OR Dept. of Forestry release – SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Forestry State Forests Division submitted a stewardship agreement application to the Forest Resources Division on Sept 29, 2023. Stewardship agreements are voluntary agreements between landowners and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). The Oregon Legislature first authorized stewardship agreements in their current form in 2003 and added additional provisions in 2007. These agreements provide incentives for landowners who voluntarily meet and exceed regulatory requirements and afford the State Forester an adaptive means to engage landowners in long-term agreements that consider natural resource conservation from a property-wide perspective, rather than at the scale of single projects. State forest lands comprise 3% of Oregon’s forested landscape. The proposed agreement covers approximately 640,000 acres of state forest lands in Western Oregon. The Western Oregon State Forests Stewardship Agreement Management Plan is consistent with the habitat conservation plan (HCP) the State Forests Division submitted to federal agencies. The intent of the Stewardship Agreement is to provide regulatory efficiencies and certainties to reconcile differing approaches between the protections in the Oregon Forest Practices Act and the protections in the HCP intended to improve environmental outcomes. “The plan ensures healthy, productive, and sustainable forest ecosystems that provide a full range of social, economic, and environmental benefit to the people of Oregon,” said Mike Wilson, ODF’s State Forests Division Chief. The ODF Forest Resources Division is responsible for administering the Oregon Forest Practices Act, Forest Practice Rules and evaluating stewardship agreement applications. The State Forests Division application, including the management plan, has undergone review by subject matter experts and a proposed stewardship agreement has been drafted. You can view the proposed agreement on the ODF website at this link. The Forest Resources Division invites public comments on the proposed Western Oregon State Forests Stewardship Agreement from November 2 to November 26. The public can submit comment via email at email@example.com or via postal mail at Attn: Forest Resources Public Comment, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street, Salem, OR 97310.
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