WSR 06-03-085



[ Filed January 13, 2006, 11:07 a.m. ]

Rule Development Agenda

January-June 2006

     The forest practices board's mandate is to adopt rules to protect the state's public resources while maintaining a viable forest products industry. The following rule proposals are under development or are anticipated during this time period.

     1. Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans: The board will consider permanent rule adoption on May 10, 2006. The board will consider public comments received during November and December, the final environmental impact statement and economic analysis prior to adopting the permanent rule proposal. The rules implement changes to the small forest landowner road maintenance and abandonment planning requirements contained in 2SHB 1095 passed by the 2003 legislature.

     2. Upland Wildlife: The board, with the department of fish and wildlife, continues to conduct a comprehensive review of the forest practices rules and science for upland wildlife protection and development of cooperative management planning processes. This review and planning process, along with new species listing and the designation of critical habitat may result in a rule proposal.

     3. Northern Spotted Owl: The board adopted an emergency rule on November 9, 2005, that amends WAC 222-10-041(4) and 222-16-010, Northern spotted owl site center. This rule will remain in effect until a permanent rule is adopted. The board will consider initiating permanent rule making on February 8, 2006, with the purpose of strengthening the conservation of spotted owl habitat on forest lands.

     4. Perennial Initiation Point: The board may consider initiating permanent rule making at the May 10, 2006, meeting. The board is considering eliminating the default basin sizes in the rules. Under the adaptive management process, a scientific study, Type N Stream Demarcation Study, Phase I: Pilot Results, was completed by the board's cooperative monitoring, evaluation, and research committee. In indicates that the default basin sizes available for use in determining stream perennial initiation points are incorrect.

     5. Long Term Permit: The board is researching the ability for landowners to submit long-term plans. This may result in a rule proposal.

     6. Notice to Comply: The board is researching ways, other than the "Notice to Comply" form, to approve changes to forest practices applications once the application has been approved. This may result in a rule proposal.

     7. Desired Future Condition: The forest practices board is considering amending chapter 222-30 WAC, Timber harvesting, related to riparian desired future condition performance targets. Under the adaptive management process, a scientific study, Validation of the Western Washington Riparian Desired Future Condition (DFC) Performance Targets in the Washington State Forest Practices Rules with Data From Mature, Unmanaged, Conifer-Dominated Riparian Stands, has been completed by the board's cooperative monitoring, evaluation, and research committee. The study's findings show that basal area per acre of mature, unmanaged conifer-dominated riparian stands is significantly different from the values used in the rule.

     Contact Person: Patricia Anderson, Forest Practices Board, Rules Coordinator, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Practices Division, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1413, fax (360) 902-1428, e-mail