Agricultural management for 60 years. Merkwood planted in 1984 (26 year old). National Forest management started in 2003.
Siuslaw River tributary – Indian Creek
Indian Creek, private land
Indian Creek, private land
Indian Creek, private land not in active agriculture
Indian Creek, private land
North Fork Indian, National Forest land
Clear cut progression from harvest and burn to plant and grow to achieve a plantation of over 600 trees per acre
At the most upstream distribution of coho salmon
Thinning a Forest Service unit containing a perennial stream adjacent to coho habitat
Gray bars show number of large 24”dbh trees per acre at 5 year intervals without thinning a 276 tree per acre stand. Orange triangles depict the number of trees per acre in the unthinned stand capable of producing a 8” diameter x 10’ long piece of small wood produced by suppression mortality that could reach a stream within 30 feet. The black bars display the number of trees per acre greater than 24” dbh in a stand thinned to 65 trees per acre.
Galdy timber sale, south of Hebo
We propose this harvest prescription and make NMFS tell us not to achieve Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.
Cape Creek Heceta Head, whirly bird timber sale patch not thinned
Cape Creek Heceta Head, whirly bird timber sale two tree unthinned stream buffer
Intermittent stream, Lobster Creek headwater stream
Preacher Creek tributary, natural stand, perennial stream with coho
Upper Yachats River above Grass Creek, natural stand
Theory To Practice Can We Manage Riparian Areas For More Than Big Trees
Theory to practice: Can we manage riparian areas for more than big trees?
Aquatic Conservation Strategy Northwest Forest Plan <ul><li>Riparian Reserves, Key Watersheds, Watershed Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed restoration </li></ul><ul><li>The most important components are control and restoration of road-related runoff and sediment production, restoration of riparian vegetation , and restoration of in-stream habitat complexity. </li></ul><ul><li>Active silvicultural programs will be necessary to restore large conifers in Riparian Reserves. Appropriate practices may include planting unstable areas such as landslides along streams and flood terraces, thinning densely-stocked young stands to encourage development of large conifers, releasing young conifers from overtopping hardwoods, and restoring shrub and hardwood-dominated stands with conifers. </li></ul>
We have been but now we can’t At this time the NMFS in Terms and Conditions stated we can not manage vegetation within 100 feet of coho bearing streams and must retain all existing shade on perennial streams to minimize risk of short-term impacts. Coho Salmon Habitat
Terms and Conditions To implement reasonable and prudent measure #2 (future inputs of woody material), the Forest Service shall ensure that no thinning of trees occurs within 100 feet of coho-bearing streams. Existing shade is maintained around all perennial streams , except at skyline yarding corridors and culvert replacement work sites Conservation Recommendation To maintain a mix of short- and long-term sources of wood to coho habitat, the Forest Service should thin to no less than 200 trees per acre from 100 feet away from streams with OC coho salmon to a distance from the stream equal to the height of one site-potential tree (250’). Alternatively, the Forest Service should place woody material in coho-bearing stream channels at loadings similar to what the area defined above would contribute over a 75-year long period. Biological Opinion West Alsea/Little Nestucca Landscape Mgt Projects
1/3 Siuslaw NF (200,000 acres) is in plantations of 90% Douglas fir Commercial thinning is the way the vegetation is managed to accelerate old growth timber stand conditions ESA listed species… Northern spotted owl, marbled murrelets, Oregon coast coho salmon, and Pacific eulachon Current annual timber sale volume averages 30+mmbf down from 350mmbf East Alsea Landscape Management Project example ARBO allows non-commercial riparian vegetation treatment
62,297 ac. in 3 subwatersheds 25% of area w/100’ of stream 3,565 ac. to thin 900 ac. of thinning w/100’ of stream (6% of the stream miles)
1,903 ac. in 3 sbws w/100’ of coho stream 6.3 ac. thinning w/100’ of coho
Upper Indian Creek Subwatershed <ul><li>6 th Field HUC </li></ul><ul><li>21,775 acres Total </li></ul><ul><li>18,400 acres Federal ownership (85%) </li></ul><ul><li>3,375 acres Private ownership (15%) </li></ul>
Extent of Commercial Thinning within Upper Indian Creek
Reasons to Thin Plantations <ul><li>Previously harvested units are densely stocked and many do not appear to be self thinning </li></ul><ul><li>Plantation trees are not adding much diameter growth (growing like toothpicks) </li></ul><ul><li>Believe that w/o thinning many plantations may never reach late-successional state </li></ul><ul><li>Thinning should accelerate development of large trees for owls, murrelets, and salmon </li></ul>
Harvest Prescriptions <ul><li>Harvest limited to densely stocked plantations </li></ul><ul><li>First two “rows” of conifers (minimum 30 feet) remain un-thinned if they occur within 100 feet of the floodplain or top of the inner gorge of a perennial stream </li></ul><ul><li>First row of conifers remains un-thinned if it occurs within 100 feet of intermittent stream </li></ul><ul><li>40-100 trees per acres remain in thinned stand </li></ul>
Observations <ul><li>Past timber harvest has left us a tree farm </li></ul><ul><li>NMFS direction will keep the tree farm through passive management </li></ul><ul><li>FS proposes active management to meet ACS objectives </li></ul><ul><li>4 years of attempting to get an independent science review has failed </li></ul><ul><li>The disagreement has been floundering in the Court of Process </li></ul><ul><li>Executives do not embarrass executives </li></ul><ul><li>Some disagreements may not get resolved </li></ul>