Northwest Forest Plan
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The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) is a series of federal policies and guidelines governing land use on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It covers areas ranging from Northern California to western Washington. The NWFP was adopted in 1994 by the Clinton administration as the outcome of a series of studies and hearings that began in 1993.
The NWFP was originally drafted with the intent of protecting critical habitat for the northern spotted owl, though the plan came to include much broader habitat protection goals. The plan is still in existence today.
The plan provided for five major goals:
- Never forget human and economic dimensions of the issues;
- Protect the long-term health of forests, wildlife, and waterways;
- Focus on scientifically sound, ecologically credible, and legally responsible strategies and implementation;
- Produce a predictable and sustainable level of timber sales and nontimber resources; and
- Ensure that federal agencies work together.
The federal lands falling under the purview of the NWFP are predominantly National Forests, however Bureau of Land Management lands, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and military bases are also covered by the Plan.
The NWFP is highly controversial in that it called for strongly decreased timber yields within National Forests, a policy that has been blamed by some for large-scale job losses in timber-dependent communities in the Pacific Northwest. Even though the Northwest Forest Plan is implemented to conserve late succession, it’s also important that there is a process in the beginning to protect in the early succession with the younger trees.
It has also been blamed (in part) for a significant decline in ungulate wildlife populations such as deer and elk.
- "Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) Overview", Regional Ecosystem Office, November 28, 2006. (Accessed 2007-02-07.)
- Thomas, Jack Ward; Franklin, Jerry F; Gordon, John; Johnson, K Norman (2006). "The Northwest Forest Plan: Origins, Components, Implementation Experience and Suggestions for change". Conservation Biology 20 (2). doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00385.x.
- 2006 Oregon Blacktail Deer Management Plan.
- Northwest Forest Plan, Regional Ecosystem Office, August 14, 2007. (Official site)
- The Survey and Manage Program of the Northwest Forest Plan, Bureau of Land Management, April 2006.
- Northwest Forest Plan Historic Overview
- The 1930s Survey of Forest Resources in Washington and Oregon