Forest Practices Reforestation Rules

Link to law: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_600/oar_629/629_610.html
Published: 2015

The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through November 15, 2015

 

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DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY









 

DIVISION 610
FOREST PRACTICES REFORESTATION RULES

629-610-0000
Purpose
(1) Timely reforestation of forestland
is an essential factor in assuring continuous growing and harvesting of forest tree
species, considering landowner objectives and consistent with the sound management
of timber and other forest resources. Reforestation or other forms of revegetation
are also important for the continued productivity and stabilization of soils exposed
as a result of operations.
(2) OAR 629-610-0000 through
629-610-0090 shall be known as the reforestation rules.
(3) The purpose of the reforestation
rules is to establish standards to ensure the timely replacement and maintenance
of free to grow forest tree cover following forest operations at or above stocking
levels that will use the tree growth potential of forestlands in Oregon.
(4) The reforestation rules
are designed to:
(a) Define forestland subject
to reforestation requirements;
(b) Describe the conditions
under which reforestation shall be required;
(c) Specify the minimum number
of trees per acre;
(d) Specify the maximum time
period allowed for establishment of such trees after an operation reduces stocking;
(e) Describe the acceptable
species for reforestation;
(f) Describe the conditions
under which revegetation shall be required in lieu of reforestation; and
(g) Specify the conditions under
which an exemption from the reforestation requirements may be approved.
(5) Except as described below,
the reforestation rules shall become effective on January 1, 1995 and shall be applied
as follows:
(a) Operations completed after
January 1, 1995 must comply with the reforestation rules;
(b) Except as provided in subsection
(c) operations completed before January 1, 1995 must comply with the applicable
reforestation requirements of ORS 527.745 and OAR 629-024-0400 to 0404, 629-024-0500
to 0503, and 629-024-0600 to 0604 as they existed on September 6, 1994;
(c) Landowners subject to subsection
(b) may request to have the reforestation rules apply to an operation at any time
following January 1, 1995. The State Forester shall approve such requests so long
as the landowner will fully apply the reforestation rules on the operation.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745
Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94,
cert. ef. 1-1-95; DOF 2-2013, f. 7-11-13, cert. ef. 9-1-13
629-610-0010
Forestlands Suitable for Reforestation
(1) Any forestland which is capable of annual wood production of at least 20 cubic feet per acre at culmination of mean annual increment (Cubic Foot Site Class VI or better) shall be subject to the requirements of the reforestation rules.
(2) Potential site productivity is determined directly by tree growth and stocking measurements throughout the operation area or determined indirectly using applicable USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey information, USDA Forest Service plant association guides, Oregon Department of Revenue western Oregon site class maps, or other information determined by the State Forester to be of comparable quality.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95
629-610-0020
Reforestation Stocking Standards
(1) The landowner shall increase tree stocking
to a level that meets the applicable productivity-based stocking standards described
in sections (4), (5) and (6) of this rule within the time limits established by
OAR 629-610-0040 whenever post-operation free to grow tree stocking in all or a
portion of the operation area is below the applicable stocking standards and:
(a) Trees or snags of acceptable
species are harvested; or
(b) Free to grow tree stocking
is reduced as a result of the operation.
(2) Reforestation is not required
on those portions of the operation area:
(a) Where adequate free to grow
tree stocking remains after the completion of the operation;
(b) That are not disturbed by
operation activities; or
(c) On soils or sites not meeting
the minimum productivity requirements of OAR 629-610-0010.
(3) The State Forester shall
approve a plan for an alternate practice to waive or modify the reforestation requirements
following a stand improvement operation such as a precommercial thinning, commercial
thinning, overstory removal, or other partial cut harvest if the State Forester
determines that the residual stand conditions after such an operation will result
in enhanced long-term tree growth and there is a high probability the purpose of
the reforestation rules will be achieved.
(4) For Cubic Foot Site Class
I, II and III forestlands (capable of producing at least 120 cubic feet per acre
per year at culmination of mean annual increment), the minimum tree stocking standards
are:
(a) 200 free to grow seedlings
per acre; or
(b) 120 free to grow saplings
and poles per acre; or
(c) 80 square feet of basal
area per acre of free to grow trees 11-inches DBH and larger; or
(d) An equivalent combination
of seedlings, saplings and poles, and larger trees as calculated in section (7)
of this rule.
(5) For Cubic Foot Site Class
IV and V forestlands (capable of producing between 50 and 119 cubic feet per acre
per year at culmination of mean annual increment), the minimum tree stocking standards
are:
(a) 125 free to grow seedlings
per acre; or
(b) 75 free to grow saplings
and poles per acre; or
(c) 50 square feet of basal
area per acre of free to grow trees 11-inches DBH and larger; or
(d) An equivalent combination
of seedlings, saplings and poles, and larger trees as calculated in section (7)
of this rule.
(6) For Cubic Foot Site Class
VI forestlands (capable of producing between 20 and 49 cubic feet per acre per year
at culmination of mean annual increment), the minimum tree stocking standards are:
(a) 100 or more free to grow
seedlings per acre; or
(b) 60 free to grow saplings
and poles per acre; or
(c) 40 square feet of basal
area per acre of free to grow trees 11-inches DBH and larger; or
(d) An equivalent combination
of seedlings, saplings and poles, and larger trees as calculated in section (7)
of this rule.
(7) In both even-aged and uneven-aged
stands, the stocking of residual seedlings, saplings and poles, and larger trees
shall be weighted to determine stand stocking and potential reforestation requirements.
For this purpose, seedlings, saplings and poles, and trees 11-inches DBH and larger
are proportionally equivalent in the following ratios: 100 free to grow seedlings
are equivalent to 60 free to grow saplings and poles, which are equivalent to 40
square feet of basal area of free to grow trees 11-inches DBH and larger.
(8) Live conifer trees 11-inches
DBH and larger left standing in harvested areas to meet the green tree and snag
retention requirements of ORS 527.676 shall be counted towards meeting the tree
stocking standards if the trees are free to grow.
(9) For the purposes of determining
compliance with the tree stocking requirements of the reforestation rules, tree
stocking in riparian management areas within an operation area will be considered
separately from stocking in the rest of the operation area.
(10) Landowners may submit plans
for alternate practices that do not conform to the reforestation stocking levels
established under these rules. A plan for alternate practices may be approved if
the State Forester determines that there is a high probability that the purpose
of the reforestation rules will be achieved, or if the plan carries out an authorized
research project conducted by a public agency or educational institution.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745
Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94,
cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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
629-610-0030
Natural Reforestation Methods
(1) Natural reforestation methods may be the best means to meet a variety of resource management objectives on some forestlands. Successful natural reforestation requires careful, flexible, site-specific pre-harvest planning and post-harvest monitoring.
(2) Reforestation may be difficult on Cubic Foot Site Class VI forestlands due to factors such as poor soils, harsh climate and competing vegetation. Reforestation in wetland areas may be difficult because of high water tables, competing vegetation, and inaccessibility. Careful reforestation planning is needed before operations are conducted on these sites. On Cubic Site Class VI forestlands and in wetlands, the use of silvicultural systems that promote natural regeneration and the retention of good quality residual trees after operations often have a higher probability of success than artificial reforestation methods.
(3) When an operation will result in a reforestation requirement and natural reforestation methods are planned, the landowner shall obtain written approval from the State Forester of a plan for an alternate practice which describes how reforestation will be accomplished. Information in the plan shall include:
(a) A description of the seed sources that will be used;
(b) Site preparation and vegetation competition control methods;
(c) An estimate of the time needed to obtain an adequately stocked free to grow stand;
(d) How progress towards natural reforestation will be evaluated; and
(e) Alternative strategies that will be used if natural reforestation does not progress as planned.
(4) The plan for an alternate practice required in section (3) of this rule must be submitted no later than twelve months after tree stocking is reduced.
(5) Plans for an alternate practice for the use of natural reforestation methods shall be approved by the State Forester if a determination is made that the information provided accurately indicates there is a high probability the purpose of the reforestation rules will be achieved.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710

Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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
629-610-0040
Time Allowed for Reforestation
(1) The time period for compliance with the reforestation rules begins at the completion of the operation or 12 months after tree stocking has been reduced, whichever comes first.
(2) The landowner shall begin reforestation, including any necessary site preparation, within 12 months when reforestation is required.
(3) The landowner shall complete planting or seeding within 24 months unless a plan for an alternate practice for natural reforestation has been approved by the State Forester.
(4) By the end of the sixth full calendar year, the landowner shall have established a free to grow stand of trees which meets or exceeds the minimum stocking level required by OAR 629-610-0020.
(5) When natural reforestation methods are planned, the time limits for evidence of successful germination and for establishing a free to grow stand of trees which meets or exceeds the minimum stocking level required for the site shall be established in the approved plan for an alternate practice required for such methods.
(6) If reforestation cannot be accomplished within the specified time due to circumstances determined by the State Forester to be beyond the landowner's control, the State Forester shall extend the time to accomplish reforestation. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
(a) Nursery failure;
(b) Inadequate seedling availability following salvage harvesting;
(c) Extreme drought;
(d) Insect infestation;
(e) State smoke management restrictions on the burning of slash;
(f) Wildfire or disease damage; or
(g) Severe wildlife damage that could not be reasonably anticipated or controlled by the landowner.
(7) Extensions shall be made only upon a determination by the State Forester, based on timely written evidence provided by the landowner, that documents the landowner made reasonable attempts to comply with the reforestation requirements of the rules.
(8) Where an extension is granted for reforestation failure on land suitable for reforestation or in cases where a violation of the reforestation rules is cited, the landowner shall be required to take remedial action to achieve the required stocking standards within a time prescribed by the State Forester using recognized stand establishment methods.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710

Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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 8-2005, f. 12-13-05, cert. ef. 1-1-06
629-610-0050
Acceptable Species for Reforestation and Residual Stand Stocking
(1) The State Forester shall determine if tree species are acceptable for artificial reforestation, natural reforestation, and as residual seedling, sapling and pole, or larger tree stocking based on all of the following criteria:
(a) The species must be ecologically suited to the planting site;
(b) The species must be capable of producing logs, fiber, or other wood products suitable in size and quality for the production of lumber, sheeting, pulp or other commercial forest products; and
(c) The species must be marketable in the foreseeable future.
(2) Up to 20 percent of the site-based stocking levels required by 629-610-0020 may be met by using free to grow hardwood trees remaining after harvest if the trees are of species meeting the requirements of section (1) of this rule. An approved plan for an alternate practice is required before more than 20 percent of the required stocking may be met with residual, post-operation hardwood trees. Approval for the use of higher levels of hardwood residual stocking shall be based on a determination by the State Forester that there is a high probability the purpose of the reforestation rules will be achieved.
(3) Landowners are encouraged to reforest with a mixture of acceptable tree species, where appropriate, to reduce the risk of insect and disease losses and to promote stand diversity. Seedlings or seeds used for artificial reforestation should be from seed sources that are genetically adapted to the growing site.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710

Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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  
629-610-0060
Use of Non-Native Tree Species
(1) When an operation will result in a reforestation requirement, and the landowner intends to plant or seed a tree species not native to the operation area, the landowner shall submit for approval a plan for an alternate practice to the State Forester which describes the tree species and how it will be used to meet the reforestation requirements. Information in the plan must include:
(a) The tree species that will be used;
(b) Evidence that the species is ecologically suited to the planting site;
(c) Evidence that the species is capable of producing commercial forest products that will be marketable in the foreseeable future; and
(d) Available research or field test findings which demonstrate the tree species has been successfully used in reforesting sites similar to the operation area.
(2) A plan for an alternate practice for the use of non-native tree species must be submitted for approval no later than twelve months after tree stocking is reduced and prior to planting. Plans for an alternate practice for the use of non-native tree species shall be approved by the State Forester if a determination is made that the information provided indicates there is a high probability the purpose of the reforestation rules will be achieved.
(3) For the purpose of this rule, any tree species that the State Forester determines has naturally existed and reproduced in the operation area or on similar sites shall be considered a native species.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710

Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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
629-610-0070
Suspension of the Reforestation Rules
(1) A landowner must submit to the State
Forester a plan for an alternate practice to suspend the reforestation rules for
the salvage or conversion of low value forest stands, to establish forest stands
that are adequately stocked and free to grow.
(2)(a) The State Forester may
approve the plan for an alternate practice when the harvest area is a conversion
of underproducing forestland, or a salvage of forest stands where the merchantable
trees are dead or dying due to wildfire, insects, diseases or other factors beyond
the landowner's control and the State Forester determines:
(A) The landowner is approved
for funding from a forest incentive program, for which the State Forester is the
technical advisor; and
(B) The gross harvest revenues
will not exceed the total costs of harvest, taxation, and reforestation.
(b) For the purposes of this
rule, "conversion of underproducing forestland" means an operation that:
(A) Is conducted on forestland
that is subject to the reforestation requirements;
(B) Does not currently support
the minimum number of free to grow trees required under OAR 629-610-0020;
(C) Has the objective of removing
undesirable competing vegetation and establishing an adequately stocked, free to
grow forest stand; and
(D) May include the incidental
harvest of forest products.
(3) To determine whether subsection
(2)(a)(B) of this rule is met on a harvest operation that has not started, the State
Forester shall make a field observation of the harvest area to determine:
(a) The estimated merchantable
volume;
(b) The value of the merchantable
volume by applying current local market values; and
(c) The estimated harvest, taxation,
and reforestation costs.
(4) When the State Forester
is not able to determine the projected revenues and projected costs from the field
observation described in subsection (3) of this rule, the State Forester may require
the landowner to submit one or more of the following:
(a) A third party estimate,
by species and grade, of the volumes and values of logs to be delivered to the mill;
(b) The projected costs of harvesting
the forest products, including, but not limited to, harvest planning and administration,
road construction and maintenance, felling and bucking, yarding, and loading and
hauling;
(c) The projected severance,
harvest, and income taxes;
(d) The projected costs of reforestation,
including planning and administration, site preparation, trees, tree planting, tree
protection, and moisture conservation; or
(e) The projected costs of any
other measures necessary to establish a forest stand in an adequately stocked and
free to grow condition, as specified in the reforestation rules.
(5) To determine whether subsection
(2)(a)(B) of this rule is met on a harvest operation that has started, but is not
yet complete, the landowner shall submit to the State Forester one or more of the
following:
(a) The contracts executed to
sell and harvest forest products, including but not limited to, all logging costs
and receipts;
(b) All the forest products
scaling summaries showing gross and net volumes, by species and corresponding mill
receipts showing payment; or
(c) Any tax forms, records or
reports submitted by the landowner that detail the gross and net volumes of forest
products harvested, by species, plus logging and management costs used to determine
harvest and severance taxes.
(6) Operations that are complete
are not eligible for a suspension of the reforestation rules.
(7) The State Forester shall
revoke the suspension of the reforestation rules at any time within 6 years of completing
the operation if the landowner fails to establish a forest stand:
(a) According to the specifications
and time lines required under the applicable forest incentive program; or
(b) In an adequately stocked
and free to grow condition, as specified in the reforestation rules.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.670, 527.700, 527.710,
527.730, 527.765, 919.3 & 919.9
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.74
Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94,
cert. ef. 1-1-95, Renumbered from 629-057-5170; 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
629-610-0080
Revegetation When Reforestation is Not Required
When reforestation is not required or planned, the landowner shall ensure sufficient revegetation of the site to provide continuing soil productivity and stabilization within 12 months of the completion of the operation. Revegetation required by this rule may be planted or naturally established, and shall consist of trees, shrubs, grasses, or forbs suitable for soil stabilization and productivity protection. Landowners are encouraged to revegetate the operation area with native plants.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710

Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.745

Hist.: FB 5-1994, F. 12-23-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95
629-610-0090
Exemption from Reforestation for Land Uses Not Compatible with Forest Tree Cover
(1) A landowner, through a plan for an
alternate practice, may request all, or portions of, an operation area be exempted
from the reforestation requirements for the purpose of developing forestland for
a use that is not compatible with the maintenance of forest tree cover. Approval
of a plan for an alternate practice shall be obtained for such an exemption from
the State Forester and shall only be granted for the smallest land area necessary
to carry out the intended change in land use. Reforestation shall be required on
the portions of operation areas not directly involved in the land use change.
(2) In seeking approval of the
plan for an alternate practice, the landowner shall provide written documentation
to the State Forester which establishes:
(a) The specific portion of
the operation area necessary for the proposed change in land use;
(b) The intended change in land
use and the incompatibility of the land use with forest tree cover;
(c) The intended change in land
use is authorized under local land use and zoning ordinances, and all necessary
permits and approvals have been obtained, or will be obtained within 12 months following
the reduction in tree stocking; and
(d) The county assessor and
local planning department have been notified in writing of the proposed change in
land use.
(3) Reasonable progress towards
the change in land use, as determined by the State Forester, shall be made within
12 months of the completion of the operation. Evidence of reasonable progress towards
a change to an agricultural use may include activities such as stump removal, cultivation,
fencing, and planting or seeding of crops or pasture. Evidence of reasonable progress
towards a change to a use involving building a structure may include activities
such as stump removal, excavation, and construction.
(4) The change in land use shall
be completed and continuously maintained within 24 months of the completion of the
operation.
(5) If the change in land use
cannot be accomplished within the specified time due to circumstances beyond the
landowner's control, the State Forester shall extend the time to accomplish the
change in land use. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, governmental
delays in reviewing and processing permits and approvals, but do not include delays
where a landowner is appealing the denial of a permit or approval if the State Forester
does not have reason to believe the landowner will prevail on appeal. Extensions
shall be made only upon a determination by the State Forester, based on written
evidence provided by the landowner, that the landowner made reasonable attempts
to comply. Landowners who need extensions are encouraged to contact the State Forester
as soon as possible after the circumstances occur.
(6) The State Forester shall
determine if the change in land use has been completed by:
(a) The presence or absence
of improvements necessary for use of the land for the intended purpose; and
(b) Evidence of established
and continuously maintained use of the land for the intended purpose.
(7) To remain exempt from the
reforestation requirements the landowner shall continuously maintain the land in
the new use until at least six calendar years following the completion of the operation.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 527.710
Stats. Implemented: ORS 527.674
& 527.745
Hist.: FB 5-1994, f. 12-23-94,
cert. ef. 1-1-95; 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

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