Forest Bridges Goals
INTELLIGENT FOREST MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES:
Priority will be on rigorous habitat and watershed protection. Management will enhance and diversify habitat of the O&C BLM lands for the well-being of all forest species. This will diminish the need for future listings of forest species under the Endangered Species Act.
There will be no traditional clear-cuts nor large single age plantations on BLM land. Instead, multi-aged management, thinning and variable retention regeneration treatments would be carefully applied and tailored to reflect the different needs of dry and moist forest stands across all ages. Legacy trees would remain, while some older and larger trees would be harvested to make way for younger and smaller trees. The outcomes sought would include fire-resilience, diverse quality habitat, and a healthy progression from early seral to structurally complex stands.
Currently, the forest is out of balance in terms of age classes, fuel loads and tree densities. This is creating the ideal conditions for mega-wildfires, which threaten our valuable ecosystems, economies, human health and communities. The Forest Bridges project will thin dry forests and increase prescribed fire to regain historic conditions that existed for millennia prior to the last 100 years of fire exclusion. The goal is multi-aged mixed conifer stands that are fire resilient.
The natural development of habitat in the context of management on O&C BLM land would take into account the realities presented by the checkerboard ownership of O&C and private lands. Cooperative and voluntary initiatives with private adjacent landowners would be financially supported. Among other goals, cooperation would seek to improve pathways for the movement of forest species. The envisioned road system would be upgraded to minimize erosion, improve groundwater movement, and be adequate for management and public access. Management would also include initiatives to neutralize the effects of BLM actions and forest development on adjacent private lands, such as the use of prescribed fire in both moist and dry forests.
Regular measurement of the outcomes of natural forest development and management will determine if forest planning goals are being met. Reliable funding of ongoing monitoring and adaptive management is essential for demonstrating whether or not the BLM is on track to achieve the long-range outcomes of this vision, and to set the stage for mid-course corrections (adaptive management and planning) as needed. Broad acceptance of the monitoring approach by Forest Bridges Friends is necessary to obtain the dependable source of funding that is required. Please become a Friend today.
Forest Bridges has identified a new and permanent source of funding for forest monitoring and reporting, adaptive management, forest restoration, invasive weed control, and to ultimately support natural ecological function. This will be termed “sustainability receipts” and are the portion of O&C revenues and any other revenues from O&C timber sales that have traditionally gone to the U.S. Treasury. This revenue stream is designated in the Forest Bridges Project to address the requirements of 21st century forestry. Please become a Friend to support this project.