REO LogoNorthwest Forest Plan (NWFP) Overview

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Background & Mission

Tell me more about the missions of the various groups that support the plan 

What was it like before the Northwest Forest Plan?
Historical picture of loggers in a clearcut

Five key principles of the NWFPThe Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) is an overall vision for the Pacific Northwest that would produce timber products while protecting and managing impacted species. The Plan focuses on five key principles (as shown in the graphic to the right).

The mission of the NWFP is to adopt coordinated management direction for the lands administered by the USDA Forest Service and the USDI Bureau of Land Management and to adopt complimentary approaches by other Federal agencies within the range of the northern spotted owl. The management of these public lands must meet dual needs: the need for forest habitat and the need for forest products. 


Tell me more about  State, Tribal, and local government involvement 

Tell me more about  reports, records, and key documents



In 1993, a comprehensive NWFP was initiated to end the impasse over management of Federal forest lands in the Pacific Northwest within the range of the Northern spotted owl. With the signing of the Northwest Forest Plan Record of Decision in 1994, a framework and system of Standards and Guidelines were established, using a new ecosystem approach to address resource management. To support this framework, Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding which established and maintains an interagency framework to achieve two distinct goals: 
  • Cooperative planning, improved decision making, and coordinated implementation of the forest ecosystem management component of the NWFP on Federal lands within the range of the northern spotted owl.
  • Improved coordination and collaboration with State, Tribal, and local governments as they seek to implement management approaches that support or complement the goals of the NWFP. 

Fulfillment of both of these goals is integral to the Administration's commitment to provide an ecosystem management approach that is scientifically sound, ecologically credible, and legally responsible.

Impacted Lands

Area covered by the NFP is shown in green on the left

The NWFP covers 24.5 million acres in Oregon, Washington, and northern California that are managed by a variety of Federal agencies. The green area on the graphic to the left illustrates the general area affected by the plan. This land is Federally managed by:

Ownership Area (acres) Percentage
19 National Forests
7 BLM Districts
6 National Parks
National Wildlife Refuges & Department of Defense Lands
Land Use

Land Use Map

Key Watersheds Map

Tell me more about the Provincial Committees

There are seven types of land allocations (as described in the NWFP Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines): 

Land Allocation Area (acres) Percentage
Congressionally Reserved Areas
Late-Successional Reserves
Managed Late-Successional Areas
Adaptive Management Areas
Administrative Withdrawn Areas
Riparian Reserves
Federal Partners

Tell me more about
Federal partners activites 

Federal partners include various land management, regulatory, research, and other relevant agencies located in Northern California, Western Oregon, and Western Washington. These agencies are part of the Regional Interagency Executive Committee (RIEC). RIEC agencies include: 

There are also advisory committees which include representatives from States, Counties, and Tribes. At the regional level this includes the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC). Support for both the RIEC and IAC comes from the Regional Ecosystem Office (REO). 

Reviews & Exemptions

Tell me more about exemptions

The NWFP requires a significant number of reviews to ensure that the activities performed in the field are consistent with the Standards and Guidelines and intent of the plan. Some types of activities are exempted from review. The Regional Ecosystem Office is working with agencies to define processes to streamline processes, reduce the administrative burden of implementing the plan, and provide more support for on-the-ground managers.  

 Tell me more about: Northern Spotted Owls 


Eight Federal agencies have developed an implementation and effectiveness monitoring program encompassing Federal land managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service in western Washington, Oregon, and northwest California. This program focuses on important regional scale questions about older forests, listed species (Northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets), watershed health, Federal agency relationships with Tribes, and changing socio-economic conditions in communities closely tied to Federal lands. The Regional Monitoring program receives its own funding and is a separately managed interagency program (it is not a part of the Regional Ecosystem Office). 

Last updated Tuesday, November 28, 2006