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    Author(s): Valerie Rapp
    Date: 2008
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-720. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 42 p
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (9.0 MB)


    The Northwest Forest Plan (the Plan) was developed in 1994 to resolve debates over old-growth forests and endangered species on federal forests in the range of the northern spotted owl. In 2005, federal agencies reviewed the first 10 years under the Plan to learn what worked and what did not, what changed, and what new information or surprises might influence these forests in the future. Following are some of the key findings. Nearly all existing older forest habitat on federal land was protected from timber harvest. Older forest on federal land had a net increase of over 1 million acres in the first 10 years of the Plan. Despite protection of northern spotted owl habitat on federal land, spotted owl populations declined at a greater rate than expected in the northern half of their range, likely because of barred owl competition, climate, and the changing condition of historical habitat. Watershed condition improved slightly, because of reduced harvest in riparian areas, tree growth, and increased emphasis on restoration. Federal timber harvest in the Plan area averaged only 54 percent of Plan goals. In spite of mitigation measures, some local communities near federal lands had job losses and other adverse effects. State, federal, and tribal governments worked together on forest issues better than they ever had before. Increased collaboration with communities changed how the agencies get work done.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Rapp, Valerie. 2008. Northwest Forest Plan—the first 10 years (1994–2003): first-decade results of the Northwest Forest Plan. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-720. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 42 p


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    Northwest Forest Plan, northern spotted owl, old growth, forest policy, biodiversity

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