Ecological Values

The CBC agrees to the need for active resource management in the Basin which includes a broad array of activities that consider the ecological processes and public needs.   The details of what, where and how much these activities should occur is not yet defined.

  • Active resource management includes a whole suite of activities
  • CBC supports a sustained level of timber management in the Basin and has general consensus that commodity production should be focused in the roaded areas commonly referred to as the “front country”
  • CBC agreed a science based landscape level assessment “blueprint” is needed to develop a strategic vegetation plan and has begun the process
  • CBC is committed to working with the Forest Service on the assessment, projects that evolve and Forest Plan Revision under the new Planning Rule and has entered into a MOU with the Agency to facilitate collaboration

Background

The CBC has addressed a number of issues and made significant progress towards resolution.   One of these has been a broad theme of land use and management particularly where management for commodities such as timber, should occur.  The group’s general consensus it that commodity production should be focused in roaded areas which we generally refer to as the “front country.”

There is consensus support for a sustained level of timber management and it is well established that there will need to be a reasonable degree of certainty as a major component of any overall legislative or administrative package. Efforts to facilitate this activity include initial implementation of a framework to move the Forest Service towards successful program delivery through selective collaborative efforts with the CBC.  Ultimately, CBC hopes to offer consensus recommendations on how much timber harvest is appropriate in the Basin.

Since “active management” includes numerous types of activities, one definition of the CBC may consider for adoption is:  “Strategies designed to attain desired ecosystem objectives and future conditions by applying cultural operations and forest management strategies”.  These may include timber harvest, tree planting, thinning, prescribed burning, fertilization, grazing, week control, improving wildlife habitat, stream channel reconstruction, erosion control, decommissioning of roads, trail and road maintenance and construction and recreation resource maintenance and improvement.

Current Situation

The CBC intends to develop broad-scale consensus recommendations on where, what, and how the USFS lands in the Basin could be managed to meet the needs of the CBC’s diverse group of interests.  This blueprint map of the Clearwater Basin will suggest appropriate places and appropriate tools for land management within the Basin, providing the USFS with a clearer understanding of the types of activities the CBC would support and where.

The assessment will identify current and desired forest conditions, prioritize desired activities in the front country and outline the preferred treatments.  Ultimately, it will provide long-term estimates for sustainable timber harvest.  The team will identify short term outputs to be   completed in the next few months as well as long term outcomes for the  next 18 months.  It is possible the assessment would cover all roaded front country within the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests, even if some of the landscape falls outside of the Clearwater Basin.

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