The 1994 Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) shifted federal lands management from timber dominance to ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation on nearly 25 million acres within the range of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl. Several assessments have demonstrated that the scientific underpinnings of the plan remain sound and that it has met most of its ecosystem management goals, including:
- Greatly reduced logging of old-growth forests on federal lands;
- Slowed declines of the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet that would have been much worse;
- Provided a “safety net” for rare species outside the reserve network (so called “survey and manage” species);
- Vastly improved watershed conditions across over two-third of 193 watersheds managed under the Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS);
- Provided indirect climate benefits in the form of carbon sequestration and carbon storage and high quality water;
- Provided a “soft landing” for the timber industry as it continues to consolidate and shift toward smaller logs;
- Decoupled Oregon counties from reliance on uncertain and unsustainable timber receipts; and
- Sustained quality of life benefits for regional economic diversification.
Shared Responsibility: The Conservation Community’s Recommendations to Equitably Resolve the O&C County Funding Controversy
Reports and Info:
As Oregon county governments receive their last checks from federal taxpayers under the expired county payments program, a coalition of seven local, state, and national conservation organizations has unveiled a balanced strategy to resolve the county funding conundrum. Given the growing trend in Congress to end Oregon's county payments program, the groups are promoting a shared responsibility approach, where county governments, the State of Oregon, and the federal government would each take responsibility for resolving a portion of the problem.