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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Oregon / Washington

Forestry Programs and Initiatives

Aspen forest
Fall colors in Fish Creek Canyon aspen forest, Burns District.

Stewardship Contracting

Stewardship contracting authority was granted to BLM in 2003 (Public Law 108-7) and the Oregon/Washington BLM issued the BLM’s first stewardship contract in 2004. Some of the features of the authorizing legislation includes allowing BLM to apply the value of timber or other forest products removed as an offset against the cost of services received, apply excess receipts from a project to other authorized stewardship projects, select contracts and agreements on a "best value" basis, and award a contract or agreement up to ten years which may stimulate long term investment in the local community. Stewardship contracts may be used for treatments to improve, maintain, or restore forest or rangeland health; restore or maintain water quality; improve fish and wildlife habitat; and reduce hazardous fuels that pose risks to communities and ecosystem values.

Stewardship contracting includes natural resource management practices that seek to promote a closer working relationship with local communities in a broad range of activities that improve land conditions. These projects shift the focus of federal forest and rangeland management towards a desired future resource condition. They are also a means for federal agencies to contribute to the development of sustainable rural communities, restore and maintain healthy forest ecosystems, and provide a continuing source of local income and employment.

Interest in the use of stewardship contracting continues to increase, and more contracts are awarded each year in Oregon/Washington BLM. Since receiving stewardship contracting authority in 2003, the Oregon/Washington BLM has awarded 88 stewardship contracts. These contracts were awarded as part of the 28 individual stewardship projects in Oregon/Washington BLM which cover 41,616 acres of BLM land.

Memorandum of Understanding
Signing of the MOU between the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, FS, and BLM.

Biomass

Woody biomass is defined as the trees and woody plants, including limbs, tops, needles, leaves, and other woody parts, grown in a forest, woodland, or rangeland environment, that are the by-products of forest management. Woody biomass utilization is the harvest, sale, offer, trade, or utilization of woody biomass to produce bioenergy and the full range of biobased products including lumber, composites, paper and pulp, furniture, housing components, round wood, ethanol and other liquids, chemicals, and energy feedstocks. In 2003, The Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture announced an initiative to encourage the use of woody biomass from forest and rangeland restoration and hazardous fuels treatment projects. The three Departments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Policy Principles for Woody Biomass Utilization for Restoration and Fuel Treatment on Forests, Woodlands, and Rangelands, supporting woody biomass utilization as a recommended option to use to reduce hazardous fuels rather than burning or employing other on-site disposal methods. The 2005 National Energy Policy Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to re-evaluate access limitations to federal lands in order to increase renewable energy production, including woody biomass.

Because of our successes in stewardship contracting and the availability of infrastructure in Oregon and Washington, contractors have become more interested in entering into stewardship contracts that provide woody biomass as a treatment by-product. At least three Oregon/Washington BLM districts have significant opportunities to implement activities that will improve land health, meet land use management objectives, and provide large amounts of biomass as a by-product of the restoration treatments. These biomass producing projects not only provide opportunities to produce renewable energy, but they also positively impact the hazardous fuels, forest and rangeland health, and wildlife habitat. In 2008, Oregon/Washington BLM made over 30,000 green tons of woody biomass available for sale and subsequent utilization.

Special Forest Products
Bear Grass, Eugene District.

Special Forest Products

Management of special forest products (SFP) is an important component of ecosystem-based resource management in Oregon/Washington BLM. SFPs are commonly referred to as “minor forest products” and are restricted to vegetative material. They include, but are not limited to, items such as grasses, seeds, roots, bark, berries, mosses, ferns, edible mushrooms, boughs, tree seedlings, transplants, poles, and firewood. The SFP program benefits the Oregon/Washington BLM and the public in many ways. Some of these benefits are to: contribute to the economic stability in local communities; provide critical cultural and subsistence benefits; support of a variety of cottage industries; form partnerships with groups concerned with the harvest of management of these products; and provide educational opportunities regarding the value of our natural, renewable resources. In 2008, BLM districts in Oregon/Washington sold 7,316 special forest product permits.

Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree Permits Available

Every November-December, the BLM in Oregon and Washington sells Christmas tree permits for a variety of locations.

Some cutting areas may not be accessible after snowfall so it is advisable to cut trees early in the season.

County Payments

The BLM announced today that it has issued payment to 18 counties in western Oregon eligible under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act extension (Public Law 110-343). The amount paid to the Oregon & California (O&C) counties was $40,037,160.

Northwest Forest Plan Accomplishment Report

The Northwest Forest Plan (NFP) was designed to be a balanced, long-term management plan providing a stable supply of timber and protection of fish and wildlife habitat for 22.1 million acres of federal forest in western Oregon, western Washington, and northern California (2.7 million acres of BLM-administered forests and 19.4 million acres of Forest Service-administered forest). See the BLM's previous Northwest Forest Plan Accomplishment Reports (PDF) for work completed during each fiscal year.

Annual Northwest Forest Plan Accomplishment Reports