Eastside Screens Plan Amendment

A draft environmental assessment was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. The comment period, which was extended an additional 30 days to Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. PDT, is now closed. Submitted comments may be viewed online in the public comment reading room.

The Forest Service is considering amendments to the land management plans of six eastern Oregon and Washington national forests to revise a provision that limits harvesting trees larger than 21 inches in diameter.

The limitation on harvesting trees of that size was established in 1995 through a multi-forest land management plan amendment known as “Eastside Screens.” Eastside Screens were a suite of temporary land management provisions (referred to as “standards”) designed to safeguard water supplies, protect wildlife habitat, and encourage a mix of young and old trees in Washington and Oregon forests east of the Cascade Range.

The standards were provisions land managers needed to take into account (“screening questions”) before moving forward with land management activities, such as timber harvesting. Three standards comprise the Eastside Screens. The particular standard under consideration for amendment is a component of the wildlife standard commonly referred to as the “21-inch Rule.”

Now 25 years later, the 21-inch harvest limitation under the wildlife standard is being reassessed in light of current forest conditions and the latest scientific understanding of forest management in areas that have frequent disturbances, like wildfires. 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/landmanagement/planning/?cid=FSEPRD710229