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DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY

 

DIVISION 665

SPECIFIED RESOURCE SITE PROTECTION RULES

629-665-0000

Purpose

(1) OAR 629-665-0000 to 0300 shall be known as the specified resource site protection rules.

(2) These rules provide a protection goal, describe the duties of the State Forester, landowner, timber owner and operator, and outline protection for:

(a) Sensitive Bird Nesting, Roosting and Watering Resource Sites (OAR 629-665-0100);

(b) Threatened and Endangered Fish and Wildlife Species that use Resource Sites on Forestlands (OAR 629-665-0200);

(c) Biological Sites that are Ecologically and Scientifically Significant (OAR 629-665-0300); and

(d) Significant Wetlands on Forestlands (OAR Chapter 629, Division 645).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 5-1992, f. & cert. ef. 5-8-92; FB 3-1994, f. 6-15-94, cert. ef. 9-1-94; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0690

629-665-0010

Protection Goal for a Resource Site

(1) The goal of resource site protection is to ensure that forest practices do not lead to resource site destruction, abandonment or reduced productivity.

(2) A resource site shall receive protection when the State Forester determines:

(a) It is an active resource site; and

(b) Proposed forest practices conflict with the resource site.

(3) The State Forester may grant an exception from either structural or temporal protection as determined by the Board for each species or resource site.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0695

629-665-0020

Application of Protection and Exception Rules; State Forester Duties; Landowner, Timber Owner and Operator Duties

(1) When a landowner, timber owner or operator proposes an operation near a resource site that requires special protection, the State Forester shall inspect the resource site with the landowner or landowner's representative, the operator and when available, the appropriate representative of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The State Forester shall:

(a) Identify the resource site.

(b) Apply the protection goal in OAR 629-665-0010.

(A) If the proposed forest practices do not conflict with the resource site, the operation will not be subject to the protection requirements for the resource site. The operation shall be conducted in compliance with all other existing forest practice rules;

(B) If the proposed forest practices conflict with the resource site, the structural and temporal protection requirements for the resource site shall be required to eliminate the conflict;

(C) When the proposed forest practices conflict with a resource site, the landowner or operator may request a structural or temporal exception through a plan for an alternate practice, if the applicable administrative rule provides for such an exception.

(D) The State Forester shall document and maintain on file the reasons for granting or denying all exceptions.

(2) If the proposed operation conflicts with the resource site, the operator shall submit a written plan to the State Forester before starting operations. The written plan shall comply with the requirements of OAR 629-605-0170, Written Plans.

(3) When the written plan in subsection (2) of this rule does not follow the written recommendations of the Department of Fish and Wildlife or other responsible coordinating state agency, the State Forester shall maintain on file a written explanation of the reasons for:

(a) Differences in the identification of the resource site; and

(b) Different protection levels required for the resource site.

(4) When a resource site is discovered by the operator, timber owner or landowner during a forest operation, the party making the discovery shall:

(a) Immediately protect all remaining trees within 300 feet of the resource site and submit to the State Forester a written plan for the resource site; and

(b) Immediately notify the State Forester.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.674 & 527.715
Hist.: FB 6-1990, f. 8-1-90, cert. ef. 1-1-1991; FB 1-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-23-91; FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1991, f. & cert. ef. 11-18-91, Renumbered from 629-024-0705; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0699; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

629-665-0100

Species Using Sensitive Bird Nesting, Roosting and Watering Sites

The following species use sensitive bird nesting, roosting and watering resource sites:

(1) Osprey use sensitive bird nesting sites.

(2) Great blue herons use sensitive bird nesting sites.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 6-1990, f. 8-1-90, cert. ef. 1-1-1991; FB 1-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-23-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0700

629-665-0110

Osprey Resource Sites; Key Components; Protection Requirements; Exceptions

(1) For osprey, the resource site is the active nest tree and any identified key components.

(a) An active nest tree is one that has been used by osprey within the past five (5) nesting seasons. No protection is required for abandoned resource sites.

(b) The key components associated with an osprey resource site are perching and fledging trees and replacement trees. Factors to consider when identifying key components:

(A) Actual observation data if available;

(B) Perching trees should provide for maximum visibility of the surrounding terrain and structure that allows the osprey easy access, such as large, tall snags or trees that have broken or dead tops, forks, or lateral branches high in the crown;

(C) Replacement trees should provide maximum visibility of the surrounding terrain, and be large enough to support an osprey nest;

(D) Perching and fledging trees and replacement trees should be located within 600 feet of the active nest tree;

(E) Areas of high winds may require that additional trees be retained to protect the resource site from damage.

(2) When the State Forester identifies the resource site as per OAR 629-665-0020, the operator shall provide the following protection measures:

(a) Retain the active nest tree; and

(b) Retain no fewer than eight additional trees as key components (i.e.: perching, fledging and replacement trees).

(c) During forest operations, the resource site shall be protected from damage. The operation shall be designed to protect these trees from windthrow;

(d) During the critical period of use, the active nest tree and any perch tree identified as a key component shall be protected from disturbance. From March 1st through September 15th, forest operations shall not be permitted within 600 feet of the active nest tree or perch tree unless the State Forester determines that the operations will not cause the birds to flush from these trees. The critical period of use may be modified in writing by the State Forester as the resource site is evaluated as per OAR 629-665-0020.

(3) The State Forester shall not permit structural exceptions for the resource site: Removal of a resource site may be permitted if replacement nest trees, artificial structures, or replacement key components are provided by the operator or landowner. Replacement is not considered an exception, since the productivity of the nesting territory is maintained. When addressed in a plan for an alternate practice, replacement may be considered by the State Forester when:

(a) Alternate forest practices which retain and protect the resource site are not economically feasible; and

(b) The productivity of the nesting territory is not reduced.

(4) Temporal exceptions for the resource site may be approved by the State Forester when addressed in a plan for an alternate practice that demonstrates:

(a) Nest disruption or failure for a season does not affect the local population; and

(b) There are no economically feasible forest practices that avoid disturbance to the resource site during the critical period of use.

(5) Factors considered by the State Forester before approving a plan for an alternate practice under section (4) of this rule shall include, but are not limited to:

(a) The size of the local population;

(b) The contribution of the resource site in question to the local population; and

(c) The feasibility of alternate forest practices that do not cause disturbance.

(6) The State Forester shall document all requests and decisions concerning structural or temporal exceptions. All approved structural replacements shall be documented.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 6-1990, f. 8-1-90, cert. ef. 1-1-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0710; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

629-665-0120

Great Blue Heron Resource Sites; Key Components; Protection Requirements; Exceptions

(1) For the great blue heron, the resource site is the active nest tree(s) and any identified key components.

(a) An active nest tree is one that has been used by one or more pair of great blue heron within the past three nesting seasons. No protection is required for an abandoned resource site.

(b) The key components associated with a great blue heron resource site are the nest tree(s), a vegetative buffer around the nest tree(s) including perching and fledging trees, and replacement tree(s). Factors to consider when identifying key components:

(A) Actual observation data when available;

(B) Perching, fledging, and replacement tree(s) should be tall with plenty of space for these large birds to fly into and out. Older trees with open branching should be retained;

(C) Areas of high winds may require that additional trees be retained to protect the active nest tree and identified key components from damage.

(2) The operator shall provide the following protection measures when operating within or near a great blue heron resource site:

(a) Retain the active nest tree;

(b) Retain a vegetative buffer not less than 300 feet around the outermost nest trees as key components that includes perching and fledging trees, and replacement trees.

(c) The vegetative buffer around a rookery may be actively managed if the key components in subsection (1) are protected. When conducting forest management activities within this buffer, operators shall consider heron protection as the highest priority. The vegetative buffer needs to provide a visual screen from disturbing influences around the rookery, and must be designed to protect the nest tree(s), perching, fledging, and replacement tree(s) from windthrow. Examples of forest management activities that may occur within the vegetative buffer include tree topping, and/or other methods of "feathering" the outer edges of the buffer to reduce windthrow potential, or remove individual trees (especially along the edge of the buffer) if the integrity of the buffer is maintained and all the key components are adequately protected. Input from the ODFW wildlife biologist and ODF's fish and wildlife specialist is important when marking trees to be removed from this buffer.

(d) During and after forest operations, the resource site shall be protected from damage. The operation shall be designed to protect the key components from windthrow;

(e) During the critical period of use, operations shall be designed and conducted so as not to disturb great blue herons using the key components. From February 15 through July 31, forest operations shall not be permitted within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the active nest tree(s) unless the State Forester determines that the operations will not cause the birds to flush from these trees. The critical period of use may be modified by the State Forester after the resource site is evaluated following OAR 629-665-0020.

(3) Structural exceptions for the resource site may be approved by the State Forester when addressed in a plan for an alternate practice. The State Forester may approve such a plan when these criteria are met:

(a) The site contains five nests or fewer;

(b) The State Forester determines that the loss of the site will not adversely affect the local population; and

(c) There are no economically feasible alternatives that maintain the key components.

(4) Factors considered by the State Forester before approving a structural exception to protection of a great blue heron resource site shall include, but are not limited to:

(a) The size of the site (number of nests);

(b) The size of the breeding population in the local area;

(c) The productivity of great blue herons in the local area;

(d) The contribution of the site to local productivity;

(e) The probability that protection measures will be successful;

(f) Available alternate nesting sites; and

(g) Whether alternatives that protect the site are economically feasible.

(5) Temporal exceptions to protection of a great blue heron resource site may be approved by the State Forester when addressed in a plan for an alternate practice. The State Forester may approve such a plan when:

(a) The State Forester determines that nest disruption or failure for a season or site abandonment will not adversely affect the local population; and

(b) There are no economically feasible alternatives that will not disturb the birds during the critical period of use.

(6) Factors considered by the State Forester before approving a temporal exception shall include, but are not limited to:

(a) The size of the site (number of nests);

(b) The size of the breeding population in the local area;

(c) The productivity of great blue herons in the local area;

(d) The contribution of the site to local productivity; and

(e) Whether alternatives that protect the site are economically feasible.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 2-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-23-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0711; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

629-665-0200

Resource Sites Used By Threatened and Endangered Species

The following resource sites used by threatened or endangered species are sensitive to forest practices:

(1) Northern spotted owl nesting sites.

(2) Bald eagle nesting sites.

(3) Bald eagle roosting sites.

(4) Bald eagle foraging perches.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0800

629-665-0210

Interim Requirements for Northern Spotted Owl Nesting Sites

(1) Whenever the State Forester determines that an operation will conflict with protection of a nesting site of the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), the operator must submit to the State Forester a written plan before commencing the operation. The written plan, at a minimum, must address how the operation will be conducted to provide for the following:

(a) A 70 acre area of suitable spotted owl habitat encompassing the nest site, to be maintained as suitable spotted owl habitat;

(b) Prevention of disturbances resulting from operation activities which cause owls to flush from the nesting site. Such disturbances must be prevented during the critical period of use for nesting. The critical period of use is the time period between March 1 and September 30, each year.

(2) For the purposes of this rule, nesting site means and includes the tree, when known, containing a spotted owl nest; or when not specifically known, includes an activity center of a pair of adult spotted owls. An activity center is a location determined by the State Forester to have been reliably identified as being occupied by an adult pair of spotted owls, capable of breeding. Such determination must be supported by repeated observation of the owls in close proximity or observation of nesting behavior.

(3)(a) For the purposes of this rule, suitable spotted owl habitat means and includes:

(A) A stand of trees with moderate to high canopy closure (60 to 80%); a multi-layered, multi-species canopy dominated by large overstory trees (greater than 30 inches in diameter at breast height); a high incidence of large trees with various deformities (e.g., large cavities, broken tops, and other evidence of decadence); numerous large snags; large accumulations of fallen trees and other woody debris on the ground; and sufficient open space below the canopy for owls to fly; or

(B) In the absence of habitat which exhibits all the characteristics listed above, the available forested habitat which comes closest to approximating the listed conditions.

(b) Stands which do not exhibit at least two of the characteristics listed in paragraph (a)(A) of this section are not suitable habitat.

(4) (For information only) Federal law prohibits a person from taking northern spotted owls. Taking under the federal law may include significant alteration of owl habitat on any class of land ownership. Compliance with subsection (1) of this rule is not in lieu of compliance with any federal requirements related to the federal Endangered Species Act.

(5) Exceptions to the requirements for protecting northern spotted owl nesting sites are allowed if the operator is in compliance with, and has on file with the State Forester, an applicable incidental take permit issued by federal authorities under the Endangered Species Act.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.674 & 527.715
Hist.: FB 11-1990(Temp), f. 12-20-89, cert. ef. 12-21-90; FB 5-1991, f. & cert. ef. 6-6-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0809; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

629-665-0220

Bald Eagle Nesting Sites; Key Components; Protection Requirements; Exceptions

(1) For bald eagle nesting sites, the resource site is the active nest tree and all identified key components:

(a) An active nest tree is one in which a bald eagle has nested in the past, and that the State Forester determines to be structurally capable of successful future use, whether or not the tree still contains a nest.

(b) An active nest tree may fall down or may become structurally incapable of supporting a bald eagle nest site. When this happens the nest resource site shall be considered active and shall be protected for an additional five (5) years only if the site contains suitable nesting sites. In this case, if a nesting resource site is not used during this five-year period, the site shall be considered abandoned and no protection will be required.

(c) The key components associated with a bald eagle nesting site are perching and fledging trees, replacement nest trees, and a forested buffer around the nest tree. Factors to consider when identifying key components:

(A) Actual observation data when available.

(B) Perching and fledging trees should be tall enough to provide maximum visibility of the surrounding area. Perching and fledging trees are often snags or decadent live trees with exposed, strong, lateral branches high in the crown.

(C) Replacement nest trees should provide maximum visibility of the surrounding terrain, and be large enough to support a bald eagle nest. Bald eagles prefer to nest in large, tall trees that are alive, with large limbs, broken tops, or irregular growth patterns with open structure.

(D) Areas of high winds may require that additional trees be retained to protect the active nest tree(s) and identified key components from damage.

(2) The operator shall provide the following protection measures when operating within or near a bald eagle nesting site:

(a) During and after forest operations, the resource site shall be protected from damage. The operation shall be designed to protect the trees from windthrow;

(b) Retain the active nest tree.

(c) Retain a forested buffer not less than 330 feet around the active nest tree as a key component that includes perching, fledging, and replacement tree(s).

(d) During the critical period of use, operations shall be designed and conducted to not disturb bald eagles using the resource site:

(A) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this subsection, during the critical period of use, operations shall not be permitted within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the active nest tree or perch trees. If the eagles have line-of-sight vision from these trees to the operation, the distance is one-half (1/2) mile.

(B) If the State Forester determines through review of the written plan that the operations will not cause the birds to flush from the trees identified in paragraph (A) of this section, then there is no conflict and the distance restrictions in paragraph (A) of this section may be modified.

(C) The critical period of use is January 1 through August 31. The specific critical period of use for individual nesting resource sites may be modified in writing by the State Forester depending upon the actual dates that bald eagles are present at the resource site and are susceptible to disturbance.

(3) Structural or temporal exceptions for the resource site are allowed if the operator is in compliance with, and has on file with the State Forester, an applicable incidental take permit issued by federal authorities under the Endangered Species Act.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0811; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

629-665-0230

Bald Eagle Roosting Sites; Key Components; Protection Requirements; and Exceptions

(1) For bald eagle roosting sites, the resource site is the active roost trees, probable roost trees as identified by the State Forester, and all identified key components:

(a) An active roosting site is one that has been used within the past 5 years for roosting by bald eagles. No protection is required for an abandoned bald eagle roosting site.

(b) The key components associated with a bald eagle roosting site are staging trees, probable roost trees as identified by the State Forester, and a forested buffer around the roost trees. Factors to consider when identifying key components:

(A) Actual observation data when available.

(B) Roost sites frequently occur in mature forests. Roost trees are often significantly larger than the rest of the stand.

(C) Staging trees are often large, dead-top or dominant trees or snags where one or more eagles can perch and have direct access to the roosting site.

(D) The surrounding forested buffer must be adequate to maintain a suitable microclimate around the roost trees.

(E) Areas of high winds may require that additional trees be retained to protect the active roost tree(s) and identified key components from damage.

(2) The operator shall provide the following protection measures when operating within or near a bald eagle roosting site:

(a) During and after forest operations, the resource site shall be retained and protected from damage. The operation shall be designed to protect the trees from windthrow.

(b) Retain the active roost tree(s).

(c) Retain a forested buffer not less than 300 feet around the outermost active roost trees as a key component that includes probable roost trees.

(d) Retain staging trees.

(e) During the critical period of use, operations shall be designed and conducted to not disturb bald eagles using the resource site:

(A) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this subsection, during the critical period of use, operations shall not be permitted within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the active roost trees. If the eagles have line-of-sight vision from these trees to the operation, the distance is one-half (1/2) mile.

(B) If the State Forester determines through review of the written plan that the operations will not cause the birds to flush from trees identified in paragraph (A) of this subsection, then there is no conflict and the distance restrictions in paragraph (A) of this subsection may be modified.

(C) The critical period of use for bald eagle roosting sites in the Klamath Basin is October 31 through March 31. In other areas of Oregon the critical period of use is November 15 through March 15. The specific critical period of use for individual roosting resource sites may be modified in writing by the State Forester depending upon the actual dates that bald eagles are present at the resource site and are susceptible to disturbance.

(3) Structural or temporal exceptions for the resource site are allowed if the operator is in compliance with, and has on file with the State Forester, an applicable incidental take permit issued by federal authorities under the Endangered Species Act.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0812; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06; DOF 2-2013, f. 7-11-13, cert. ef. 9-1-13

629-665-0240

Bald Eagle Foraging Perches; Key Components; Protection Requirements; and Exceptions

(1) For bald eagle foraging perches, the resource site is the active foraging perch. An active foraging perch is one that is habitually used by eagles as a vantage point while hunting. No protection is required for abandoned bald eagle foraging perches. The presence or absence of foraging perches within or near a foraging area shall be determined by the State Forester when the forester conducts an operation inspection. Factors to consider when identifying key components:

(a) Actual observation data when available.

(b) Bald eagles usually perch in the tallest trees on the edge of forest stands overlooking the hunting area. Snags and dead-top trees are often used.

(c) Areas of high winds may require that additional trees be retained to protect the active foraging perch from damage.

(2) The operator shall provide the following protection measures when operating near a bald eagle foraging perch:

(a) During and after forest operations, the foraging perch shall be retained and protected from damage. The operation shall be designed to protect the foraging perch from windthrow.

(b) During the critical period of use, operations shall be designed and conducted so they do not cause excessive disturbance to bald eagles using the foraging area. The critical period of use shall be determined on a site specific basis. The critical period of use varies for each bald eagle foraging area, depending on whether the foraging area is used by nesting, wintering, or migrating bald eagles.

(3) Temporal exceptions for the entire foraging areas shall not be permitted by the State Forester. Temporal protection is determined by evaluating the potential disturbance to the entire foraging area used by a breeding pair or wintering population of bald eagles. Disturbance at a single foraging perch in a foraging area may be determined by the State Forester to not cause a conflict. This evaluation shall be based on the number of alternative foraging perches in the bald eagle foraging area.

(4) Structural exceptions for an active foraging perch may be permitted if the State Forester determines that adequate replacement foraging perches will remain in the vicinity after completion of the forest operation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.715
Hist.: FB 7-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-91; FB 9-1996, f. 12-2-96, cert. ef. 1-1-97, Renumbered from 629-024-0813; DOF 6-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-2-05 thru 1-27-06; DOF 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06

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