BLM Forest Planning - Western Oregon Plans Revision WOPR 1 & 2

BLM Forest Planning - Western Oregon Plans Revision WOPR 1 & 2

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the largest landowner in the Oregon Coast Range. The agency has major forest holdings in Tillamook, Benton, Lane, Douglas and Coos Counties. Important portions of large coastal watersheds are owned by the BLM. In total, the BLM owns 2.5 million acres of Western Oregon forest.

Starting in 2002, the BLM began a new set of forest plans for its forest ownership in Western Oregon. The goal of the planning process was to update the Northwest Forest Plan.

Here is a map of BLM & other significant public or tribal lands in Western Oregon:

Called the Western Oregon Plans Revisions (WOPR-1) by the BLM, the new WOPR-1 plans made major changes to the Northwest Forest Plan for five BLM Districts. The Coast Range Association was a leading organization commenting on WOPR-1. We severely criticized numerous bad provisions of the new plan. A key issue was that the new plans departed from the best available science.

When President Obama took office he set aside the illegal WOPR-1 plans. President Obama then set in motion a second planning effort we termed WOPR-2. That effort culminated in the new plan’s being adopted in August of 2016, these plans are called the ROD/RMP.

The 2nd planning effort came closer to the NWFP model except for the Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS). Two key problems existed. The BLM set aside mandatory ACS Standards and replaced them with discretionary Guidelines. Secondly, although extensive consultation occurred between the protective agencies (National Marine Fisheries Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service); the consultation’s Biological Opinion failed to explain how Best Available Science warranted changing Standards in the plan to guidelines.

During the almost sixteen years of BLM forest planning, our work was unrelenting to ensure the big trees were protected and the ACS remained whole. The CRA’s input into BLM planning took the form of clarifying the Best Available Science regarding the Aquatic Conservation Strategy. Our work produced two major reports, sponsored a major science panel of the Northwest’s best aquatic scientists and provided vast input into the BLM’s planning process.

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