Under pressure from the Bush administration to increase logging on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to open up old-growth forests in Western Oregon to clearcutting.

The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP), drawn up in 1994 under the Clinton presidency, is a landmark agreement that regulates logging and protects old growth and wildlife in the forests of the Northwest. It ended the standoff between the timber industry and forest conservationists who wanted to protect the Northwest’s remaining forests from overexploitation.

The BLM manages 2.6 million acres of forestland in western Oregon. These acres have since 1994 been managed under the NWFP.

Now the agency is proposing a drastic revision of the way it manages its timberlands, effectively removing them from the NWFP. A draft of these proposed revisions, known as the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR), is now open to public comment. (The deadline for comments was recently extended to Jan. 11, 2008.)

According to the draft WOPR, BLM would:

• increase logging to seven times the current rate;

• log 100,000 acres of old-growth and mature forest every ten years;

• turn old-growth forests into tree plantations;

• build over 1,000 miles of new logging roads;

• manage 2,000 square miles of forest under the new “Timber Management Area” designation, with clearcutting the preferred method of logging;

• drastically reduce protections for endangered wildlife such as marbled murrelet and Northern spotted owl.

Removing BLM lands from the NWFP would gut this important agreement and return Oregon forests to the bad old days of industrial-strength clearcutting. The draft WOPR needs to be revised to eliminate these destructive provisions.


Write to the BLM and tell them to drop plans for clearcutting Oregon old growth and respect the terms of the Northwest Forest Plan. Tell them to:

• protect all mature and old-growth forests from clearcutting;

• continue to protect threatened and endangered species such as the marbled murrelet and the Northern spotted owl;

• promote forest restoration rather than intensive industrial logging. Develop sustainable forestry rather than clearcutting;

• protect trout , salmon and clean water by shielding watersheds, rivers and streams from sedimentation and temperature changes.

The BLM has a Web Forum for discussion of the WOPR and an email page to send comments:


Or mail your comments to:

Western Oregon Plan Revisions Office
P.O. Box 2965
Portland, OR 97208

Deadline for public comments is Friday, Jan. 11, 2008.


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places