WSR 99-01-082



[Filed December 16, 1998, 11:28 a.m.]

Forest Practices Board

Rule Development Agenda

January - June 1999

The following sections of Title 222 WAC, Forest Practices Board, are in the rule-making process or being developed. The board's mandate is to adopt rules to protect the state's natural resources while maintaining a viable forest products industry.

1. Forestry Module.

The board began the rule-making process with an initial draft of the forestry module proposed rules on October 12, 1998. Filed as WSR 98-21-015, the notice was published on November 4, 1998, and the text of the proposed rules was published on December 2, 1998, along with a small business economic impact statement, phase 1. The proposed rules incorporate new public resource protection requirements in the following categories: Riparian protection for fish-bearing and nonfish-bearing streams, water typing, wetlands, Class IV-Special, SEPA guidance, application procedures, roads, slope stability, forest chemicals, enforcement, monitoring, adaptive management, and watershed analysis.

Five caucuses of the timber, fish and wildlife (TWF) have negotiated a comprehensive revision to the water quality and fish protection forest practices rules, called the "Forestry Module." The environmental community has informed the board that they will also recommend rule revisions. These recommendations are an effort to put a revised set of forest practices rules in place to contribute to the recovery of Washington's salmon and steelhead runs and to coordinate meeting both federal and state laws. Because these rules pertain to water quality, they will be co-adopted by the Department of Ecology.

In the interim, the board has continued an emergency stream typing rule:

WAC 222-16-030 Water typing systems. The emergency rule modifies the definitions of Type 2 and 3 waters so that appropriate riparian protection is provided along fish-bearing streams.

WAC 222-12-090(13) Implementation guidelines in the forest practices board manual.

The board has also adopted (on November 10, 1998) an emergency rule to protect threatened and endangered steelhead and bull trout listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The rule provides protection to the listed species by setting SEPA triggers that would classify certain forest practices within the listed areas as Class IV-Special. The rule includes a "salmonid listed areas" map that shows listed areas, SEPA guidance, road maintenance and abandonment plans, and stream temperature provisions from some nonfish-bearing streams in the listed areas.

The board plans to develop a more comprehensive rule proposal during the next six months and file it as a supplemental notice along with phase 2 of the small business economic impact statement. Work will also begin on a draft environmental impact statement. The board and ecology anticipate holding joint APA and SEPA public hearings in about a year on both the proposed rules and the DEIS.

2. Forest Practices on Islands.

The board was petitioned by a citizens' group, SaltWater Islanders For Timbered lands (SWIFT) to consider their proposal to revise forest practices rules for Washington's islands. The board has established a committee to work with concerned citizens and address their concerns via rule making or other appropriate means. The committee anticipates recommending proposed rules to the board, but they have not as yet established a timeline.

3. Small Landowner Pilot Rule Making.

The Forest Practices Board convened a committee to develop pilot rules for small landowners that would allow more flexibility and innovative ways to meet certain forest practices rules while assuring resource protection. Public meetings were held in 1997 to gather input, and more than 250 landowners and concerned citizens participated. The committee used this information to develop a concept paper with three alternatives that was presented to the board on November 12, 1997. The board referred the concepts to TFW for inclusion in the forestry module discussions. In a effort to avoid duplication, the Forest Practices Board will evaluate the forestry module efforts to evaluate whether the committee's goals have been met.

4. Other.

The board received a request to consider additional forest practices rules for chemical spray applications near certified organic farms. The board directed staff to consult with Department of Agriculture and report back at its next meeting.

Board staff may also develop a proposal for procedural rule changes in the next six months.

Contact Person: Judith Holter, FPB Rules Coordinator, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Practices Division, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1412, fax (360) 902-1784, e-mail Judith.Holter@WADNR.GOV.  

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