Survey and Manage - Protection Buffer Species (FY99)



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Survey and Manage EA/EIS Office
333 S.W. First Avenue
P.O. Box 3623
Portland, OR  97208

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Cathy Harris- Bureau of Land Management - Oregon 503/952/6027
Allen Gibbs - Forest Service - Washington 425/744/3572

March 2, 1999

Subject: The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service will defer surveys on 32 small woodland species such as snails, slugs, fungi, mosses and liverworts until October 1, 1999. Deferring these surveys will allow ground-disturbing activities, such as timber sales and recreation development, to continue through the rest of FY 1999.

Issue: The Environmental Assessment (EA) proposes to postpone the implementation schedule for one year for Survey and Manage and Protection Buffer Species. The EA was sent out on October 7, 1998, for public comment.

Background: The EA proposes a change to delay the schedule until October 1, 1999, for implementing surveys for 32 Survey and Manage species within the are covered by the Northwest Forest Plan. Current information indicates the technical infeasibility of performing surveys for the 32 species, therefore the EA proposes an extension of one year for these surveys.

Status: The Northwest Forest Plan currently directs the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to survey for 80 Survey and Manage species before any federal ground is disturbed. Biologists discovered it was not feasible to survey for 32 of the 80 species because of : 1) limited number of experts able to identify some species, 2) inability to identify some species in the field, 3) inability to locate some species in a single year of surveys.

The Forest Service is issuing a Decision Notice for an Environmental Assessment and the Bureau of Land Management is issuing a Plan Maintenance Document to implement the schedule change

The delay is necessary to accomplish both primary goals of the Northwest Forest Plan. These two goals are continued production of goods and services and maintaining and restoring healthy old-growth ecosystems. Continuing to require surveys for some species when surveys are still considered infeasible would mean that ground-disturbing actions could not proceed. This would have serious consequences to the delivery of goods and services as expected under the Northwest Forest Plan. Species experts analyzed the effects to each of the 32 species from the proposed one year delay in the requirements to survey. They concluded that there would be no substantial increase in risk to species from this action.

In addition, the agencies are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to more authoritatively address each of the species and how they could be more efficiently and effectively managed and protected.

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Last Updated:  June 07, 2001 02:23 PM