By MITCH LIES
The Oregon Department of Forestry on April 23 released draft 10-year management plans for 85,000 acres of state-owned forests.
The plans, which are open for public comment until June 5, call for increased harvest levels and increased inventory in the North Cascade and West Oregon district forests.
The West Oregon District includes a patchwork of state-owned forests in Benton, Lincoln and Polk counties. The North Cascade District includes forests in Clackamas, Marion and Linn counties. The North Cascade District's scattered tracts were consolidated in 1974 into the Santiam State Forest.
About two-thirds of the revenues from state forest timber sales fund counties and other taxing districts, including schools.
The plans were developed for social, economic and environmental benefits, according to a department news release.
Under the plans, during the next decade, the North Cascade District forests inventory is expected to increase from 1.1 billion board feet to more than 1.2 billion board feet.
The West Oregon District inventory is expected to increase from 788 million board feet to 933 million board feet.
Harvest levels are increasing in the plans, from 10 million to 12 million board feet annually in the West Oregon District, and from 14 million to 19 million board feet in the Santiam State Forest.
Kevin Weeks, a public information officer for the department, said the department is able to simultaneously increase harvest levels and inventory because of changes in forest inventory.
"Younger timber is going to be serving a greater role in harvest plans over the next 10 years," he said.