Rare Plant Surveys delay timber sales

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Fri Oct 2 12:17:19 EST 1998


The following article appeared in The Oregonian, Oct. 1, 1998, p B5

Need to finish surveys delays many Northwest timber sales

The U.S. Forest Service and the BLM must complete studies of 33 rare plants
and animals before the sales can proceed

The Associated Presss

	EUGENE -- Federal timber sales are being delayed until next year in
Oregon and Washington because surveys of old-growth forests for 33 rare
plants and animals have not been completed.	    Most of the species are
fungi, snails and obscure plants that often appear only once ever three to
five years becuase of their irregular reproductive cycles.   "The problem is,
we have 33 species that we don't even know how to identify, or they show up
only sporadically," said Greg Cox, head of a joint federal agency effort to
develop guidelines for how to survey forests for rare plants and animals and
then protect them from logging.   The delay by the U.S. Forest Service and
Bureau of Land Management is yet another blow to a logging program that
already has been slashed by 80 percent under President Clinton's Northwest
forest plan.	    A U.S. Forest Service official said Tuesday that timber
sales should start getting approval again by February but that any further
delays could have a dramatic effect on sales in the 1999 federal fiscal year,
which begins today. At worst, the BLM would be forced to cut sales by 65
percent; the Forest Service by 35 percent.    Using Clinton's forest plan,
agencies were supposed to develop the "survey and manage" guidelines by Oct.
1. But the agencies won't have guidelines for 33 species by today's deadline.
	"Obviously, we have a problem," Cox said.	Doug Heiken,
spokesman in Eugene for the Oregon Natural Resources Council, said the
agencies are "just making more excuses to not fulfill the promises that were
made in 1994," when Clinton unveiled his plan for resolving the 10-year-old
old-growth war.    "They've had five years to figure this out, and they just
have to start doing it," Heiken said.	      The council and other
conservation groups have filed a federal lawsuit in Seattle to force the
agencies to complete work needed to meet the survey and protection
guidelines.   Fourteen environmental groups Tuesday also challenged the
Willamette National Forest's Moose Subwatershed Project near Sweet Home. The
forest already has approved the sale of the 22.5 million board feet of
timber, but it won't be auctioned until after today.	  A timber industry
official said Tuesday that he isn't overly concerned about the delays.	     
"This early in the (fiscal) year, it shouldn't be a problems," said Chris
West, spokesman in Portland for the Nortwhest Forestry Association. The
agencies should be able to sell their backlog of timber in the spring, he
said.

The article above was posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler
http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com

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