Reforestation of certain harvest types; adoption of standards; rules
(1)The State Board of Forestry shall adopt standards for the reforestation of harvest type 1 and harvest type 3. Unless the board makes the findings for alternate standards under subsection (2) of this section, the standards for the reforestation of harvest type 1 and harvest type 3 shall include the following:
(a)Reforestation, including site preparation, shall commence within 12 months after the completion of harvest and shall be completed by the end of the second planting season after the completion of harvest. By the end of the fifth growing season after planting or seeding, at least 200 healthy conifer or suitable hardwood seedlings or lesser number as permitted by the board by rule, shall be established per acre, well-distributed over the area, which are “free to grow” as defined by the board.
(b)Landowners may submit plans for alternate practices that do not conform to the standards established under paragraph (a) of this subsection or the alternate standards adopted under subsection (2) of this section, including but not limited to variances in the time in which reforestation is to be commenced or completed or plans to reforest sites by natural reforestation. Such alternate plans may be approved if the State Forester determines that the plan will achieve equivalent or better regeneration results for the particular conditions of the site, or the plan carries out an authorized research project conducted by a public agency or educational institution.
(2)The board, by rule, may establish alternate standards for the reforestation of harvest type 1 and harvest type 3, in lieu of the standards established in subsection (1) of this section, but in no case can the board require the establishment of more than 200 healthy conifer or suitable hardwood seedlings per acre. Such alternate standards may be adopted upon finding that the alternate standards will better assure the continuous growing and harvesting of forest tree species and the maintenance of forestland for such purposes, consistent with sound management of soil, air, water, fish and wildlife resources based on one or more of the following findings:
(a)Alternate standards are warranted based on scientific data concerning biologically effective regeneration;
(b)Different standards are warranted for particular geographic areas of the state due to variations in climate, elevation, geology or other physical factors; or
(c)Different standards are warranted for different tree species, including hardwoods, and for different growing site conditions.
(3)Pursuant to ORS 527.710 (Duties and powers of board), the board may adopt definitions, procedures and further regulations to implement the standards established under subsection (1) of this section, without making the findings required in subsection (2) of this section, if those procedures or regulations are consistent with the standards established in subsection (1) of this section.
(4)The board shall encourage planting of disease and insect resistant species in sites infested with root pathogens or where planting of susceptible species would significantly facilitate the spread of a disease or insect pest and there are immune or more tolerant commercial species available which are adapted to the site.
(5)Notwithstanding subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section, in order to remove potential disincentives to the conversion of underproducing stands, as defined by the board, or the salvage of stands that have been severely damaged by wildfire, insects, disease or other factors beyond the landowner’s control, the State Forester may suspend the reforestation requirements for specific harvest type 1 or harvest type 3 units in order to take advantage of the Forest Resource Trust provisions, or other cost-share programs administered by the State Forester or where the State Forester is the primary technical adviser. Such suspension may occur only on an individual case basis, in writing, based on a determination by the State Forester that the cost of harvest preparation, harvest, severance and applicable income taxes, logging, site preparation, reforestation and any other measures necessary to establish a free to grow forest stand will likely exceed the gross revenues of the harvest. The board shall adopt rules implementing this subsection establishing the criteria for and duration of the suspension of the reforestation requirements.
(6)Notwithstanding subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section, at the request of the Department of Transportation, the State Forester shall consult with the department concerning reforestation requirements for harvest type 1 and harvest type 3 in areas that are within or adjacent to a state highway right of way. The State Forester shall waive reforestation requirements in areas deemed to be unsuitable for reforestation by the department in order to maintain motorist safety and to protect highways, bridges and utility lines. [1991 c.919 §6; 1993 c.562 §1; 1995 s.s. c.3 §39c; 1996 c.9 §5; 2012 c.56 §5]
Atty. Gen. Opinions
Authority of State Forester to enter private lands to administer Forest Practices Act, (1978) Vol 38, p 17