Land | Ecotrope

BLM forest report: "A plan to have a plan"

Ecotrope | July 25, 2010 2:34 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:48 p.m.

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The Bush administration’s revised plan for managing western Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management forests just didn’t cut it. Not the trees - or the legal mustard.

A baker’s dozen of environmental groups sued the feds over the BLM’s plan to increase old-growth logging on 2.6 million acres in western Oregon. Obama administration Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar withdrew the Western Oregon Plan Revisions last year, calling them “legally indefensible” (is that the same as illegal?).

So, now we have some advice from a new task force on how to make revisions that are, er, legally defensible.

OPB reporter Rob Manning got an early look at the plan and found the top priorities were actually rather contradictory. Avoiding controversy and sticking to small thinning projects isn’t enough long-term, the task force said, but for now they’d advise staying out of court by not logging near streams or in places that could be habitat for threatened and endangered species.

To resolve the long-term dilemma, the team called for a set of new committees and task forces. Here we go again, groups on both sides are muttering.

“Now they’ve got a plan to have a plan, after a year, and they say it’ll take another three years,” said U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio. “I just find this absurd.”

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