Today, the trees of the former Tillamook Burn are once again of marketable size and coveted by the timber industry. In 1997 when the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) attempted to appease the timber industry and the counties that receive money from the forest, it proposed that logging be the "primary purpose" of the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. After a huge public outcry, ODF reluctantly recognized the importance of other values such as habitat for salmonids and native wildlife, clean air and water, and recreation. However, the Board of Forestry still approved a guiding principle making timber the "management focus" of the forest.
Because of this focus, 85 percent of the Tillamook State Forest will be logged over time with an experimental approach called structure-based management. While this approach will allow some forest stands to reach 120 years of age (private tree farms usually cut their trees at 40 to 50 years), virtually none of the forest will be permanently protected in reserve areas. In fact, less than 1 percent of the forest is classified as "Protective Conservancy" lands in which resource protection preempts timber production. The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, which once included 35 to 80 percent old-growth forest, will never see old-growth stands again.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s plan to protect threatened and endangered species in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests not only does little to protect species, but actually asks permission to hurt or kill 21 threatened, endangered and other species with its logging activities as long as it follows an approved habitat mitigation plan.
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