The 350PDX Forest Defense team is excited to announce a BIG win: the Oregon Board of Forestry adopted the Habitat Conservation Plan for Western Oregon State Forests! We’ve been working towards this moment for the last several years and thank everyone who made it possible.

We need healthy forests now more than ever — to provide clean water for local communities, habitat for threatened species, and a line of defense against the climate crisis — and passing the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) was a critical step in this direction.

Once implemented, the HCP will protect essential habitat for 17 imperiled species of salmon and wildlife on 640,000 acres of Oregon state forests by establishing buffers protecting forests from clearcutting, and creating Habitat Conservation Areas for species dependent on mature forests, like the marbled murrelet, coastal marten, and spotted owl. A good faith effort from the Oregon Department of Forestry, the HCP offers vital protections to threatened and endangered species while balancing the need to provide stable funding to counties and rural communities that rely on logging revenue.

Over the past few years, hundreds of Oregonians have called on the Board of Forestry to pass a robust HCP — sending emails, signing petitions, and submitting testimony, and more. Thank you for being part of this work!

While this is a big win, we still have work to do to protect Oregon’s forests for generations to come. Now, our focus shifts to ensuring that the Oregon Department of Forestry adopts a robust Forest Management Plan for parts of the Tillamook & Clatsop State Forests not protected by the HCP. Stay tuned for more opportunities for action!

For the forests,

Brenna Bell, 350PDX Climate Forest Manager