Definition and Explanation of Terms

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Definition and Explanation of Terms
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The following definitions and explanations are offered to help clarify some questions asked during the scoping process.

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and the nomination process

ACECs are lands where special management attention is needed to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, or scenic values; fish and wildlife resources; or other natural systems or processes; or to protect life and provide safety from natural hazards. The designation of "Areas of Critical Environmental Concern" comes from the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. It is an administrative designation that can be designated or undesignated by the BLM during the development or revision of an RMP. To adequately address potential designation of new ACECs, the BLM asked for nominations from staff and the public by October 21, 2005.

Allowable Sale Quantity

The gross amount of timber volume, including salvage, that may be sold annually from a specified area over a stated period of time in accordance with a district Resource Management Plan.

Best Management Practices

Methods, measures, or practices that guide, or may be applied to, management actions to aid in achieving desired outcomes. Usually, Best Management Practices (BMPs) are applied as a system of practices rather than a single practice.

Community Economic Stability

The capacity for orderly change within a community (incorporated town or county) to absorb and cope with economic changes without major hardship to institutions or groups within the community.

Cumulative Effects

Impacts on the environment that result from the incremental impact of the proposed action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions, regardless of what agency or person undertakes other such actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor, but collectively significant, actions taking place over a period of time.

Historic range of variability

The range of critical ecological processes and conditions that have characterized particular ecosystems over specified time periods and under varying degrees of human influences.

Invasive/non-native species

Plants that are either not part of the original plant community (non-native), or are a minor component of the original plant community (native) and have the potential to become a dominant or co-dominant species on the site if their future establishment and growth is not actively controlled.

New Science

Numerous studies and scientific papers prepared since completion of the Northwest Forest Plan are being reviewed by a science team. This new information may be important as alternatives are developed and analyzed.


Agreements and relationships with other government agencies, organizations, private foundations, and others are becoming increasingly important to efficiently accomplishing BLM’s mission. In most cases, these partnerships are defined by written agreements between two or more parties who agree to cooperate to accomplish a mutually beneficial project or to follow mutual management direction consistent with the BLM mission.

Permanent forest production

This term is mentioned specifically in the O&C Act of 1937 " . . . shall be managed for permanent forest production and the timber thereon shall be sold, cut and removed in conformity with the principal [sic] of sustained yield . . ."

Reasonable Range of Alternatives

According to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which provides guidance to implementing NEPA, "reasonable alternatives include those that are practical or feasible from the technical and economic standpoint and using common sense, rather than simply desirable from the standpoint of the applicant." CEQ also states that "what constitutes a reasonable range of alternatives depends on the nature of the proposal and the facts in each case." Further, in this planning effort, a reasonable alternative is one that meets the purpose and need, is consistent with existing federal laws, is feasible and practicable, is not exorbitant, and is not a variation of an alternative analyzed in detail.

Roadless Areas

This is an official term that refers to designated areas without roads on National Forests managed by the USDA Forest Service. The BLM does not use this term as an official designation.

Sustained Yield

According to FLPMA, sustained yield means "the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use." In regards to timber, the term "annual sustained yield capacity" is used in the O&C Act of 1937. It is the yield that a forest can produce continuously at a given intensity of management, in other words a non-declining, even flow.

Sustainable Support for Local Communities

Economic factors or resource products that will be available for the long term and are an important component of the economic or social health of the community.

Wild and Scenic Rivers

A river or section of a river that is free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted, which has been designated as such, as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Wilderness Study Areas

An area that has been inventoried and found to be wilderness in character, having few human developments, and providing outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, as described in Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Generally, the temporary land use classification prescribes that the current wilderness qualities cannot be further degraded while in this status.