Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-17-172.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amend Title 222 WAC, Forest practices rules, related to northern spotted owl protection.
Hearing Location(s): Longview, Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center, on May 25, 2006, at 2 p.m.; in Forks, Department of Natural Resources Olympic Region Office, on June 1, 2006, at 2 p.m.; in Yakima, Red Lion City Center Hotel, on June 6, 2006, at 2 p.m.; in Mt. Vernon, Best Western CottonTree Convention Center, on June 8, 2006, at 2 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: August 9, 2006.
Submit Written Comments to: Patricia Anderson, Forest Practices Board, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Practices Division, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (360) 902-1428, by 5 p.m. on June 9, 2006.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Forest Practices Division at (360) 902-1400, by May 15, 2006, TTY (360) 902-1125.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: In light of northern spotted owl population declines and reductions in the amount of habitat in areas intended to provide conservation, the forest practices board proposes to amend WAC 222-10-041 and 222-16-010.
• The proposed amendment to WAC 222-10-041 (4)(b) would discontinue a provision that has allowed a landowner to, when calculating the amount of habitat remaining within a median home range circle, count habitat that has been harvested under a habitat conservation plan. This affects mitigation considerations in SEPA analysis, potential reduction in timber harvest and, ultimately, increased protection for the northern spotted owl.
• The proposed amendment to the definition of "northern spotted owl site center" in WAC 222-16-010 would ensure that no spotted owl site center will be decertified according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife protocol, until after June 30, 2007. This is to allow time for federal and state recovery planning to indicate longer-term solutions.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Since the forest practices board adopted rules to protect the habitat of the northern spotted owl in 1996, the amount of suitable habitat within spotted owl special emphasis areas and outside areas that are being managed under the aegis of habitat conservation plans or similar agreements has declined by an average of 16%. Furthermore, fewer plans to conserve northern spotted owl habitat at a landscape level have been developed than was anticipated when the northern spotted owl rules were adopted. With few landscape-level plans, the forest practices rules continue to rely heavily on the regulation of timber harvest at individuals spotted owl sites to provide habitat conservation. Therefore, rule changes are proposed to address this concern.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 76.09.040.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: This permanent rule proposal, if adopted, would replace an emergency rule adopted for the same purpose under WSR 05-24-038.
Name of Proponent: Forest practices board, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Gretchen Robinson, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, (360) 902-1705; Implementation: Jed Herman, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, (360) 902-1684; and Enforcement: Lenny Young, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, (360) 902-1744.
A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.
The Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW)1 requires completion of a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) prior to rule adoption that demonstrates that probable benefits of the proposal exceed its probable costs and that it is the most cost-effective means of achieving the goal of the rule change. A small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) is required by the Regulatory Fairness Act (chapter 19.85 RCW)2 to consider the impacts of state administrative rules on small businesses, defined as those with fifty or fewer employees. An SBEIS compares the costs of compliance for small businesses with the cost of compliance for the 10% of businesses that are the largest businesses required to comply with the proposed rules.
This economic analysis combines the SBEIS and the CBA and complies with the legislative requirements for these analyses as part of the rule-making process.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: The forest practices board adopted rules on May 22, 1996, to protect northern spotted owl habitat. Developing and adopting this rule took place over several years and involved extensive public review and comments. The rules:
• Identify "critical wildlife habitat" (state) for the northern spotted owl. Forest practices applications proposed within these areas would be Class IV-Special, and would require additional environmental review under SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act). The rules do not prohibit harvesting.
• Provide SEPA guidance to DNR for threatened and endangered species, and specific SEPA guidance for the northern spotted owl.
• Delineate ten SOSEAs ("spotted owl special emphasis areas") where critical wildlife habitat (state) is designated within circles around owl site centers (owl circles). Habitat goals (functions) are identified on maps for each SOSEA.
• Require SEPA review for the seventy acres of habitat around owl site centers outside SOSEAs. This applies during nesting season only, from March 1 to August 31.
• Provide a small parcel exemption from SEPA for landowners who own less than five hundred acres in a SOSEA, if their proposed forest practice is not within 0.7 mile of a site center.
• Include two landscape planning processes: A landowner option plan (LOP) for landowners currently impacted by owls, and a cooperative habitat enhancement agreement (CHEA) for those not currently impacted by owls.
• Identify certain restrictions against disturbance around owl site centers inside SOSEAs during nesting season.
PROPOSED RULES SUMMARY: The proposal affects WAC 222-10-041(4) and 222-16-010 (definition of northern spotted owl site center") as follows:
1. The definition of northern spotted owl site center in WAC 222-16-010 is amended to create a temporary moratorium on the practice of "decertifying" status 1, 2 and 3 spotted owl sites. The moratorium will be in place until June 30, 2007. Decertifications recorded by the Washington department of fish and wildlife before November 1, 2005, are not subject to this moratorium.
2. The last paragraph in WAC 222-10-041(4) is deleted. With the deletion of this paragraph, the determination of suitable spotted owl habitat acreage within a SOSEA does not include lands harvested under a DNR determination as described in WAC 222-10-041(6) or a habitat conservation plan (HCP) or other approved plan as listed in WAC 222-16-080 (1)(h)(iv) and (6). For simplification, we are calling this provision "virtual habitat."
In practice, the decertification process follows the survey protocol endorsed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for spotted owl sites that are no longer occupied. The protocol states that "if no responses have been obtained from a historical site after three years of survey (using established guidelines), the site may be considered unoccupied, barring other evidence to the contrary." Unoccupied sites are changed to "status 5" and are not subject to forest practices rules pertaining to northern spotted owls.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: This economic analysis is in response to:
• The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which requires agencies to assess whether probable benefits of a proposed new rule exceed its probable costs and whether the proposed rule change is the most cost-effective means of achieving the goal of the rule change; and
• The Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA), which requires that an SBEIS be prepared for proposed rules that will impose more than minor costs on businesses.
To comply with the APA and RFA this analysis identifies potentially affected industries, defines small and large businesses and determines if there is a disproportionate economic impact on small businesses, in which case the RFA requires that the cost imposed by the rule on small businesses be reduced where legal and feasible to meet the rule's objective. If steps are not taken to reduce the costs on small businesses, the agency must provide reasonable justification.
The proposed rules amend existing forest practices rules (Title 222 WAC). This analysis calculates benefits and costs and their effects on small businesses using the provisions of the forest practices rules in effect prior to the emergency rule making as the base case. The moratorium on decertification affects forestland identified as habitat within owl site centers (circles) and within SOSEA boundaries, excluding forestland that is in an HCP, owned by the federal government, or covered by a landowner option plan. Portions of a given circle that also fall within one or more other status 1, 2 or 3 circles are not considered decertified. For small forest landowners (owning less than five hundred acres in a SOSEA) the effects of the proposed rules are limited to habitat within the inner 0.7-mile circle.
We were not able to identify affected habitat for the virtual habitat provision due to time and information constraints. Instead, we have included a case analysis of a relevant spotted owl circle to illustrate the effects of this provision. Methodology is discussed below.
Potentially Affected Industries: The rule-complying community affected by the proposal is businesses that own or control the cutting rights on forestland or those with the right to dispose of the timber.
Small Businesses Versus Large Businesses: The RFA defines a "small business" as one with fifty or fewer employees. Ownership acreage is generally a more appropriate metric for characterizing small businesses in the timber industry. Small businesses are identified in this economic analysis as those subject to the small parcel northern spotted owl exception provision in the rule, which states that: "Forest practices proposed on the lands owned or controlled by a landowner whose forest land ownership within the SOSEA is less than or equal to five hundred acres and where the forest practice is not within 0.7 mile of a northern spotted owl site center shall not be considered to be on lands designated as critical habitat (state) for northern spotted owls." All other private landowners are categorized as "large businesses" for purposes of this analysis.
Benefits and Costs Included in the Analysis: To ensure compatibility between cost and benefit measurements, they are calculated on a per-acre basis, and are limited to direct costs and benefits. The costs of the rule change are measured as the potential loss of timber revenue, based on an estimate of the habitat acreage affected by the rule making. Benefits are defined as the value of protecting the habitat, based on the findings of a 1993 study done in Oregon that estimated the value to state residents of protecting northern spotted owl habitat. This was the best information available to us, and we use it with the caveat that there are uncertainties regarding the application of it to this analysis. Methodology is further discussed below.
Compliance Cost for Businesses: Compliance costs for small businesses, defined as landowners with less than five hundred acres in a given SOSEA, are less than for large businesses in the aggregate, because the small parcel northern spotted owl exception provision in the rule limits the effects of the rule change to habitat within the inner 0.7-mile site circle.
Involvement of Concerned Stakeholders: Before finalizing recommendations to the forest practices board, DNR executive director of regulatory programs, Pat McElroy and DNR forest practices division manager, Lenny Young briefed Sherry Fox, past president of the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA), on proposed rule changes. WFFA's mission is to "protect the economic viability of the small forest landowner while providing forest resource benefits such as clean water, clean air, and fish and wildlife habitat."
METHODS OF ANALYSIS: This analysis compares the costs and benefits of the rule changes on a per-acre basis. Costs are defined as the estimated timber harvest revenue that will not be harvested due to the rule change. Our calculations assume that potential harvest will be delayed indefinitely, though the situation beyond the proposal's sunset date of June 30, 2007, is unknown. Benefits are estimated based on willingness to pay for protecting spotted owl habitat. The effects on small businesses are highlighted where appropriate.
The following steps show the process for estimating costs related to the decertification provision:
Step 1. Identify owl circles potentially affected by the rule change. The Washington department of fish and wildlife provided a list of the northern spotted owl circles that were undergoing or had recently completed surveying in anticipation of decertification.
Step 2. Analyze spotted owl circles identified in Step 1. Circles that are entirely or partially within SOSEAs were analyzed using GIS to determine ownership, management status (HCPs), and seral layer status.
Step 3. Determine forest acreage affected by the rule change. Forest acreage affected by the rule making was determined based on the GIS analysis.
Step 4. Estimate habitat acreage. Habitat acreage affected by the rule making was estimated based on Pierce et al.'s Washington State Spotted Owl Habitat Assessment Report3.
Step 5. Estimate habitat that would have been harvested without the rule change. The acreage of habitat that would have been harvested was estimated.
Step 6. Determine costs associated with a moratorium on decertification. Costs were calculated by multiplying lost harvest acreage by average per-acre timber harvest revenue for western and eastern Washington.
We did not estimate costs associated with the virtual habitat because of the difficulties in determining affected acreage. This is further discussed below.
Benefits of the decertification provision were estimated by applying the findings of the study by Loomis et al. that estimated the value of reducing fire hazards to old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest4.
Determining costs associated with a moratorium on decertification: Step 1 - Identify owl circles potentially affected by the rule change.
Because the moratorium on decertification of spotted owl circles would expire on June 30, 2007, spotted owl circles that are potentially affected by the rule will have already been surveyed at least once. The Washington state department of fish and wildlife (DFW) provided us with a list of such circles. Additional circles may have been in the process of being surveyed, though this has seldom been the case in the past, since surveyors want to ensure they are following proper surveying protocol.
Five spotted owl site circles have been identified as potentially affected; three in the I-90 East SOSEA located east of the Cascade Range Crest, and two in the Mineral Block SOSEA located on the west side. (An additional spotted owl circle in the process of decertification is not in a SOSEA, so is not affected by this rule making.)
Step 2 - Analyze spotted owl circles identified in Step 1.
GIS analysis identified ownership status (federal, state, industry, nonindustrial private), whether the parcel was covered by a habitat conservation plan or similar arrangement that exempted the parcel from forest practices rules pertaining to the spotted owl, and its seral layer status. SOSEA boundaries and transecting status 1, 2 and 3 northern spotted owl circles were also delineated, because the proposed rule making does not affect the portion of spotted owl circles outside of SOSEAs nor portions of decertified circles within SOSEAs that are also part of other status 1, 2 or 3 circles.
Step 3 - Determine forest acreage affected by the rule change.
Forest acreage affected by the moratorium on decertification is limited to habitat within owl site circles within SOSEA boundaries, excluding forestland that is either in an HCP, owned by the federal government, or covered by a landowner option plan. Portions of a given circle that are also within one or more other status 1, 2 or 3 circles are not considered decertified. In addition, the effects on small forest landowners are limited to habitat within the inner 0.7-mile circle. If the spotted owl circle includes more than 40% habitat, excess habitat has been identified and is available for harvest.
Table 1 summarizes the amount of privately-owned forest acreage that is affected by the rule making for the three owl circles on the east side and the two on the west side, as well as an estimate of the affected habitat acreage (discussed in Step 4 below). There are 14,407 acres potentially affected within the five owl circles included in the analysis; all but one hundred fifty-two acres are industrial forestland. These one hundred fifty-two acres are owned by landowners subject to the small parcel northern spotted owl exception provision, and are most likely small forest landowners.
Forest and Habitat Acreage Affected by the Rule Proposal
|Small Landowner Acreage|
For each of the five owl circles included in the analysis, we estimated the amount of habitat by multiplying the affected forest acreage in the circles by the habitat proportion by seral status estimates provided by Pierce et al. (2005). These proportions are summarized in Table 2. The three owl circles located in the I-90 east SOSEA are within the east Cascades zone, and the two circles within the Mineral Block SOSEA are in the south Cascades zone.
Estimated Percentage of Northern Spotted Owl Habitat with Geographic and Forest Seral Stand Conditions
|ZONE||OTHER SERAL||EARLY SERAL||MID SERAL||LATE SERAL|
Habitat is defined differently on the west and east sides of the Cascade Range Crest, reflecting differences in northern spotted owl behavior. This is apparent in the habitat acreage estimates in Table 1. The proportion of habitat is much higher in the east (32.0%) than in the west (6.0%). We estimate there is a total of 3,019 acres of habitat affected by the rule making; that is, 3,019 acres of habitat that could have been harvested if the five owl circles were decertified. Only twenty-six acres of this acreage is in the small landowner category, leading us to conclude that the rule making does not have a disproportionate effect on small businesses.
Step 5 - Estimate habitat that would have been harvested without the rule change.
DNR field staff estimated that without the decertification moratorium, approximately 75% of the affected habitat would have been harvested, leaving 2,264 acres of timberland that would not be harvested because of the rule change.
Step 6 - Determine costs associated with a moratorium on decertification.
We estimated the stumpage revenue potential, assuming harvest of 75% of the habitat subject to the rule making in the five spotted owl circles. This calculation required that we make assumptions regarding the volume per acre and price. Stand quality and species composition are implicitly factored into these assumptions. The high-end estimate assumes volume of 50,000 board feet (50 MBF) per acre at a price of $400 per MBF, and the low-end estimate assumes volume of 40 MBF per acre at a price of $350 per MBF. Per-acre stumpage value is $20,000 and $14,000, respectively. Therefore, the opportunity loss for 2,264 acres of timberland ranges from $31.7 million to $45.3 million. These calculations are illustrated in Table 3.
Determining benefits associated with a moratorium on decertification: The benefits of this rule making are difficult to estimate. The intended purpose of the rule making is to help arrest the decline in northern spotted owl populations in Washington by providing additional habitat protection. Few studies have estimated values of protecting northern spotted owls or their habitat (Hagen et al 1992; Rubin et al 1991; Loomis et al 1996). These studies use the contingent valuation method (CV) to measure the willingness to pay (WTP) for protecting the northern spotted owl and old growth forests. This approach is widely accepted among federal agencies for benefit-cost analysis that measure the benefits of nonmarket goods such as an endangered species. While all three studies use a CV approach to measure benefits and costs of protecting the northern spotted owl, the study by Loomis and Gonzales (LG) provides the preferred approach for our purpose, as it estimates benefits of an incremental change in protected habitat of a specified number of acres. The report on the findings is available at the United States Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Service web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/rp-229/.
The LG study surveyed residents of the state of Oregon in 1993 on their WTP for protecting old growth northern spotted owl habitat from fire in the Pacific Northwest. Following is a discussion of the methodology used in the LG study, the WTP results, and the limitations that may apply in terms of the transferability of these results to Washington. We use these results to evaluate the probable benefits of protecting northern spotted owl habitat in Washington state, adjusting the results as necessary.
Survey participants were asked to evaluate a scenario whereby approximately 3,500 acres of old-growth northern spotted owl habitat was saved from fire. The average (median) WTP of survey respondents was $77 per household per year, corresponding to $24,170 per acre. Assuming that nonrespondents (about half of those sent surveys) had a WTP of $0 provides a minimum value of $45 per household per year.
We adjusted these findings to account for inflation and the number of households in Washington. WTP in Washington is estimated to be $104 per household per year, with a minimum value of $61. The benefits to the state's 2.5 million households amounts to $259 million per year, an average of $74,129 per acre. The corresponding minimum values are $152 million and $43,322, respectively. (Although these estimates are on a per-year basis, we have assumed they are a one-time payment to mitigate for the uncertainties with using this benefit valuation approach.)
Although this study was the most applicable to our analysis, there are a number of factors that might have an effect on its transferability, with the potential for over or underestimation. These include:
• The base study was limited to Oregon residents. Attitudes towards protecting the northern spotted owl may differ between the states. Higher average incomes in Washington suggest that WTP may be higher in Washington.
• We extrapolated the LG study results to Washington residents only; WTP for nonresidents was ignored, though it may be considerable.
• The base study valued protecting old growth forests from fire. The rule changes under consideration protect all levels of habitat from general loss. Washington residents likely value less mature forests lower than old growth. Other benefits accruing from avoidance of fire would not be applicable to this analysis, possibly overstating benefits.
• Attitudes towards protecting northern spotted owls and their habitat may have changed since 1993.
• Placing a value on nonmarket goods such as habitat protection is difficult for some people.
Economic analysis of virtual habitat provision: The virtual habitat provision of the proposal negates a provision that permitted a landowner to disregard timber harvesting that took place on lands included in an HCP within a given owl circle when determining whether a circle was above or below the 40% habitat threshold. Under these circumstances, a non-HCP landowner could harvest habitat that brought the circle below the 40% habitat threshold, so long as the part of the circle outside the HCP had more than 40% habitat. Such a situation could occur within an owl circle that is partially within an HCP and had excess habitat at the time of certification.
It is not possible to determine the amount of habitat acreage that would be affected by this rule change provision without a detailed analysis of each spotted owl circle that is partially covered by an HCP and included nonfederal land. Such an analysis would need to include an up-to-date identification of the amount and location of harvests that have taken place. Instead, for illustrative purposes, we have provided a case study of an owl circle in the I90-east SOSEA that fulfills the requirements. This owl circle includes a patchwork of ownership, including six hundred fifty-eight acres of DNR-managed land covered by DNR's HCP. There are about three hundred acres of habitat above the 40% threshold. Prior to the emergency rule making, any harvest of spotted owl habitat taking place on land covered by DNR's HCP would not be included in the calculation of the 40% threshold for the circle. We estimate that there are two hundred eighty-one acres of habitat on DNR-managed land within the circle (all of which is covered by an HCP). Private landowners could theoretically harvest two hundred eighty-one acres of habitat beyond the 40% habitat threshold. The actual amount will likely be lower, depending on the amount of harvest taking place on DNR-managed land, which will be a function of how the DNR habitat acreage fits into DNR's landscape-based HCP.
CONCLUSION: This economic analysis estimates ranges of costs and benefits of the proposed rule making. Costs are defined as the estimated timber harvest revenue that could have been accrued if the provisions of the rule change were not in place, assuming that the potential harvest will be delayed indefinitely. Estimated benefits are based on willingness to pay for protecting spotted owl habitat. The estimated costs of protecting 2,264 acres of northern spotted owl habitat range from $31.7 million to $45.3 million, and the benefits range from $152 million to $259 million. On a per-acre basis, costs range from $14,000 to $20,000 per acre, and benefits range from $43,322 to $74,129 per acre. Table 3 summarizes estimated costs and benefits.
Estimated Costs and Benefits of the Proposal
|Total Cost||Cost Per Acre||Total Benefit||Benefit Per Acre|
|High Estimate||$45.3 million||$20,000||$259 million||$74,129|
|Low Estimate||$31.7 million||$14,000||$152 million||$43,322|
Per-acre cost estimates are dependent on price, stand quality and species composition assumptions. In addition, this analysis assumes that affected habitat is not harvested, implying that the proposed rules are continued. If the rules are not continued, affected habitat could theoretically be harvested sometime in the future. Costs may also be lower if a landowner chooses to develop a landowner option plan, which exempts the landowner from these rules.
Benefit estimates are more uncertain due to the lack of market price signals for environmental amenities. Although survey respondents may have implicitly valued other amenities that accrue from protecting northern spotted owl habitat (such as habitat for other species, open space, and water quality), some of the ancillary benefits of protecting habitat may not have been captured by this analysis.
In spite of these uncertainties, estimated benefits are sufficiently greater than costs to provide a reasonable degree of certainty that the benefits of this rule making exceed the costs. It is worth noting, however, that this economic analysis estimates overall benefits and costs of proposed rule making. It does not analyze the distribution of costs and benefits, other than the impacts on small businesses, which in this case are minimal. The benefits of northern spotted owl habitat protection identified in this analysis will accrue to state residents in general, whereas the costs will primarily be borne by industrial forest landowners.
Small business impacts: The effects of the proposal on small forest landowners are limited to habitat within the inner 0.7-mile circle of spotted owl site centers within SOSEAs. We estimate that twenty-six acres of small forest landowner habitat are affected by the decertification provision of the proposed rules; this is less than 1% of the potentially affected habitat acreage. There may be specific instances where individual small forest landowners are disproportionately affected.
Hagen, D., Vincent, J. and Welle, P., 1992. Benefits of preserving old-growth forest and the spotted owl. Contemp. Policy Issues, 10: 13-25.
Loomis, John B.; Gonzalez-Caban, Armando; Gregory, Robin. 1996. A contingent valuation study of the value of reducing fire hazards to old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. Res. Paper PSW-RP-229-Web. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 24 p.
Pierce, D. J., J. B. Buchanan, B. L. Cosentino, and S. Snyder. 2005. An assessment of spotted owl habitat on nonfederal lands in Washington between 1996 and 2004. Final Report. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington, USA. 187 p.
Rubin, J.; Helfand, G., and Loomis, J. A benefit-cost analysis of the northern spotted owl: Results from a contingent valuation survey. Journal of Forestry. 1991; 89(12):25-30.
1 For CBA requirements, see RCW 34.05.328 - The Washington state legislature.
2 For SBEIS requirements, see RCW 19.85.040 - The Washington state legislature.
3 Available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/research/papers/spotted_owl/.
4 Available at http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/rp-229/.
A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Gretchen Robinson, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1705, fax (360) 902-1428, e-mail email@example.com.
A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Gretchen Robinson, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1705, fax (360) 902-1428, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: The preliminary cost-benefit analysis and small business economic impact statement are combined in the draft economic analysis shown above.
March 20, 2006
L. S. Young
for Pat McElroy
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-11-075, filed 5/13/02, effective 6/13/02)
WAC 222-10-041 Northern spotted owls. The following policies shall apply to forest practices subject to SEPA if the forest practices may cause adverse impacts to northern spotted owls.
(1) In SOSEAs or areas of SOSEAs where the goal is demographic support, suitable spotted owl habitat should be maintained either to protect the viability of the owl(s) associated with each northern spotted owl site center or to provide demographic support for that particular SOSEA as described in the SOSEA goals.
(2) In SOSEAs or areas of SOSEAs where the goal is dispersal support, either suitable spotted owl habitat should be maintained to protect the viability of the owl(s) associated with each northern spotted owl site center or dispersal habitat should be managed, over time, to provide the dispersal support for that particular SOSEA as described in the SOSEA goals. Dispersal support is provided by a landscape which includes dispersal habitat at the stand level interspersed with areas of higher quality habitat. Stands of dispersal habitat should be managed to reduce gaps between stands and to maintain a sufficient level of dispersal habitat to meet the SOSEA goals over time.
(3) In SOSEAs or areas of SOSEAs where the goal is a combination of dispersal support and demographic support, either suitable spotted owl habitat should be maintained to protect the viability of the owl(s) associated with each northern spotted owl site center or a variety of habitat conditions should be provided which in total are more than dispersal support and less than demographic support. This can be accomplished by providing:
(a) Dispersal support as described in subsection (2) of this section;
(b) Areas of suitable spotted owl habitat that contain some opportunities for nesting as well as roosting and foraging habitat; and
(c) Connectivity between areas of SOSEAs designated for demographic support or adjacent federal lands which are designated as late successional reserves, congressionally reserved areas, or administratively withdrawn areas.
(4) Within SOSEAs, the following amounts of suitable habitat are generally assumed to be necessary to maintain the viability of the owl(s) associated with each northern spotted owl site center, in the absence of more specific data or a mitigation plan, as provided for in subsections (6) and (7) of this section respectively:
(a) All suitable spotted owl habitat within 0.7 mile of each northern spotted owl site center;
(b) Including the suitable spotted owl habitat identified in (a) of this subsection:
(i) For the Hoh-Clearwater/Coastal Link SOSEA - A total of 5,863 acres of suitable spotted owl habitat within the median home range circle (2.7 mile radius).
(ii) For all other SOSEAs - A total of 2,605 acres of suitable spotted owl habitat within the median home range circle (1.8 mile radius).
The department shall first identify the highest quality suitable spotted owl habitat for this purpose. Consideration shall be given to habitat quality, proximity to the activity center and contiguity in selecting the most suitable habitat. Suitable spotted owl habitat identified outside 0.7 mile of a northern spotted owl site center may support more than one median home range circle.
Suitable spotted owl habitat harvested by a landowner
shall continue to be counted as part of the total acres
necessary under (b) of this subsection for other landowners
within the median home range circle if the harvest is
conducted pursuant to agreements or plans approved under
subsection (6) of this section or WAC 222-16-080 (1)(h)(iv),
(6)(a)(iv), or (f).))
(5) Outside SOSEAs, during the nesting season (between March 1 and August 31), seventy acres of the highest quality suitable spotted owl habitat surrounding a northern spotted owl site center should be maintained. The seventy acres for one site center shall not be utilized for meeting suitable habitat needs of any other site center.
(6) The assumptions set forth in subsection (4) of this section are based on regional data. Applicants or others may submit information that is more current, accurate, or specific to a northern spotted owl site center, proposal, or SOSEA circumstances or goals. The department shall use such information in making its determinations under this section where the department finds, in consultation with the department of fish and wildlife, that the information is more likely to be valid for the particular circumstances than the assumptions established under subsection (4) of this section. If the department does not use the information, it shall explain its reasons in writing to the applicant.
(7) The department shall consider measures to mitigate identified adverse impacts of an applicant's proposal. Mitigation measures must contribute to the achievement of SOSEA goals or to supporting the viability of impacted northern spotted owl site centers.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040, 43.21C.060, and 43.21C.120. 02-11-075, § 222-10-041, filed 5/13/02, effective 6/13/02. Statutory Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW, RCW 76.09.040, [76.09.]050, [76.09.]370, 76.13.120(9). 01-12-042, § 222-10-041, filed 5/30/01, effective 7/1/01. Statutory Authority: Chapters 76.09 and 34.05 RCW. 96-12-038, § 222-10-041, filed 5/31/96, effective 7/1/96.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-12-119, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05)
WAC 222-16-010 *General definitions. Unless otherwise required by context, as used in these rules:
"Act" means the Forest Practices Act, chapter 76.09 RCW.
"Affected Indian tribe" means any federally recognized Indian tribe that requests in writing from the department information on forest practices applications and notification filed on specified areas.
"Alluvial fan" see "sensitive sites" definition.
"Appeals board" means the forest practices appeals board established in the act.
"Aquatic resources" means water quality, fish, the Columbia torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton kezeri), the Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae), the Olympic torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton olympian), the Dunn's salamander (Plethodon dunni), the Van Dyke's salamander (Plethodon vandyke), the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) and their respective habitats.
"Area of resource sensitivity" means areas identified in accordance with WAC 222-22-050 (2)(d) or 222-22-060(2).
"Bankfull depth" means the average vertical distance between the channel bed and the estimated water surface elevation required to completely fill the channel to a point above which water would enter the floodplain or intersect a terrace or hillslope. In cases where multiple channels exist, the bankfull depth is the average depth of all channels along the cross-section. (See board manual section 2.)
"Bankfull width" means:
(a) For streams - the measurement of the lateral extent of the water surface elevation perpendicular to the channel at bankfull depth. In cases where multiple channels exist, bankfull width is the sum of the individual channel widths along the cross-section (see board manual section 2).
(b) For lakes, ponds, and impoundments - line of mean high water.
(c) For tidal water - line of mean high tide.
(d) For periodically inundated areas of associated wetlands - line of periodic inundation, which will be found by examining the edge of inundation to ascertain where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland.
"Basal area" means the area in square feet of the cross section of a tree bole measured at 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
"Bedrock hollows" (colluvium-filled bedrock hollows, or hollows; also referred to as zero-order basins, swales, or bedrock depressions) means landforms that are commonly spoon-shaped areas of convergent topography within unchannelled valleys on hillslopes. (See board manual section 16 for identification criteria.)
"Board" means the forest practices board established by the act.
"Bog" means wetlands which have the following characteristics: Hydric organic soils (peat and/or muck) typically 16 inches or more in depth (except over bedrock or hardpan); and vegetation such as sphagnum moss, Labrador tea, bog laurel, bog rosemary, sundews, and sedges; bogs may have an overstory of spruce, western hemlock, lodgepole pine, western red cedar, western white pine, Oregon crabapple, or quaking aspen, and may be associated with open water. This includes nutrient-poor fens. (See board manual section 8.)
"Borrow pit" means an excavation site outside the limits of construction to provide material necessary to that construction, such as fill material for the embankments.
"Bull trout habitat overlay" means those portions of Eastern Washington streams containing bull trout habitat as identified on the department of fish and wildlife's bull trout map. Prior to the development of a bull trout field protocol and the habitat-based predictive model, the "bull trout habitat overlay" map may be modified to allow for locally-based corrections using current data, field knowledge, and best professional judgment. A landowner may meet with the departments of natural resources, fish and wildlife and, in consultation with affected tribes and federal biologists, determine whether certain stream reaches have habitat conditions that are unsuitable for supporting bull trout. If such a determination is mutually agreed upon, documentation submitted to the department will result in the applicable stream reaches no longer being included within the definition of bull trout habitat overlay. Conversely, if suitable bull trout habitat is discovered outside the current mapped range, those waters will be included within the definition of "bull trout habitat overlay" by a similar process.
"Chemicals" means substances applied to forest lands or timber including pesticides, fertilizers, and other forest chemicals.
"Clearcut" means a harvest method in which the entire stand of trees is removed in one timber harvesting operation. Except as provided in WAC 222-30-110, an area remains clearcut until:
It meets the minimum stocking requirements under WAC 222-34-010(2) or 222-34-020(2); and
The largest trees qualifying for the minimum stocking levels have survived on the area for five growing seasons or, if not, they have reached an average height of four feet.
"Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area or CRGNSA" means the area established pursuant to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(a).
"CRGNSA special management area" means the areas designated in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(b) or revised pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 544b(c). For purposes of this rule, the special management area shall not include any parcels excluded by 16 U.S.C. § 544f(o).
"CRGNSA special management area guidelines" means the guidelines and land use designations for forest practices developed pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 544f contained in the CRGNSA management plan developed pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 544d.
"Commercial tree species" means any species which is capable of producing a merchantable stand of timber on the particular site, or which is being grown as part of a Christmas tree or ornamental tree-growing operation.
"Completion of harvest" means the latest of:
Completion of removal of timber from the portions of forest lands harvested in the smallest logical unit that will not be disturbed by continued logging or an approved slash disposal plan for adjacent areas; or
Scheduled completion of any slash disposal operations where the department and the applicant agree within 6 months of completion of yarding that slash disposal is necessary or desirable to facilitate reforestation and agree to a time schedule for such slash disposal; or
Scheduled completion of any site preparation or rehabilitation of adjoining lands approved at the time of approval of the application or receipt of a notification: Provided, That delay of reforestation under this paragraph is permitted only to the extent reforestation would prevent or unreasonably hinder such site preparation or rehabilitation of adjoining lands.
"Constructed wetlands" means those wetlands voluntarily developed by the landowner. Constructed wetlands do not include wetlands created, restored, or enhanced as part of a mitigation procedure or wetlands inadvertently created as a result of current or past practices including, but not limited to: Road construction, landing construction, railroad construction, or surface mining.
"Contamination" means introducing into the atmosphere, soil, or water, sufficient quantities of substances as may be injurious to public health, safety or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agriculture or recreational uses, or to livestock, wildlife, fish or other aquatic life.
"Convergent headwalls" (or headwalls) means teardrop-shaped landforms, broad at the ridgetop and terminating where headwaters converge into a single channel; they are broadly concave both longitudinally and across the slope, but may contain sharp ridges separating the headwater channels. (See board manual section 16 for identification criteria.)
"Conversion option harvest plan" means a voluntary plan developed by the landowner and approved by the local governmental entity indicating the limits of harvest areas, road locations, and open space.
"Conversion to a use other than commercial timber operation" means a bona fide conversion to an active use which is incompatible with timber growing.
"Cooperative habitat enhancement agreement (CHEA)" see WAC 222-16-105.
"Critical habitat (federal)" means the habitat of any threatened or endangered species designated as critical habitat by the United States Secretary of the Interior or Commerce under Sections 3 (5)(A) and 4 (a)(3) of the Federal Endangered Species Act.
"Critical nesting season" means for marbled murrelets - April 1 to August 31.
"Critical habitat (state)" means those habitats designated by the board in accordance with WAC 222-16-080.
"Cultural resources" means archaeological and historic sites and artifacts, and traditional religious, ceremonial and social uses and activities of affected Indian tribes.
"Cumulative effects" means the changes to the environment caused by the interaction of natural ecosystem processes with the effects of two or more forest practices.
"Daily peak activity" means for marbled murrelets - one hour before official sunrise to two hours after official sunrise and one hour before official sunset to one hour after official sunset.
"Debris" means woody vegetative residue less than 3 cubic feet in size resulting from forest practices activities which would reasonably be expected to cause significant damage to a public resource.
"Deep-seated landslides" means landslides in which most of the area of the slide plane or zone lies below the maximum rooting depth of forest trees, to depths of tens to hundreds of feet. (See board manual section 16 for identification criteria.)
"Demographic support" means providing sufficient suitable spotted owl habitat within the SOSEA to maintain the viability of northern spotted owl sites identified as necessary to meet the SOSEA goals.
"Department" means the department of natural resources.
"Desired future condition (DFC)" is a reference point on a pathway and not an endpoint for stands. DFC means the stand conditions of a mature riparian forest at 140 years of age, the midpoint between 80 and 200 years. Where basal area is the only stand attribute used to describe 140-year old stands, these are referred to as the "Target Basal Area."
"Diameter at breast height (dbh)" means the diameter of a tree at 4 1/2 feet above the ground measured from the uphill side.
"Dispersal habitat" see WAC 222-16-085(2).
"Dispersal support" means providing sufficient dispersal habitat for the interchange of northern spotted owls within or across the SOSEA, as necessary to meet SOSEA goals. Dispersal support is provided by a landscape consisting of stands of dispersal habitat interspersed with areas of higher quality habitat, such as suitable spotted owl habitat found within RMZs, WMZs or other required and voluntary leave areas.
"Drainage structure" means a construction technique or feature that is built to relieve surface runoff and/or intercepted ground water from roadside ditches to prevent excessive buildup in water volume and velocity. A drainage structure is not intended to carry any typed water. Drainage structures include structures such as: Cross drains, relief culverts, ditch diversions, water bars, or other such structures demonstrated to be equally effective.
"Eastern Washington" means the geographic area in Washington east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains from the international border to the top of Mt. Adams, then east of the ridge line dividing the White Salmon River drainage from the Lewis River drainage and east of the ridge line dividing the Little White Salmon River drainage from the Wind River drainage to the Washington-Oregon state line.
|Timber Habitat Types||Elevation Ranges|
|ponderosa pine||0 - 2500 feet|
|mixed conifer||2501 - 5000 feet|
|high elevation||above 5000 feet|
"End hauling" means the removal and transportation of excavated material, pit or quarry overburden, or landing or road cut material from the excavation site to a deposit site not adjacent to the point of removal.
"Equipment limitation zone" means a 30-foot wide zone measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width of a Type Np or Ns Water. It applies to all perennial and seasonal nonfish bearing streams.
"Erodible soils" means those soils that, when exposed or displaced by a forest practices operation, would be readily moved by water.
"Even-aged harvest methods" means the following harvest methods:
Seed tree harvests in which twenty or fewer trees per acre remain after harvest;
Shelterwood regeneration harvests in which twenty or fewer trees per acre remain after harvest;
Group or strip shelterwood harvests creating openings wider than two tree heights, based on dominant trees;
Shelterwood removal harvests which leave fewer than one hundred fifty trees per acre which are at least five years old or four feet in average height;
Partial cutting in which fewer than fifty trees per acre remain after harvest;
Overstory removal when more than five thousand board feet per acre is removed and fewer than fifty trees per acre at least ten feet in height remain after harvest; and
Other harvesting methods designed to manage for multiple age classes in which six or fewer trees per acre remain after harvest.
Except as provided above for shelterwood removal harvests and overstory removal, trees counted as remaining after harvest shall be at least ten inches in diameter at breast height and have at least the top one-third of the stem supporting green, live crowns. Except as provided in WAC 222-30-110, an area remains harvested by even-aged methods until it meets the minimum stocking requirements under WAC 222-34-010(2) or 222-34-020(2) and the largest trees qualifying for the minimum stocking levels have survived on the area for five growing seasons or, if not, they have reached an average height of four feet.
"Fen" means wetlands which have the following characteristics: Peat soils 16 inches or more in depth (except over bedrock); and vegetation such as certain sedges, hardstem bulrush and cattails; fens may have an overstory of spruce and may be associated with open water.
"Fertilizers" means any substance or any combination or mixture of substances used principally as a source of plant food or soil amendment.
"Fill" means the placement of earth material or aggregate for road or landing construction or other similar activities.
"Fish" means for purposes of these rules, species of the vertebrate taxonomic groups of Cephalospidomorphi and Osteichthyes.
"Fish habitat" means habitat, which is used by fish at any life stage at any time of the year including potential habitat likely to be used by fish, which could be recovered by restoration or management and includes off-channel habitat.
"Fish passage barrier" means any artificial instream structure that impedes the free passage of fish.
"Flood level - 100 year" means a calculated flood event flow based on an engineering computation of flood magnitude that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. For purposes of field interpretation, landowners may use the following methods:
Flow information from gauging stations;
Field estimate of water level based on guidance for "Determining the 100-Year Flood Level" in the forest practices board manual section 2.
The 100-year flood level shall not include those lands that can reasonably be expected to be protected from flood waters by flood control devices maintained by or under license from the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
"Forest land" means all land which is capable of supporting a merchantable stand of timber and is not being actively used for a use which is incompatible with timber growing. For road maintenance and abandonment planning and implementation for small forest landowners, "forest land" excludes any of the following:
(a) Residential home sites. A residential home site may be up to five acres in size, and must have a fixed structure in use as a residence;
(b) Cropfields, orchards, vineyards, pastures, feedlots, fish pens, and the land on which appurtenances necessary to the production, preparation, or sale of crops, fruit, dairy products, fish, and livestock exist.
"Forest land owner" means any person in actual control of
forest land, whether such control is based either on legal or
equitable title, or on any other interest entitling the holder
to sell or otherwise dispose of any or all of the timber on
such land in any manner((
: Provided, That)). However, any
lessee or other person in possession of forest land without
legal or equitable title to such land shall be excluded from
the definition of "forest land owner" unless such lessee or
other person has the right to sell or otherwise dispose of any
or all of the timber located on such forest land.
(1) "Large forest landowner," for purposes of road maintenance and abandonment planning, means any forest landowner who is not a small forest landowner.
(2) "Small forest landowner" is a forest landowner who at the time of submitting a forest practices application or notification:
(a) Has harvested from his or her own forest lands in Washington state no more than an average timber volume of two million board feet per year during the three years prior to submitting the forest practices application or notification to the department; and
(b) Certifies that he or she does not expect to harvest from his or her own forest lands in the state more than an average timber volume of two million board feet per year during the ten years following the submission of a forest practices application or notification to the department.
(c) A landowner who exceeded the harvest threshold as described above, or expects to exceed the harvest limits during any of the following ten years, will still be considered a "small forest landowner" if:
(i) He or she establishes to the department's reasonable satisfaction that the harvest limits were or will be exceeded in order to raise funds to pay estate taxes; or
(ii) There is an equally compelling and unexpected obligation, such as for a court-ordered judgment or for extraordinary medical expenses.
(d) For the purposes of the forestry riparian easement program, "small forest landowner" is defined in WAC 222-21-010(13).
"Forest practice" means any activity conducted on or directly pertaining to forest land and relating to growing, harvesting, or processing timber, including but not limited to:
Road and trail construction;
Harvesting, final and intermediate;
Prevention and suppression of diseases and insects;
Salvage of trees; and
"Forest practice" shall not include: Forest species seed orchard operations and intensive forest nursery operations; or preparatory work such as tree marking, surveying and road flagging; or removal or harvest of incidental vegetation from forest lands such as berries, ferns, greenery, mistletoe, herbs, mushrooms, and other products which cannot normally be expected to result in damage to forest soils, timber or public resources.
"Forest road" means ways, lanes, roads, or driveways on forest land used since 1974 for forest practices or forest management activities such as fire control. "Forest roads" does not include skid trails, highways, or county roads except where the county is a forest landowner or operator. "Forest road," as it applies to road maintenance and abandonment planning for small forest landowners, means a road or road segment that crosses forest lands owned by the small forest landowner, but excludes portions of access roads to residential home sites not used as a part of a current forest practice involving harvest or salvage of trees.
"Forest trees" does not include hardwood trees cultivated by agricultural methods in growing cycles shorter than 15 years if the trees were planted on land that was not in forest use immediately before the trees were planted and before the land was prepared for planting the trees. "Forest trees" includes Christmas trees but does not include Christmas trees that are cultivated by agricultural methods, as that term is defined in RCW 84.33.035.
"Full bench road" means a road constructed on a side hill without using any of the material removed from the hillside as a part of the road. This construction technique is usually used on steep or unstable slopes.
"Green recruitment trees" means those trees left after harvest for the purpose of becoming future wildlife reserve trees under WAC 222-30-020(11).
"Ground water recharge areas for glacial deep-seated slides" means the area upgradient that can contribute water to the landslide, assuming that there is an impermeable perching layer in or under a deep-seated landslide in glacial deposits. (See board manual section 16 for identification criteria.)
"Headwater spring" means a permanent spring at the head of a perennial channel. Where a headwater spring can be found, it will coincide with the uppermost extent of Type Np Water.
"Herbicide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any tree, bush, weed or algae and other aquatic weeds.
"Historic site" includes:
Sites, areas and structures or other evidence of human activities illustrative of the origins, evolution and development of the nation, state or locality; or
Places associated with a personality important in history; or
Places where significant historical events are known to have occurred even though no physical evidence of the event remains.
"Horizontal distance" means the distance between two points measured at a 0% slope.
"Hyporheic" means an area adjacent to and below channels where interstitial water is exchanged with channel water and water movement is mainly in the downstream direction.
"Identified watershed processes" means the following components of natural ecological processes that may in some instances be altered by forest practices in a watershed:
Surface and road erosion;
Seasonal flows including hydrologic peak and low flows and annual yields (volume and timing);
Large organic debris;
Stream bank and bed stability.
"Inner gorges" means canyons created by a combination of the downcutting action of a stream and mass movement on the slope walls; they commonly show evidence of recent movement, such as obvious landslides, vertical tracks of disturbance vegetation, or areas that are concave in contour and/or profile. (See board manual section 16 for identification criteria.)
"Insecticide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any insect, other arthropods or mollusk pests.
"Interdisciplinary team" (ID Team) means a group of varying size comprised of individuals having specialized expertise, assembled by the department to respond to technical questions associated with a proposed forest practices activity.
"Islands" means any island surrounded by salt water in Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson, Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, or San Juan counties.
"Limits of construction" means the area occupied by the completed roadway or landing, including the cut bank, fill slope, and the area cleared for the purpose of constructing the roadway or landing.
"Load bearing portion" means that part of the road, landing, etc., which is supportive soil, earth, rock or other material directly below the working surface and only the associated earth structure necessary for support.
"Local governmental entity" means the governments of counties and the governments of cities and towns as defined in chapter 35.01 RCW.
"Low impact harvest" means use of any logging equipment, methods, or systems that minimize compaction or disturbance of soils and vegetation during the yarding process. The department shall determine such equipment, methods or systems in consultation with the department of ecology.
"Marbled murrelet detection area" means an area of land
associated with a visual or audible detection of a marbled
murrelet, made by a qualified surveyor which is documented and
recorded in the department of fish and wildlife data base. The marbled murrelet detection area shall be comprised of the
section of land in which the marbled murrelet detection was
made and the eight sections of land immediately adjacent to
"Median home range circle" means a circle, with a specified radius, centered on a spotted owl site center. The radius for the median home range circle in the Hoh-Clearwater/Coastal Link SOSEA is 2.7 miles; for all other SOSEAs the radius is 1.8 miles.
"Merchantable stand of timber" means a stand of trees that will yield logs and/or fiber:
Suitable in size and quality for the production of lumber, plywood, pulp or other forest products;
Of sufficient value at least to cover all the costs of harvest and transportation to available markets.
"Multiyear permit" means a permit to conduct forest practices which is effective for longer than two years but no longer than five years.
"Northern spotted owl site center" means:
(1) Until June 30, 2007, the location of northern spotted owls:
(a) Recorded by the department of fish and wildlife as status 1, 2 or 3 on November 1, 2005; or
(b) Newly discovered and recorded by the department of fish and wildlife as status 1, 2 or 3 after November 1, 2005.
(2) After June 30, 2007, the location of status 1, 2 or 3 northern spotted owls based on the following definitions:
|Status 1:||Pair or reproductive - a male and female heard and/or observed in close proximity to each other on the same visit, a female detected on a nest, or one or both adults observed with young.|
|Status 2:||Two birds, pair status unknown - the presence or response of two birds of opposite sex where pair status cannot be determined and where at least one member meets the resident territorial single requirements.|
|Status 3:||Resident territorial single - the presence or response of a single owl within the same general area on three or more occasions within a breeding season with no response by an owl of the opposite sex after a complete survey; or three or more responses over several years (i.e., two responses in year one and one response in year two, for the same general area).|
"Notice to comply" means a notice issued by the department pursuant to RCW 76.09.090 of the act and may require initiation and/or completion of action necessary to prevent, correct and/or compensate for material damage to public resources which resulted from forest practices.
"Occupied marbled murrelet site" means:
(1) A contiguous area of suitable marbled murrelet habitat where at least one of the following marbled murrelet behaviors or conditions occur:
(a) A nest is located; or
(b) Downy chicks or eggs or egg shells are found; or
(c) Marbled murrelets are detected flying below, through, into or out of the forest canopy; or
(d) Birds calling from a stationary location within the area; or
(e) Birds circling above a timber stand within one tree height of the top of the canopy; or
(2) A contiguous forested area, which does not meet the definition of suitable marbled murrelet habitat, in which any of the behaviors or conditions listed above has been documented by the department of fish and wildlife and which is distinguishable from the adjacent forest based on vegetative characteristics important to nesting marbled murrelets.
(3) For sites defined in (1) and (2) above, the sites will be presumed to be occupied based upon observation of circling described in (1)(e), unless a two-year survey following the 2003 Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) protocol has been completed and an additional third-year of survey following a method listed below is completed and none of the behaviors or conditions listed in (1)(a) through (d) of this definition are observed. The landowner may choose one of the following methods for the third-year survey:
(a) Conduct a third-year survey with a minimum of nine visits conducted in compliance with 2003 PSG protocol. If one or more marbled murrelets are detected during any of these nine visits, three additional visits conducted in compliance with the protocol of the first nine visits shall be added to the third-year survey. Department of fish and wildlife shall be consulted prior to initiating third-year surveys; or
(b) Conduct a third-year survey designed in consultation with the department of fish and wildlife to meet site specific conditions.
(4) For sites defined in (1) above, the outer perimeter of the occupied site shall be presumed to be the closer, measured from the point where the observed behaviors or conditions listed in (1) above occurred, of the following:
(a) 1.5 miles from the point where the observed behaviors or conditions listed in (1) above occurred; or
(b) The beginning of any gap greater than 300 feet wide lacking one or more of the vegetative characteristics listed under "suitable marbled murrelet habitat"; or
(c) The beginning of any narrow area of "suitable marbled murrelet habitat" less than 300 feet in width and more than 300 feet in length.
(5) For sites defined under (2) above, the outer perimeter of the occupied site shall be presumed to be the closer, measured from the point where the observed behaviors or conditions listed in (1) above occurred, of the following:
(a) 1.5 miles from the point where the observed behaviors or conditions listed in (1) above occurred; or
(b) The beginning of any gap greater than 300 feet wide lacking one or more of the distinguishing vegetative characteristics important to murrelets; or
(c) The beginning of any narrow area of suitable marbled murrelet habitat, comparable to the area where the observed behaviors or conditions listed in (1) above occurred, less than 300 feet in width and more than 300 feet in length.
(6) In determining the existence, location and status of occupied marbled murrelet sites, the department shall consult with the department of fish and wildlife and use only those sites documented in substantial compliance with guidelines or protocols and quality control methods established by and available from the department of fish and wildlife.
"Old forest habitat" see WAC 222-16-085 (1)(a).
"Operator" means any person engaging in forest practices except an employee with wages as his/her sole compensation.
"Ordinary high-water mark" means the mark on the shores of all waters, which will be found by examining the beds and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation: Provided, That in any area where the ordinary high-water mark cannot be found, the ordinary high-water mark adjoining saltwater shall be the line of mean high tide and the ordinary high-water mark adjoining freshwater shall be the line of mean high-water.
"Other forest chemicals" means fire retardants when used to control burning (other than water), nontoxic repellents, oil, dust-control agents (other than water), salt, and other chemicals used in forest management, except pesticides and fertilizers, that may present hazards to the environment.
"Park" means any park included on the parks register maintained by the department pursuant to WAC 222-20-100(2). Developed park recreation area means any park area developed for high density outdoor recreation use.
"Partial cutting" means the removal of a portion of the merchantable volume in a stand of timber so as to leave an uneven-aged stand of well-distributed residual, healthy trees that will reasonably utilize the productivity of the soil. Partial cutting does not include seedtree or shelterwood or other types of regeneration cutting.
"Pesticide" means any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, or rodenticide, but does not include nontoxic repellents or other forest chemicals.
"Plantable area" is an area capable of supporting a commercial stand of timber excluding lands devoted to permanent roads, utility rights-of-way, that portion of riparian management zones where scarification is not permitted, and any other area devoted to a use incompatible with commercial timber growing.
"Power equipment" means all machinery operated with fuel burning or electrical motors, including heavy machinery, chain saws, portable generators, pumps, and powered backpack devices.
"Preferred tree species" means the following species listed in descending order of priority for each timber habitat type:
|all hardwoods||all hardwoods|
|ponderosa pine||western larch|
|western larch||ponderosa pine|
|Douglas-fir||western red cedar|
|western red cedar||western white pine|
"Qualified surveyor" means an individual who has successfully completed the marbled murrelet field training course offered by the department of fish and wildlife or its equivalent.
"Rehabilitation" means the act of renewing, or making usable and reforesting forest land which was poorly stocked or previously nonstocked with commercial species.
"Resource characteristics" means the following specific measurable characteristics of fish, water, and capital improvements of the state or its political subdivisions:
For fish and water:
Physical fish habitat, including temperature and turbidity;
Turbidity in hatchery water supplies; and
Turbidity and volume for areas of water supply.
For capital improvements of the state or its political subdivisions:
Physical or structural integrity.
If the methodology is developed and added to the manual to analyze the cumulative effects of forest practices on other characteristics of fish, water, and capital improvements of the state or its subdivisions, the board shall amend this list to include these characteristics.
"Riparian function" includes bank stability, the recruitment of woody debris, leaf litter fall, nutrients, sediment filtering, shade, and other riparian features that are important to both riparian forest and aquatic system conditions.
"Riparian management zone (RMZ)" means:
(1) For Western Washington
(a) The area protected on each side of a Type S or F Water measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width or the outer edge of the CMZ, whichever is greater (see table below); and
|Site Class||Western Washington Total RMZ Width|
(2) For Eastern Washington
(a) The area protected on each side of a Type S or F Water measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width or the outer edge of the CMZ, whichever is greater (see table below); and
|Site Class||Eastern Washington Total RMZ Width|
|III||90' or 100'*|
|IV||75' or 100'*|
|V||75' or 100'*|
|*||Dependent upon stream size. (See WAC 222-30-022.)|
(3) For exempt 20 acre parcels, a specified area alongside Type S and F Waters where specific measures are taken to protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat.
"RMZ core zone" means:
(1) For Western Washington, the 50 foot buffer of a Type S or F Water, measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width or the outer edge of the channel migration zone, whichever is greater. (See WAC 222-30-021.)
(2) For Eastern Washington, the 30 foot buffer of a Type S or F Water, measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width or the outer edge of the channel migration zone, whichever is greater. (See WAC 222-30-022.)
"RMZ inner zone" means:
(1) For Western Washington, the area measured horizontally from the outer boundary of the core zone of a Type S or F Water to the outer limit of the inner zone. The outer limit of the inner zone is determined based on the width of the affected water, site class and the management option chosen for timber harvest within the inner zone. (See WAC 222-30-021.)
(2) For Eastern Washington, the area measured horizontally from the outer boundary of the core zone 45 feet (for streams less than 15 feet wide) or 70 feet (for streams more than 15 feet wide) from the outer boundary of the core zone. (See WAC 222-30-022.)
"RMZ outer zone" means the area measured horizontally between the outer boundary of the inner zone and the RMZ width as specified in the riparian management zone definition above. RMZ width is measured from the outer edge of the bankfull width or the outer edge of the channel migration zone, whichever is greater. (See WAC 222-30-021 and 222-30-022.)
"Road construction" means the establishment of any new sub-grade including widening, realignment, or modification of an existing road prism, with the exception of replacing or installing drainage structures, for the purposes of managing forest land under Title 222 WAC.
"Road maintenance" means any road work specifically related to maintaining water control or road safety and visibility (such as; grading, spot rocking, resurfacing, roadside vegetation control, water barring, ditch clean out, replacing or installing relief culverts, cleaning culvert inlets and outlets) on existing forest roads.
"Rodenticide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate rodents or any other vertebrate animal which the director of the state department of agriculture may declare by regulation to be a pest.
"Salvage" means the removal of snags, down logs, windthrow, or dead and dying material.
"Scarification" means loosening the topsoil and/or disrupting the forest floor in preparation for regeneration.
"Sensitive sites" are areas near or adjacent to Type Np Water and have one or more of the following:
(1) Headwall seep is a seep located at the toe of a cliff or other steep topographical feature and at the head of a Type Np Water which connects to the stream channel network via overland flow, and is characterized by loose substrate and/or fractured bedrock with perennial water at or near the surface throughout the year.
(2) Side-slope seep is a seep within 100 feet of a Type Np Water located on side-slopes which are greater than 20 percent, connected to the stream channel network via overland flow, and characterized by loose substrate and fractured bedrock, excluding muck with perennial water at or near the surface throughout the year. Water delivery to the Type Np channel is visible by someone standing in or near the stream.
(3) Type Np intersection is the intersection of two or more Type Np Waters.
(4) Headwater spring means a permanent spring at the head of a perennial channel. Where a headwater spring can be found, it will coincide with the uppermost extent of Type Np Water.
(5) Alluvial fan means a depositional land form consisting of cone-shaped deposit of water-borne, often coarse-sized sediments.
(a) The upstream end of the fan (cone apex) is typically characterized by a distinct increase in channel width where a stream emerges from a narrow valley;
(b) The downstream edge of the fan is defined as the sediment confluence with a higher order channel; and
(c) The lateral margins of a fan are characterized by distinct local changes in sediment elevation and often show disturbed vegetation.
Alluvial fan does not include features that were formed under climatic or geologic conditions which are not currently present or that are no longer dynamic.
"Shorelines of the state" shall have the same meaning as in RCW 90.58.030 (Shoreline Management Act).
"Side casting" means the act of moving excavated material to the side and depositing such material within the limits of construction or dumping over the side and outside the limits of construction.
"Site class" means a grouping of site indices that are used to determine the 50-year or 100-year site class. In order to determine site class, the landowner will obtain the site class index from the state soil survey, place it in the correct index range shown in the two tables provided in this definition, and select the corresponding site class. The site class will then drive the RMZ width. (See WAC 222-30-021 and 222-30-022.)
(1) For Western Washington
|Site class||50-year site index range
(state soil survey)
|Site class||100-year site
(state soil survey)
|50-year site index range (state soil survey)|
(a) If the site index in the soil survey is for red alder, and the whole RMZ width is within that site index, then use site class V. If the red alder site index is only for a portion of the RMZ width, or there is on-site evidence that the site has historically supported conifer, then use the site class for conifer in the most physiographically similar adjacent soil polygon.
(b) In Western Washington, if no site index is reported in the soil survey, use the site class for conifer in the most physiographically similar adjacent soil polygon.
(c) In Eastern Washington, if no site index is reported in the soil survey, assume site class III, unless site specific information indicates otherwise.
(d) If the site index is noncommercial or marginally commercial, then use site class V.
See also section 7 of the board manual.
"Site preparation" means those activities associated with the removal of slash in preparing a site for planting and shall include scarification and/or slash burning.
"Skid trail" means a route used by tracked or wheeled skidders to move logs to a landing or road.
"Slash" means pieces of woody material containing more than 3 cubic feet resulting from forest practices activities.
"SOSEA goals" means the goals specified for a spotted owl special emphasis area as identified on the SOSEA maps (see WAC 222-16-086). SOSEA goals provide for demographic and/or dispersal support as necessary to complement the northern spotted owl protection strategies on federal land within or adjacent to the SOSEA.
"Spoil" means excess material removed as overburden or generated during road or landing construction which is not used within limits of construction.
"Spotted owl dispersal habitat" see WAC 222-16-085(2).
"Spotted owl special emphasis areas (SOSEA)" means the geographic areas as mapped in WAC 222-16-086. Detailed maps of the SOSEAs indicating the boundaries and goals are available from the department at its regional offices.
"Stop work order" means the "stop work order" defined in RCW 76.09.080 of the act and may be issued by the department to stop violations of the forest practices chapter or to prevent damage and/or to correct and/or compensate for damages to public resources resulting from forest practices.
"Stream-adjacent parallel roads" means roads (including associated right of way clearing) in a riparian management zone on a property that have an alignment that is parallel to the general alignment of the stream, including roads used by others under easements or cooperative road agreements. Also included are stream crossings where the alignment of the road continues to parallel the stream for more than 250 feet on either side of the stream. Not included are federal, state, county or municipal roads that are not subject to forest practices rules, or roads of another adjacent landowner.
"Sub-mature habitat" see WAC 222-16-085 (1)(b).
"Suitable marbled murrelet habitat" means a contiguous forested area containing trees capable of providing nesting opportunities:
(1) With all of the following indicators unless the department, in consultation with the department of fish and wildlife, has determined that the habitat is not likely to be occupied by marbled murrelets:
(a) Within 50 miles of marine waters;
(b) At least 40% of the dominant and codominant trees are Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red cedar or sitka spruce;
(c) Two or more nesting platforms per acre;
(d) At least 7 acres in size, including the contiguous forested area within 300 feet of nesting platforms, with similar forest stand characteristics (age, species composition, forest structure) to the forested area in which the nesting platforms occur.
"Suitable spotted owl habitat" see WAC 222-16-085(1).
"Temporary road" means a forest road that is constructed and intended for use during the life of an approved forest practices application/notification. All temporary roads must be abandoned in accordance to WAC 222-24-052(3).
"Threaten public safety" means to increase the risk to the public at large from snow avalanches, identified in consultation with the department of transportation or a local government, or landslides or debris torrents caused or triggered by forest practices.
"Threatened or endangered species" means all species of wildlife listed as "threatened" or "endangered" by the United States Secretary of the Interior or Commerce, and all species of wildlife designated as "threatened" or "endangered" by the Washington fish and wildlife commission.
"Timber" means forest trees, standing or down, of a commercial species, including Christmas trees. However, timber does not include Christmas trees that are cultivated by agricultural methods, as that term is defined in RCW 84.33.035.
"Unconfined avulsing stream" means generally fifth order or larger waters that experience abrupt shifts in channel location, creating a complex flood plain characterized by extensive gravel bars, disturbance species of vegetation of variable age, numerous side channels, wall-based channels, oxbow lakes, and wetland complexes. Many of these streams have dikes and levees that may temporarily or permanently restrict channel movement.
"Water bar" means a diversion ditch and/or hump in a trail or road for the purpose of carrying surface water runoff into the vegetation duff, ditch, or other dispersion area so that it does not gain the volume and velocity which causes soil movement and erosion.
"Watershed administrative unit (WAU)" means an area shown on the map specified in WAC 222-22-020(1).
"Watershed analysis" means, for a given WAU, the assessment completed under WAC 222-22-050 or 222-22-060 together with the prescriptions selected under WAC 222-22-070 and shall include assessments completed under WAC 222-22-050 where there are no areas of resource sensitivity.
"Weed" is any plant which tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable vegetation.
"Western Washington" means the geographic area of Washington west of the Cascade crest and the drainages defined in Eastern Washington.
"Wetland" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, such as swamps, bogs, fens, and similar areas. This includes wetlands created, restored, or enhanced as part of a mitigation procedure. This does not include constructed wetlands or the following surface waters of the state intentionally constructed from wetland sites: Irrigation and drainage ditches, grass lined swales, canals, agricultural detention facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities.
"Wetland functions" include the protection of water quality and quantity, providing fish and wildlife habitat, and the production of timber.
"Wetland management zone" means a specified area adjacent to Type A and B Wetlands where specific measures are taken to protect the wetland functions.
"Wildlife" means all species of the animal kingdom whose members exist in Washington in a wild state. The term "wildlife" includes, but is not limited to, any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, or invertebrate, at any stage of development. The term "wildlife" does not include feral domestic mammals or the family Muridae of the order Rodentia (old world rats and mice).
"Wildlife reserve trees" means those defective, dead, damaged, or dying trees which provide or have the potential to provide habitat for those wildlife species dependent on standing trees. Wildlife reserve trees are categorized as follows:
Type 1 wildlife reserve trees are defective or deformed live trees that have observably sound tops, limbs, trunks, and roots. They may have part of the top broken out or have evidence of other severe defects that include: "Cat face," animal chewing, old logging wounds, weather injury, insect attack, or lightning strike. Unless approved by the landowner, only green trees with visible cavities, nests, or obvious severe defects capable of supporting cavity dependent species shall be considered as Type 1 wildlife reserve trees. These trees must be stable and pose the least hazard for workers.
Type 2 wildlife reserve trees are dead Type 1 trees with sound tops, limbs, trunks, and roots.
Type 3 wildlife reserve trees are live or dead trees with unstable tops or upper portions. Unless approved by the landowner, only green trees with visible cavities, nests, or obvious severe defects capable of supporting cavity dependent species shall be considered as Type 3 wildlife reserve trees. Although the roots and main portion of the trunk are sound, these reserve trees pose high hazard because of the defect in live or dead wood higher up in the tree.
Type 4 wildlife reserve trees are live or dead trees with unstable trunks or roots, with or without bark. This includes "soft snags" as well as live trees with unstable roots caused by root rot or fire. These trees are unstable and pose a high hazard to workers.
"Windthrow" means a natural process by which trees are uprooted or sustain severe trunk damage by the wind.
"Yarding corridor" means a narrow, linear path through a riparian management zone to allow suspended cables necessary to support cable logging methods or suspended or partially suspended logs to be transported through these areas by cable logging methods.
"Young forest marginal habitat" see WAC 222-16-085 (1)(b).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040. 05-12-119, § 222-16-010, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05; 04-05-087, § 222-16-010, filed 2/17/04, effective 3/19/04. Statutory Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW, RCW 76.09.040, [76.09.]050, [76.09.]370, 76.13.120(9). 01-12-042, § 222-16-010, filed 5/30/01, effective 7/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040 and chapter 34.05 RCW. 98-07-047, § 222-16-010, filed 3/13/98, effective 5/1/98; 97-24-091, § 222-16-010, filed 12/3/97, effective 1/3/98; 97-15-105, § 222-16-010, filed 7/21/97, effective 8/21/97. Statutory Authority: Chapters 76.09 and 34.05 RCW. 96-12-038, § 222-16-010, filed 5/31/96, effective 7/1/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040 and chapter 34.05 RCW. 94-17-033, § 222-16-010, filed 8/10/94, effective 8/13/94; 93-12-001, § 222-16-010, filed 5/19/93, effective 6/19/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040, 76.09.050 and chapter 34.05 RCW. 92-15-011, § 222-16-010, filed 7/2/92, effective 8/2/92. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040, 76.09.050 and 34.05.350. 92-03-028, § 222-16-010, filed 1/8/92, effective 2/8/92; 91-23-052, § 222-16-010, filed 11/15/91, effective 12/16/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040. 88-19-112 (Order 551, Resolution No. 88-1), § 222-16-010, filed 9/21/88, effective 11/1/88; 87-23-036 (Order 535), § 222-16-010, filed 11/16/87, effective 1/1/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040 and 76.09.050. 82-16-077 (Resolution No. 82-1), § 222-16-010, filed 8/3/82, effective 10/1/82; Order 263, § 222-16-010, filed 6/16/76.]