Salem Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Salem Record of Decision

Salem 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 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 Approx.
BLM Acres
Matrix  
  General Forest Management Area
(including visual resource
management class II, rural
interface, and timber production
capability classification restricted)
40,600
  Connectivity/Diversity Blocks 10,700
Adaptive Management Area 10,200

Management Actions/Direction —

Matrix

(General Forest Management Area and Connectivity/Diversity Blocks)

General

See appendix D for a description of silvicultural practices and harvest methods.

Conduct timber harvest so as to:

  • In a cutting area, leave a minimum of 240 linear feet of logs per acre, averaged over the area and reflecting the species mix of the original stand. All logs will be at least 20 inches in diameter at the large end, and be at least 20 feet in length. Logs will be distributed throughout a cutting area, and not piled or concentrated in a few areas. Existing decay class 1 and 2 logs count toward this requirement. Where this management action/direction cannot be met with existing coarse woody debris, merchantable material will be used to make up the deficit.

  • Retain snags within timber harvest units 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 areas averaging no larger than 40 acres.

Maintain a well distributed pattern of early, mid- and late-successional forest across the Matrix.

Apply silvicultural systems that are planned to produce, over time, forests which have desired species composition, structural characteristics, and distribution of seral or age classes.

Within the framework of watershed analyses, develop plans for the locations and specific designs of timber harvests and other silvicultural treatments.

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 prevent the development of undesirable stand characteristics. 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 to achieve management objectives.

Keep new road construction to the minimum needed for access to planned harvest units or for management of other resources.

Timber Harvest and Site Preparation

Declare an annual allowable sale quantity of 34.8 million board feet (5.7 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. 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. 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 use 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 resource management plan represents a new forest management strategy. Time will be required to develop new timber sales that conform to the resource management plan.

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 is included in the allowable sale quantity estimate.

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.

Apply site preparation treatments as needed following timber harvest.

Planting

Ensure that harvested areas are reforested as quickly as possible. Supplement natural seeding with artificial seeding or planting of nursery-grown seedlings.

Use tree seed collected within the same seed zone and elevation band as the specific project areas. Use genetically selected seed when available (see Forest Genetics Program, appendix E).

When possible, complete reforestation within one year of harvest and site preparation, using tree species indigenous to the site.

Plant a mixture of species to ensure diversity of the new stand. Suitable species for the planning area include Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, noble fir, western white pine, sugar pine, grand fir, and red alder.

Plant identified root disease centers with tree species resistant to the disease.

Conduct posttreatment reforestation surveys to determine the rate of seedling survival and to identify what areas should be replanted or interplanted to meet prescribed stocking levels.

Plantation Protection, Maintenance and Release

Protect tree plantations from animal damage with the following treatments, where appropriate:

  • Place plastic tubing or netting over the seedlings; or put bud caps over the growing tips to reduce animal browsing or clipping damage.
  • Trap mountain beavers and gophers when they threaten the survival of a plantation.
  • Establish seasonal bear feeding stations at selected locations, set special hunting seasons, and on rare occasions, snare and destroy selected animals to reduce black bear damage.

Use maintenance and release treatments to manage competing vegetation in young plantations. Determine annually the number of acres requiring each of these treatments in conjunction with normal reforestation surveys.

Analyze clearcuts created by past management for stand maintenance needs. This will occur during a transition period of 15 to 20 years.

Intensive Practices

Consider precommercial thinning of stands between 10 and 15 years old that average over 450 trees per acre. Thin to an average spacing of 12 to 16 feet. The number of trees left may vary from 170 to 300 per acre.

Consider fertilization of stands in the General Forest Management Area that have been precommercially or commercially thinned or where stand age and density are in the desired range.

Apply pruning to selected young forest stands. Prune the lower branches of the identified crop trees to a height of approximately 18 feet.

Commercially thin managed timber stands to increase timber production or to achieve other management objectives. Thin only in suitable stands where topography and road access are favorable for partial cut logging, or use aerial yarding methods.

Convert to appropriate conifer species lands where hardwood trees or brush became established following harvest of conifers.

Manage hardwood stands on sites not suitable for conifer production.

Management Actions/Direction —

General Forest Management Area

Schedule regeneration harvests to assure that, over time, harvest will occur in stands at or above the age which produces maximum average annual growth over the lifetime of a timber stand. In the planning area, this culmination occurs between approximately 70 and 110 years of age. During the first decade, regeneration harvests may be scheduled in stands as young as 60 years, in order to develop a desired age class distribution across the landscape.

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

In addition to the previous 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 to 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 lands. The size and arrangement of habitat within a block should provide effective habitat to the extent possible.

Schedule regeneration harvests on a 150-year rotation. In order to make viable harvest units within blocks where operable areas are of limited size, more than one decade of harvest could be removed at any one time. Eventually each connectivity block will have a variety of age classes.

Retain 12 to 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 strips) to contribute to stand diversity. The management goal for the retained trees and subsequent density management is recovery of old-growth conditions in approximately 100 to 120 years.