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What The Northwest Forest Plan says about 80 year old trees

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Title: What The Northwest Forest Plan says about 80 year old trees


1
What The Northwest Forest Plan says about 80
year old trees
2
Ecological Principles for Management of
Late-Successional Forests
  • Appendix B2 FSEIS B-43 B-50 and Chapter B.
    Basis for Standards Guidelines B-1 B-34 ROD

3
Structure and composition
  • Structural characteristics of late-successional
    and old-growth forests vary with vegetation type,
    disturbance regime, and developmental stage.
  • For example, in many Douglas-fir stands in
    western Oregon Washington, the mature phase of
    stand development begins around 80 years and is
    characterized by relatively large live and dead
    trees (Spies and Franklin, in press), although
    multiple canopy layers may not yet be well
    developed.
  • App B2 B-2 ROD

4
  • Four major structural attributes of old-growth
    Douglas-fir forests are
  • Live old-growth trees
  • Standing dead trees (snags)
  • Fallen trees or logs on the forest floor
  • Logs in streams
  • Additional important elements include multiple
    canopy layers, smaller understory trees, canopy
    gaps, patchy understory. B-2 ROD

5
Ecological Processes
  • Ecological processes include tree growth
    maturation, death decay of large trees, low to
    moderate intensity disturbances, establishment of
    understory trees, closing of canopy gaps.
  • These processes result in forests moving through
    different stages of late-successional and
    old-growth conditions that may span 80 to 1,200
    years for forests dominated by long-lived
    species.
  • App B2 B-2 ROD

6
  • The maturation stage is characterized by a slowed
    rate of height growth crown expansion. Heavy
    limbs begin to form, gaps between crowns become
    larger more stable, or expand from insect
    pathogen mortality. Large dead fallen trees
    begin to accumulate, the understory may be
    characterized by seedlings saplings of
    shade-tolerant species.
  • In Douglas-fir stands west of the Cascade Range,
    this stage typically begins between 80 140
    years, depending on site conditions stand
    history.
  • App B2 B-2 ROD

7
The Role of Silviculture in LSRs
  • Silvicultural systems proposed for
    Late-Successional Reserves have two principal
    objectives
  • (1) development of old-growth forest
    characteristics including snags, logs on the
    forest floor, large trees canopy gaps that
    enable establishment of multiple tree layers
  • (2) prevention of large-scale disturbances by
    fire, wind, insects diseases that would destroy
    or limit the ability of the reserves to sustain
    viable forest populations B-5 ROD

8
The Role of Silviculture in Matrix
  • Matrix objectives for silviculture should
    include
  • Production of commercial yields of wood,
    including those species such as Pacific yew
    western red cedar that require extended rotations
  • Retention of moderate levels of ecologically
    valuable old-growth components such as snags,
    logs, relatively large trees
  • Increasing ecological diversity by providing
    early-successional habitat. B-5 ROD

9
LSR Silviculture Standards Guidelines - West of
the Cascades
  • There is no harvest allowed in stands over 80
    years old (110 years in the Northern Cascades
    Adaptive Management Area).
  • Thinning may occur in stands up to 80 years old
    regardless of the origin of the stands.
  • Purpose to benefit the creation maintenance
    of late-successional forest conditions.
  • Examples of silviculture treatments that may be
    considered beneficial include thinning in
    existing even aged stands prescribed burning.
    ROD C-12

10
Risk Reduction in LSRs
  • East of the Cascades in the Oregon California
    Klamath Provinces
  • Given the increased risk of fire in these areas
    due to lower moisture conditions the rapid
    accumulation of fuels in the aftermath of insect
    outbreaks drought, additional management
    activities are allowed in LSRs.
  • Such activities in older stands may also be
    undertaken in Late-Successional Reserves in other
    provinces if levels of risk are particularly
    high.
  • Note the limit on activities in stands older
    than 80 years of age only apply to silvicultural
    treatments.
  • ROD C-12 C-13
  • ROD C-12 C-13

11
  • While risk reduction efforts should generally be
    focused on young stands, activities in older
    stands may be appropriate if
  • The proposed management activities will clearly
    result in greater assurance of long-term
    maintenance habitat,
  • The activities are clearly needed to reduce
    risks, and
  • The activities will not prevent the
    Late-Successional Reserves from playing an
    effective role in the objectives for which they
    were established. ROD C-13

12
Salvage in LSRs
  • The NWFP allows for salvage of dead trees
    following a large, stand-replacing event within a
    LSR.
  • Salvage guidelines are intended to prevent
    negative effects on late-successional habitat,
    while permitting some commercial wood volume
    removal.
  • Salvage sales need to be either beneficial to
    late-successional habitat objectives or neutral
    to the future attainment of late successional
    habitat objectives.
  • Note the 9th Circuit Court Opinion on the
    Timbered Rock Sale ruled that salvage has to be
    beneficial. ROD C-13 C-15

13
Regional Ecosystem Office consistency reviews
  • If a project is being proposed that is not
    covered by an existing, approved Late
    Successional Reserve Assessment or the
    silvicultural exemption criteria the project
    needs to be brought to the REO LSR Workgroup for
    review to provide concurrence that projects are
    consistent with the NWFP.
  • If a project is not consistent, site specific
    rationale may be brought to the Regional
    Interagency Executive Committee to consider a
    Forest Plan Amendment.
  • Refer to REO Late-Successional Reserve Project
    Level Consistency Reviews, August 5, 2009 for
    more information.

14
Matrix Stand Management
  • Stands in the matrix can be managed for timber
    other commodity production, and to perform an
    important role in maintaining biodiversity.
  • Silvicultural treatments of forest stands in the
    matrix can provide for retention of old-growth
    ecosystem components such as large green trees,
    snags and down logs, and depending on site and
    forest type, can provide for a diversity of
    species.
  • ROD B-6

15
Matrix Standards Guidelines
  • Coarse woody debris
  • Obj. provide coarse woody debris well
    distributed across the landscape in a manner
    which meets the needs of species provides for
    ecological functions.
  • Scattered green trees will provide a future
    supply of down woody material as the stand
    regenerates.
  • Specific measures include providing a renewable
    supply of large down logs, retention protection
    of CWD during treatments, leaving specific levels
    sizes of logs, leaving logs in patches
    retained under green-tree retention. ROD C-40
    C-41

16
Green Tree Retention - Matrix
  • Retention of green trees following timber harvest
    in the matrix provides a legacy that bridges past
    future forests.
  • Retaining green trees serves several important
    functions including snag recruitment, promoting
    multistoried canopies, and providing shade
    suitable habitat for many organisms in the
    matrix.
  • Retaining green trees of various sizes, ages, and
    species, in well-distributed patches as well as
    dispersed individuals, will promote species
    diversity.
  • Diversity of tree structure should be considered
    when selecting trees for retention. ROD B-6

17
  • In Matrix, retain at least 15 percent of the area
    associated with each regeneration harvest unit.
  • As a general guide, 70 percent of the total area
    to be retained should be aggregates of moderate
    to larger size (0.2 to 1 hectare or more) with
    the remainder as dispersed structures (individual
    trees, and possibly including smaller clumps).
  • To the extent possible, patches dispersed
    retention should include the largest, oldest live
    trees, decadent or leaning trees, hard snags.
  • Patches should be retained indefinitely to
    provide support for those organisms that require
    very old forests.
  • ROD C-41 C-42

18
  • The green tree retention limitation does not
    apply to intermediate harvests (thinnings) in
    even-age young stands.
  • In addition
  • Landscape areas where little late-successional
    forest persists should be managed to retain
    late-successional patches. This standard
    guideline will be applied in fifth field
    watersheds in which federal forest lands are
    currently comprised of 15 or less of
    late-successional forest. Within such an area,
    all remaining late-successional stands should be
    protected. ROD C-44

19
Survey Manage species
  •  Survey and Manage 2001 ROD
  •  
  • These standards and guidelines apply within all
    land allocations however, the Survey and Manage
    provision for each species will be directed to
    the range (or portion of range) of that species,
    to the particular habitats where concerns exist
    for its persistence, and to the management
    activities considered habitat-disturbing for
    that species. 2001 ROD SGs p.6
  •  

20
  • Currently, the FS is implementing the 2001 ROD
    using the December 2003 species list with the
    exception of the Red Tree Vole which remains a
    Category C (pre-disturbance surveys practical),
    and/or the four categories of projects exempt
    from the Survey and Manage standards and
    guidelines as stipulated by Judge Pechman
    (October 11, 2006, Pechman exemptions.)

21
  • Bottom line the 80 year old threshold is only
    mentioned in the context of the LSR.
  • And in the matrix, standards guidelines assure
    appropriate conservation of ecosystems as well as
    provide habitat for rare and lesser-known
    species. ROD pg. 10
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