Environment, Forestry, Oregon

State takes next steps on plan to protect threatened species in western forests

A plan to protect critical animal habitat in nearly 640,000 acres of western Oregon state forests is moving towards its final stages.

An environmental impact review of the Western Forests Habitat Conservation Plan was released March 18, and Oregonians have 60 days to submit their thoughts and concerns to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who will be in charge of permitting for the plan.

The 70-year plan is designed to better protect 17 species identified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. These animals live in the state’s western forests where logging occurs.

The plan also would offer some legal protections to logging companies, giving them more assurance about where they could harvest trees . . .

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