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Public comments now accepted on proposed rule changes to Forest Practices Act from the Private Forest Accord

 

 

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has opened the public comment period on proposed rule changes to the Forest Practices Act after receiving approval from the Board of Forestry at a special meeting Aug. 24. The public comment period runs Sept.1-30.

These changes are the result of the mediated Private Forest Accord (PFA) agreement. The PFA resulted in Senate Bills 1501 and 1502. The bills directed the ODF to closely consult the accord authors to make changes to Forest Practices Act administrative rules to give the timber industry more long-term regulatory certainty while providing more environmental protections sought by conservation groups.

To help explain the proposed changes ODF will hold in-person and virtual informational sessions in mid-September. Those dates and locations still are being confirmed but two will be held in western Oregon, one in eastern Oregon and one virtually. These will be the best way for the public to ask and get their questions answered about the proposed rule changes before making public comments.

The formal public hearings to make comment will then be held the last week of September with verbal comments accepted at any of the virtual public meetings below:

Written comments can be sent to [email protected] until 11:55 p.m. on Sept. 30.

After we review comments and make any changes, we will then send the recommend final rule package to the Board of Forestry to consider at a special meeting on Oct. 26.

Before and during the rule phase in we will have outreach and training to help explain, implement, and highlight compliance assistance along with enforcement of the new rules.

Sincerely,
Josh Barnard
Division Chief, Forest Resources Division

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