ODF Science Review Project

The Northwest and Southwest Forest Management Plans provide management direction for over 600,000 acres of forestland in Oregon. Currently the Board of Forestry is examining the balance of benefits provided through forest management on these forests and is considering two changes to the existing forest management plans:

  • replacing reliance on the Draft West Oregon Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for habitat protections and replacing it with a set of strategies to manage for species of concern; and
  • recalibrating the structure classes in the Northwest FMP to reflect a range of 30-50% for complex structures (Layered and Older Forest Structure).

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is seeking a technical review of the analysis work used to inform Board of Forestry discussions and decision making. It is not a review of the management decisions themselves, as these are informed by policy considerations in addition to the technical information. The purpose of the review is to seek outside technical perspective on the information on which decisions are based.

ODF staff developed two products that will be the focus of this technical review.  They are:

On behalf of the Board of Forestry, ODF has approached the OUS Institute for Natural Resources to conduct an outside review of the body of science considered and/or gaps in the science considered in developing and evaluating the forest management plan strategies.

The Board is specifically interested in having the review teams answer the following questions:

  • Are the environmental, economic, and social analyses conducted and reported by ODF consistent with the science in each field?
  • Are the conclusions supported by the analysis?
  • What is the weight of evidence that supports or conflicts with the conclusions?
    • Based on this weight of evidence, what might be the range of conclusions that could be reported instead of the specific conclusions drawn by ODF?
  • What other ways are there to conduct the reported analyses?
  • What other ways are there to measure environmental, economic, and social outcomes to facilitate forest management decision making?

Deliverables from the project will include:

  • independent reviews of the ODF environmental, social, and economic analyses;
  • an integrated review that synthesizes the connections between the environmental, social, and economic analyses;
  • an Excel database of references; and
  • an annotated bibliography (or synthesis) of relevant science that has occurred since the publication of the ODF documents, if applicable.