Management Actions/Direction for Timber Harvest

Declare an annual Allowable Sale Quantity (ASQ) of 36 million board feet (6.1 million cubic feet).

The Allowable Sale Quantity for the Resource Management Plan is an estimate of annual average timber sale volume likely to be achieved from lands allocated to planned, sustainable harvest. Harvest of this approximate volume of timber is considered sustainable over the long-term. This is based on 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 Allowable Sale Quantity 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 allocations and management direction of the Resource Management Plan may deviate by as much as 20 percent from the identified Allowable Sale Quantity.

As inventory, watershed analysis, and site-specific planning proceed in conformance with that management direction, the knowledge gained will permit refinement of the Allowable Sale Quantity. The separable component of the Allowable Sale Quantity 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 prepare watershed analyses before activities can take place.

During the first several years, the annual Allowable Sale Quantity will not likely be offered for sale. The RMP represents a new forest management strategy. Time will be required to develop new timber sales that conform to the Resource Management Plan.

Management Actions/Direction for General Forest Management Area

Design silvicultural systems to meet a high level of timber production within a framework of mitigating measures and project design features which protect environmental quality, special status species and habitats, biological diversity, and wildlife habitat.

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.

Retain 6-8 green conifer trees per acre after regeneration harvest to provide a legacy 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 3 decades) snag deficit. These trees do not count toward green-tree retention requirements.

Perform commercial thinnings that are designed to maintain the volume productivity of stands (see Silvicultural Appendix E).

In a cutting area, leave a minimum of 240 linear feet of logs per acre greater than or equal to 20 inches in diameter. Logs less than 20 feet in length will not be credited toward this total. Existing decay class 1 and 2 count toward this requirement. Down logs will reflect the species mix of the original stand. Where this management action/direction cannot be met with existing coarse woody debris, merchantable material will be used to make up the deficit. Models will be developed for groups of plant associations and stand types that can be used as a baseline for developing prescriptions.

Management Actions/Direction for Connectivity/Diversity Blocks

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

Plan to regeneration harvest at a rate of approximately 1/15 of the available acres in the connectivity part of a sustained yield unit 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 in order to make viable harvest units. Eventually each connectivity block will have 4 to 5 different 10-year age classes represented. The future desired condition across the entire sustained yield unit would have up to 15-16 different 10-year age classes represented.

Perform density management thinnings to accelerate growth of trees, which would later provide large-diameter snags and down logs, to promote development of understory vegetation and multiple canopy layers; to produce larger, more valuable logs; to harvest mortality of small trees as the stand develops; to maintain good crown ratios and stable, wind firm trees; and to manage species composition (see Silvicultural Appendix E).

Retain 12-18 green conifer trees per acre when an area is regeneration harvested. Distribute the retained trees in variable patterns (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.

Leave 240 linear feet of logs per acre greater than or equal to 20 inches in diameter. Logs less than 20 feet in length will not be credited toward this total. Existing decay class 1 and 2 logs count toward this requirement. Down logs will reflect the species mix of original stand. Where this management action/direction cannot be met with existing coarse woody debris, merchantable material will be used to make up the deficit. Models will be developed for groups of plant associations and stand types that can be used as a baseline for developing prescriptions.

Central Cascades Adaptive Management Area

Manage for a level of timber harvest in accordance with an Adaptive Area Management Plan developed in an interagency setting with extensive public participation.

Manage young and mature stands to accelerate development of late-successional conditions, particularly in an experimental or research setting.

Develop and test innovative and experimental sale and harvesting methods, and provide a geographic focus for demonstrating these techniques. As new techniques are proven, expand these to locations outside the Adaptive Management Area.

To the extent allowed by regulation, ensure local processing of timber resources to support local communities, providing social and economic benefits to these areas.

Mitigate the effects of reduced harvest levels to communities by encouraging the local development of innovative approaches to balancing economic and social needs with management on a landscape or ecosystem basis.

For additional discussion of Eugene District AMAs see Adaptive Management Area.