Final Summary, March 2003
A heart-felt thanks to everyone who helped us on The Children's Forest project. The Children's Forest is 552 acres of the Sunpass State Forest, which was slated to be cut by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We objected to the proposed sale because it did not adequately address the issue of old growth trees and the creatures dependent on them. More specifically, it made inadequate provisions for a pair of nesting goshawks, and it was going to cut too many of the big trees in an area in which old growth habitat had already been severely reduced.
After many letters, meetings and scientific studies stretching over three years, and especially the involvement of the Governor's Office and the Division of State Lands which oversees this piece of forest for the benefit of the school children of Oregon, here are the results:
Before: The buffer area around the northern goshawk nest was a 1.6 acre no-cut zone, and almost 5 additional acres of modified cut.
After: The buffer area is now 30 acres.Before: 1) Leave 74% of sugar pine and ponderosa pine larger than 30" dbh (diameter at breast height). According to earlier figures, this meant cutting approximately 251 ponderosa pine, 332 white fir, and 24 sugar pines over 30". After: 1) Leave 90% of sugar pine and ponderosa pine larger than 30" dbh.
2) Leave all trees 35 inches dbh and greater unless an individual tree is hazardous or poses a threat to the health of the forest.
This is an increase of 179 big pines, 75 of which are over 35" dbh, and 198 white firs greater than 35" dbh, for a total of 377 big, or legacy, or heritage trees saved.
Before: The large tree targets in the Sunpass State Forest Management Plan for their special forest connectivity areas were at least 15 trees per acre greater than 18" dbh, with 4 of these to be greater than 25". For the rest of the forest land there were no big tree targets, only the retention of 1 high defect tree per 5 acres to provide snags.
After: In the forest connectivity areas the target is now 15 trees greater than 20", and at least 5.5 of them being greater than 30". In the general areas the target is 10 trees per acre 20" and larger, and at least 2 of them are to be 30" or larger.
The Children's Forest, because of all your
help, but especially because of the intervention of the Governor's Office, can be called a
success. But there are Children's Forests everywhere that need our compassionate
The two following legal analyses of how the laws governing the Oregon State forests developed and were applied illustrate how we need a fresh examination of these kinds of laws.
Copyright 2000 The Children's Forest, LLC.