Regional Ecosystem Office
333 SW 1st P.O. Box 3623
Portland, Oregon 97208-3623
Website:
www.reo.gov E-Mail: reomail@or.blm.gov
Phone: 503-808-2165 FAX: 503-808-2163

 

Memorandum

Date:

September 27, 2004

To:

Steve Ellis, District Manager, Lakeview District Office, Bureau of Land Management

From:

/s/Anne Badgley, Executive Director

Subject:

Regional Ecosystem Office Review of Klamath Falls Resource Area Late-Successional Reserve Assessment

Summary: The Regional Ecosystem Office (REO) interagency Late-Successional Reserve (LSR) Work Group has concluded its review of the Late-Successional Reserve Assessment and documents provided by the Klamath Falls Resource Area, Lakeview District of the USDI, Bureau of Land Management. The REO, based upon the review by the LSR Work Group, concurs with the Klamath Falls Resource Area in its findings of consistency with the Standards and Guidelines (S&Gs) under the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP).

Basis for the Review: A management assessment is made for each LSR and is subject to REO review under NWFP S&Gs (C-11). A LSR assessment "should generally include:

(1) a history and inventory of overall vegetation conditions within the reserve, (2) a list of identified late-successional associated species known to exist within the reserve and information on their locations, (3) a history and description of current land uses within the reserve, (4) a fire management plan, (5) criteria for developing appropriate treatments, (6) identification of specific areas that could be treated under those criteria, (7) a proposed implementation schedule tiered to higher order plans, and (8) proposed monitoring and evaluation components to help evaluate if future activities are carried out as intended and achieve desired results."

Background: As required by the NWFP S&G (C-11), the Klamath Falls Resource Area prepared a LSR Assessment for its 15 Known Spotted Owl Activity Centers (KSOAC). These areas are intended to preserve an intensively used portion of the Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) breeding season home range. Management within these 100-acre areas should comply with management guidelines for LSRs and management around these areas will be designed to reduce risks of natural disturbance. These areas are to be maintained even if they become no longer occupied by NSO.

Klamath Falls Resource Area, located within the Oregon Eastern Cascade Province and adjacent to the California Cascade Province, typically has increased wildfire risk due to lower moisture conditions and rapid accumulation of fuels in the aftermath of insect outbreaks and drought. The LSR Assessment was submitted to the LSR Work Group in March 2003. In May 2003, several proposed project areas were visited in the field. Subsequently, further documentation of desired future conditions and likely pathways to attain those conditions within and around these KSOACs was requested by the LSR Work Group. Documentation of proposed desired future conditions and proposed management strategies along with fuels treatment strategies was received in July 2004 as supplements to the LSR Assessment. These Appendixes document NSO nest sites, their monitored use since 1990, Resource Area-wide NSO telemetry data, Fuels Treatment Strategies, Desired Future Condition targets, and treatment timeframes to maintain or attain Desired Future Conditions. These documents were reviewed by the LSR Work Group.

The LSR Work Group conducted a final review of maintenance and risk reduction strategies on July 9 and 12, 2004. The following documents were included in the review:

  1. LSRA Field Trip and Field Notes, May 20, 2003
  2. Desired Future Condition; submitted July 09, 2004
  3. Potential pathways to Desired Future Conditions for each KSOAC; submitted May 26, 2004 and reviewed by Klamath Falls Resource Area Interdisciplinary Team, July 9, 2004
  4. Assessment of Late-Successional Fuels Treatment Strategies; prepared February 23, 2003; submitted for review July 9, 2004
  5. Klamath Falls Resource Area Response and Questions to REO LSR Work Group Comments, October 2, 2004
  6. Patch Location Maps and Relative Historic NSO Nest Sites; submitted July 9, 2004
  7. NSO Telemetric landscape use location map, March 12, 2004
  8. Historic and on-going nest site monitoring, July 09, 2004

The LSR Work Group concluded with the Resource Areas findings that all proposed actions are consistent with objectives for managing LSRs. This conclusion was reached in part for the following reasons:

1. Monitoring and inventory data indicate that the 15 KSOAC are functioning as late-successional species refugia in a matrix of managed timber lands. The Resource Area, characterized by a checkerboard ownership pattern, has 15 KSOAC in LSRs that contain patches of late-successional and old growth habitat. Inventory and fire behavior models indicate that fuels are accumulating to create hazardous conditions. Risk reduction treatments are recommended.

2. Current conditions and historic species composition were evaluated with respect to fire resilience and sustainability. Desired future conditions are recommended over a five-decade period. Over time, management activities will focus on maintaining necessary NSO habitat attributes while striving to meet desired landscape conditions of greater wildfire resiliency. Both prescribed burning and silviculture treatments will be used over time to create more sustainable LSR habitat. Nesting site structures and conditions will be maintained and monitored. These prescriptions appear both desirable and feasible.

  1. Monitoring data including the telemetric and on-going nest site monitoring data indicate that NSO are broadly using a variety of late-successional and managed forest habitat types. The occupation and use of these habitats has occurred for a number of years. The proposed LSRA management strategies are designed to support these continued use patterns.

Conclusion: Based upon the interagency REO LSR Work Groupís review and conclusion, the REO concurs with the Klamath Resource Area, Lakeview Districtís conclusion that the LSRA and proposed silvicultural treatments are consistent with the NWFP S&Gs which provide for silvicultural and risk reduction treatments within LSR boundaries to protect and maintain late-successional forest conditions.

cc: Lou Whiteaker, BLM, Klamath Falls Resource Area
Jon Raby, BLM, Klamath Falls Resource Area
Larry Larsen, BLM OR-931
Shawne Mohoric, LSR Work Group Chair

1992/ShMo