Comment Now on Scoping for BLM Western Oregon Forests RMP

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Comment Now on Scoping for BLM Western Oregon Forests RMP

Postby Kevin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:13 pm

These are some rough and ready notes to help people interested in commenting on scoping for the BLM Western Oregon Forests Resource Management Plan (RMP).

By 5pm Pacific time on Thursday, July 5, 2012, send your comments by email to:
BLM_OR_RMPs_WesternOregon@blm.gov

Or submit using this online form:
http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswestern ... mments.php

What It's All About...

Officially speaking, in the words of the Oregon BLM, "The BLM is seeking public input on what issues and management alternatives the RMPs should address. Although the BLM has identified the scale of planning as six RMPs with a single environmental impact statement (EIS), public input is being sought on whether a different approach to scale such as by district, region, or type of forest should be considered.

"The BLM welcomes suggestions for new and innovative approaches to managing BLM-administered lands in western Oregon."

In Other Words...

The BLM is at the beginning phase of a roughly two year process to write a new RMP (resource management plan) for their 2.5 million acres of forest lands in Western Oregon, along with the EIS (environmental impact statement) needed for the plans.

The new RMP is intended to replace the Northwest Forest Plan, currently more or less in effect, and it is the BLM's sucessor to the WOPR (Western Oregon plan revision), the Bush-years RMP that has been withdrawn by the Obama administration.

http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswesternoregon/

What to Say...

This current comment period is for "scoping". That means, technically, that it is for comments about how to do the new plan, and what it should cover, rather than what the plan should be in the end.

There should be a separate comment period sometime maybe a year from now to comments on the alternatives that the BLM has prepared for the EIS.

This is the best chance to influence what goes into those alternatives.

You can absolutely say whatever you want to about western Oregon forest management. Comments that are more focused, however, are somewhat more likely to have an impact on the planning process.

Kinds of Comments...

There's not a lot of time left to comment, but here's some context in case you do have a bit of energy for it. A great simple strategy is to pick just one or two points that resonate for you!

- Process comments
How should the work of collecting input and writing the plan be organized?
-- Use a formal collaborative community process, not just focus groups, not just an agency internal project
-- Use a deep consensus-building process involving a full spectrum of political, economic, environmental, social, and geographic interests
-- Listen deeply and respectfully to plan critics and potential critics around the spectrum of interets and concerns
-- Support constructive interaction and conflict resolution among plan critics and potential critics, rather than trying to carry all conflict resolution on the agency's own shoulders
-- Seek real long-term win-win solutions, not just proximate political compromises

- Topics to be addressed
What are some important things that should be considered in the EIS and RMP?
-- The short term and long term carbon footprint of each alternative
-- The short term and long term ecological impact of various level of thinning
-- The ecological impact of decommissioning logging roads
-- What are the maximum feasible options for salmon habitat and watershed restoration?
-- What are the maximum feasible options for overall ecological restoration?
-- How can best practices in stewardship contracting be applied in western oregon forests?
-- What is the medium term potential for sustainable economic benefits from recreation as opposed to timber harvesting?
-- Incorporate the true spirit and details of the Council on Environmental quality draft guidance on climate change in NEPA processes - not the erroneous prevailing BLM mis-construction of that guidance - as a minimum standard
-- What are the costs to recreation, including hunting, of keeping gates locked on BLM logging roads?

- Economic outcomes
Describing specific economic elements you would like to see in the plan
-- Create actual economic benefits available to rural residents, not payments to county governments
-- Engineer economic benefits specific to small entities, rather than for large timber companies
-- Focus timber harvest activities in ways that increase the public value per board foot, not just the number of board feet
-- Develop revenue streams from intact forest for carbon sequestration and for other ecosystems services
-- Win-win solutions will be those in which intact forest supports revenue, building synergy across strategies like non-motorized recreation, ecosystems services payments, and sustainable low-impact harvest of non-timber forest products.

- Environmental outcomes
Describing specific environmental elements you would like to see in the plan
-- Plan for true long-term sustainability of the native forest, watersheds, and related ecosystems and species
-- Completely preserve critical habitat for threatened and endangered (T&E) species
-- No logging of old trees anywhere, defined as trees more than 75 years old
-- No logging in previously unlogged native forest
-- Stop the use of pesticides on BLM public lands
-- Create strict and substantive protection of riparian corridors, pocket wetlands, and remaining native uplands

These points are simply examples... there is so much that could be said!

The BLM has also put out their own questionnaire that can be used to provide input:
http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswestern ... stions.pdf

And for a different celebration of this Independence Day, here's a 36 second slide show of our proud national raptor, the majestic Bald Eagle...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X69eQZ8cdA
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Kevin
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

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