The Northwest Forest Plan is working. Developed by federal agency scientists at the direction of President Clinton, the Plan is the single most important regulation of federal lands in the Pacific Northwest. Intended to stop the timber wars by protecting the mature and old-growth forests that species like the northern spotted owl require, the Plan has been mostly successful in achieving its goals.
Now, after almost three decades, the Forest Service is looking to amend the Plan. EPIC is concerned because it appears that the Forest Service intends to weaken existing protections within the Plan, purportedly to address concerns about large and intense fire events. While addressing fire risk reduction is an important consideration, weakening the Plan can also give cover to commercial logging of mature and old-growth forests, something EPIC sees repeatedly (like in the Bear Country Project, which proposes logging old-growth forests around the Salmon River under the guise of fire risk reduction).