Wildfire protection, management of state-owned forests, and prospects for broadening state-federal cooperation in restoring federal forestlands are among topics the Oregon Board of Forestry will take up at its March 7 meeting.
The meeting, in Salem, is open to the public.
Among the highlights of the board’s agenda:
Restoration and collaboration on federal forests – Regional Forester Kent Connaughton, the top U.S. Forest Service official in the Northwest, will brief the board on recently funded restoration and collaboration projects on eastern Oregon forestlands, and will join the board in considering potential strategies for further state-federal cooperation.
Fire protection funding challenges and opportunities - The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will report on the work of an advisory committee that has developed ideas and concepts to:
-- reduce the number of large wildfires on forestland protected by ODF
-- address the challenge of lower productivity lands bearing some of the highest fire protection costs
The results of the committee's work will shape development of concepts that the board will consider for introduction during the 2013 session of the Oregon Legislature.
Forest health - human health initiative – Catherine Mater of the Pinchot Institute will give a presentation on an innovative program in northwestern Oregon to use carbon offset payments from family forestlands to fund the healthcare needs of forestland owners, their families and local communities.
“Instead of developing, selling or harvesting their forestland, the Forest Health-Human Health Initiative will provide family forest owners the option to implement sustainable forest management practices to generate carbon offsets,” Mater said. “The revenue from carbon offset sales will be banked to cover health care expenses.”
Exploring conservation areas on state-owned forests – ODF staff will present an analysis of conservation area definitions and associated areas located on the state forests. They will also describe potential opportunities to make these areas more visible, permanent and durable, should the board choose to pursue that option.
Improving state forest performance measures – ODF staff will update the board on the effort to revise the measures used to evaluate management of the state forests. The board currently has nine measures covering the social, economic and environmental benefits to be provided on state-owned forests.
Integrated water resources strategy – The Oregon Water Resources Commission and Department will present an interagency strategy that recommends actions to meet future Oregon's water needs. The commission is seeking endorsement of the water strategy, written in response to a 2009 state law, from other state boards and commissions.
Meeting time and location
The board meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters in the Tillamook Room - Building C, 2600 State St., in Salem.
Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services or assistance can be arranged calling the department’s Public Affairs Office at least 48 hours before the meeting, 503-945-7200, text telephone 503-945-7213.
More information on the Board of Forestry can be found at: www.oregonforestry.gov. Background information on the March 7 meeting, including staff reports, will be available soon through the 2012 “Meeting Schedules” link on the website.
The meeting is open to the public. During a general comment period at the beginning, public comment will be received on forestry-related items that are not included in the agenda. Time will also be provided for comment on specific agenda items as the board takes them up.