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Science Program Update Fall 2007 Oregon/Washington BLM



Science Program Update Fall 2007

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Science Links
Science Home
Original Science Framework
Science Team Members
Science Forum
Science Update Fall 2007
Science Update Spring 2008
Science Team Review of DEIS (PDF)

Process changes from original WOPR Science Framework


One of BLM’s objectives for the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) process was to create a sustained dialog between scientists and managers. That dialog included three components:

  1. "State-of-the science" review for selected major issues and questions;
  2. Informal discussions (also referred to as "informal consultation") between interdisciplinary team (IDT) members and key scientists; and
  3. A Science Team (formally known as the Science Advisory Team (SAT)) to enhance the quality and credibility of Resource Management Plan (RMP) revision analyses through review of RMP revision analyses.

Updates for each of these key components of the WOPR science program are summarized below.

"State-of-the science" reviews and technology transfer: Update (Fall 2007)

During initial scoping, BLM identified a number of science issues and questions which it felt were relevant to the WOPR process and which would benefit from research to synthesize current scientific knowledge. BLM established cooperative agreements with scientists with recognized expertise in the relevant fields to conduct "State-of-the science" reviews for these issues. "State-of-the science" review topics were:

  1. Wildlife use of dead wood
  2. Forest management effects on peak stream flows
  3. Aquatic habitat management strategies
  4. Human community resiliency
  5. Application of landscape dynamics concepts
  6. Young stand management

Each "State-of-the science" review synthesized published, peer-reviewed empirical and model-based studies relevant to forest management in the Plan area. One of the studies produced new modeling results that were used directly in the WOPR analysis. Table 1 (below) notes the current status of these reviews and links to published documents. The BLM also hosted a "Science Forum" at Oregon State University on June 15, 2006 to present the preliminary findings.

Table 1. "State-of-the-Science" Reports and their status.
USGS’ stands for US Geological Survey; ‘GTR’ stands for General Technical Report; ‘PNW’ stands for Pacific Northwest Research station; ‘OSU’ stands for Oregon State University;

State-of-the-Report Scientist (Affiliation) Status/ Notes
Wildlife use of dead wood Hagar (USGS) Published as a technical report (USGS Report 2007–1054)
Forest management effects on peak stream flows Grant et al. (PNW) Technical report (GTR) is being finalized
Report Currently In Review (PDF)
Aquatic habitat management strategies Reeves et al (PNW) Much of this material (modeling) is being used directly in WOPR DEIS. Principle Investigators are also producing a summary whitepaper and synthesis manuscript
Human community resiliency Donoghue and Haynes (PNW) Published as a technical report (GTR-PNW-693)
Application of landscape dynamics concepts Fred Swanson (PNW)1 Draft is still in review status. This manuscript considers forest management strategies that emulate key aspects of natural disturbance regimes
Young stand management Anderson (PNW), Puettman (OSU)1 Preliminary paper was submitted for publication

1 This study was funded by the US Forest Service.

Preliminary results from these studies and their utility to the WOPR process were discussed in a public meeting, the "State of the Science Review" held at Oregon State University (June 15, 2006 ).

Coordination with Interdisciplinary Team and Other Scientists: Update (Fall 2007)

WOPR interdisciplinary team (IDT) members face significant challenges analyzing the effects of alternatives. Informal discussions and small group meetings were organized among IDT members and scientists to provide early and rapid feedback regarding proposed analysis methods. Draft descriptions of proposed analytical methods were shared with scientists, and scientists responded with suggestions to improve methods. Discussions ranged from single conversations to coordination and support of peer-reviewed manuscripts.

WOPR Science Team: Update (Fall 2007)

A Science Team (formerly called the Science Advisory Team) was convened in September 2005 to advise the BLM on key science issues. Science Team advice has improved the quality of WOPR processes, analyses and decisions, and will result in an improved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Science Team members include federal and state scientists with extensive experience in disciplines that BLM felt were critical to WOPR analyses. BLM’s Science Liaison facilitates Science Team activities and serves as the primary point of contact between the Science Team and the BLM. Specific Science Team tasks and the anticipated schedule for completion were described in the WOPR Science Charter (2005).

Since its inception, the Science Team has operated in a review capacity, reviewing WOPR criteria, alternatives, and effects analyses.

The Science Team was provided preliminary copies of the Draft EIS in early summer 2007. The team is currently (September 2007) completing its review of the DEIS. The Science Team will be considering the following questions in its review of the DEIS:

  • Was all the relevant scientific information considered?
  • Were all the significant assumptions acknowledged?
  • Were risks adequately and fairly documented?
  • Are the conclusions consistent with known science?

When review of the DEIS is completed by the Science Team, it (and all Science Team products) will be made available on this website and will be shared with the WOPR interdisciplinary team (IDT), Formal Cooperators, and others with an expressed interest.

Two personnel changes have occurred in Science Team membership since the team’s inception. Sarah Crim (National Forest System, Region 6), analyzing Timber modeling and Forestry issues, has been replaced by Gary Lettman (Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Chris Sheridan (BLM) has replaced John Cissel (BLM) as the Science Team Coordinator. Credentials for these two new individuals have been provided on the team member page.