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BLM Oregon State Office
Release Date: 02/15/12
Contacts: Michael Campbell , (503) 808-6031  

BLM Issues Forestry Pilot Project Report

Portland, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is making available a report titled “Southwest Oregon Secretarial Pilot Projects on BLM Lands: Our Experience So Far and Broader Considerations for Long-term Plans,” prepared by Norm Johnson, Oregon State University, and Jerry Franklin, University of Washington, two of the principle authors of the northwest forest plan. 

The report finds that the three pilot projects demonstrate the character and feasibility of ecological forestry principles in BLM’s western Oregon forests, and that BLM staff likewise have demonstrated their ability to implement these principles.

Over the past year, Johnson and Franklin have been working with resource professionals from the BLM, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Coquille Indian Tribe to apply forest restoration principles on forests in the BLM Roseburg, Coos Bay, and Medford districts. Implementation of forest restoration projects involves a high level of public outreach.

In December 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar set in motion a plan to demonstrate the principles of ecological restoration as a potential solution to the decades-long controversy over management of the BLM’s O&C lands. The BLM, along with Johnson and Franklin, held a series of public meetings, workshops, and field trips to discuss the pilot projects and learn more about the challenges and opportunities of applying the principles of ecological forestry in actual on-the-ground projects.

The objective of the pilots is to demonstrate the ecological and economic merits of the restoration strategy outlined by Johnson and Franklin in moist and dry forests. These pilots will also serve to help the BLM identify challenges and barriers to implementation and modify management strategies in the future.

Franklin and Johnson believe that an active management program is needed on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest to restore ecological values and contribute to sustainable local communities. The professors’ ecological forestry principles are intended to facilitate forest management that:

  • Restores more functional and sustainable ecological conditions in federal forests;
  • Conserves old-growth forests and trees;
  • Recovers threatened species, such as the northern spotted owl;
  • Sustains local communities; and
  • Maintains a highly skilled workforce and milling infrastructure needed for restoration activities.
The Medford Pilot included 900 acres, of which about 250 acres are anticipated for commercial treatment. The Coos Bay Wagon Road Pilot timber sale Environmental Assessment and decision was released on January 18. The Roseburg Pilot Environmental Assessment is scheduled for public review in early April 2012.
A copy of the Forestry Pilot Project report is available online at:  

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 02-16-2012