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President's Forest Plan

Ecosystems: a new era in natural resources management

Recognizing forests as a complex network of biological systems that are connected and dependent on each other, a team of hundreds of scientists and technical experts designed the forest plan on ecosystem management.

  • To plan for the future of the forest plan's ecosystems, Washington, Oregon and California are broken into 12 provinces that share common water and land characteristics, with watersheds serving as the basis for the planning areas to help assure clean water for people and healthy habitat for wildlife and fish such as salmon.

  • An aquatic conservation strategy was developed to restore and maintain the health of watersheds, providing direction for analysis, restoration and monitoring. More than 500 watershed restoration projects are completed or initiated. About 5 million acres of watersheds have been analyzed so far, with another 5 million acres projected to be analyzed by the end of this year.

  • Six different types of federal land allocations are created to preserve old growth forests, protect the environment, and allow for timber harvest of trees less than 80 years old, or for salvaging activities that help promote characteristics of ancient forests.

    Riparian reserves: 2.2 million acres along streams and wetlands to protect and enhance clean water and to create habitat.

    Adaptive management areas: 1.5 million acres consisting of ten areas intended for innovative forest management. Located near forest-dependent communities, these ten areas are living laboratories where experimenting with innovative, environmentally sensitive forest management techniques are being encouraged and developed.

    Matrix lands: Includes 4.9 million acres outside of reserves and withdrawn areas which are available for timber harvest.

    Congressionally withdrawn areas: 7 million acres of National Parks, wilderness areas,national monuments and other federal lands where timber harvest is prohibited.

    Late-successional reserves: 7.1 million acres of federal lands where old-growth or late successional cutting is prohibited.

    Administratively withdrawn areas: 1.7 million acres of federal land to be used for various uses such as experimental forestry, research, recreation, and scenic areas.

  • Private landowners will be voluntarily conserving millions of acres for habitat preservation, thanks to the success of the administration's new habitat conservation plans and conservation agreements. These cooperative efforts give landowners the opportunity to voluntarily comply with the endangered species act by setting aside important habitat areas, and in return they can move forward with their economic goals. 39 plans and agreements are currently underway or completed, potentially preserving about 5.5 million acres of habitat in Oregon, Washington, and California.

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The President's Forest Plan

Plan Goals

Closing Legal Logjams

Timber Supply Pipeline

Economic Adjustment Initiative


Federal Agencies Working Together