Region 6 Plan Revision
The Northwest Forest Plan Science Synthesis
The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest (which includes Oregon and Washington) and Pacific Southwest (which includes California) Research Stations are developing a science synthesis to inform the revision of land management plans (forest plans) for 19 national forests within the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) area.
In October, 2016, a draft science synthesis to help inform plan revisions within the Northwest Forest Plan area will be available for public input through an independent peer review process. For more information about the independent peer review and science synthesis, please refer to the follow link:
Bureau of Land Management approval of Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon
On August 5, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon which revised the management on lands within the Northwest Forest Plan area. On March 1, 2016, the Forest Service, BLM, and other Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) interagency partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to continued cooperation in the management of Federal forests in support of the principles first articulated in the NWFP consistent with agency specific mandates. While the BLM and Forest Service are utilizing distinct and separate planning processes to revise land use plans within the NWFP area, the two agencies share common goals for plan revision and continue to collaborate on long-term monitoring of the impacts of the implementation of their land use plans.
Forest Plan Revision Status
The Forest Service has evaluated what we heard from our partners and the public during the 19 listening sessions held in 2015 as well as to other feedback received since then. We have several work groups in place that are designing an analytical framework and public engagement approach with the goal to provide regional consistency while fostering and maintaining local ownership. This work is being completed in what is called the pre-assessment phase.
The tasks done by these work groups will inform and support the first phase of the revision process called the Assessment phase. Based on lessons learned, the information collected during pre-assessment will also help us to better engage with the public and stakeholders as the 2012 Planning Rule describes. In late 2016 we will evaluate the integrated products that the work groups are developing. That evaluation will shape our next steps, with the aim of approaching the Assessment phase of plan revision in early 2018.
Sign up for plan revision updates: PlanRevisionListeningSessions@fs.fed.us
What is Land Management Plan Revision?
Each national forest operates under a Land Management Plan, as required by the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). Land Management Plans, often called "Forest Plans", provide broad direction and guidance on how national forestlands will be managed for 10 to 15 years. The National Forest Managment Act also requires forests to revise their Forest Plans. Currently national forests in Oregon and Washington are either already in the revision process (Colville, Malheur, Okanogan-Wenatchee, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests) or are preparing for Forest Plan revision in the near future. Many of the national forests that have not yet begun the revision process have Forest Plans that were published in the 1980s and early 1990s that were amended by the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) in 1994.
The Northwest Forest Plan was adopted in 1994 with the intent of protecting the critical habitat of the northern spotted owl while maintaining a viable forest products industry in the Pacific Northwest. In total, the NWFP amended 26 land use plans, including 19 National Forest and seven Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans within the range of the northern spotted owl. The NWFP established standards and guidelines to meet the intent to pursue an ecosystem management, scientifically supported approach to forest management. The goal of this approach was to maintain healthy forest habitat to support native species, watershed health and function, and a sustainable supply of timber and other forest products to help preserve the stability of local and regional economies. For more information on NWFP monitoring, visit http://www.reo.gov/monitoring/index.shtml
The Pacific Northwest (OR, WA) and Pacific Southwest (CA) Regions of the U.S. Forest Service are continuing a public conversation on the process for revising forest land management plans within the Nothwest Forest Plan amendment area. The Forest Service will follow the principles established by the Regional Interagency Executive Committee framework in its plan revision processes.
All new plan revision efforts will follow the 2012 planning regulations. Our goal is to ensure an adaptive land management planning process that is inclusive, efficient, collaborative and science-based to promote healthy, resilient, diverse and productive National Forests and Grasslands. For a copy of the 2012 planning rule, its history, public collaboration on the rule, and more please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/home.
Public Listening Sessions
In March through June of 2015, the Forest Service held 19 listening sessions across the Northwest and northern California to:
- Share information about plan revision and the role of science,
- Outline our current thinking about a plan revision strategy, and
- Gather ideas from the public on the revision process.
We held 3 bi-regional listening sessions in coordination with Region 5 (California) and 16 forest-level listening sessions. In total, over 900 people participated. Thank you!
Listening session participants shared a broad range of ideas, and we summarized the feedback into three main topics: public engagement, science, and overarching plan revision interests. The summary report can be downloaded in whole or in parts below. Listening session feedback is already being used to shape our plan revision strategy, and we look forward to incorporating additional ideas as we move forward.
Summary reports and materials from the plan revision listening sessions can be downloaded on our Plan Revision Listening Sessions Summary Reports and Materials page.
Northwest Forest Plan 20-Year Monitoring Reports
The Forest Service Research Station hosted a public forum to share key findings of the Northwest Forest Plan 20-Year Monitoring Reports on June 9 in Vancouver, WA. The forum included a series of presentations on the reports’ key findings, which can be accessed at the Regional Ecosystem Office forum website: http://www.reo.gov/monitoring/reports/20yr-report/forum/