The Student News Site of Oregon State University

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The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Oregon State faculty members named to federal forest panel

Jules Wood
A low perspective of a tree in the Oregon State University Memorial Union lawn, Aug 1. Two faculty members of the Oregon State University College of Forestry were recently named to a new federal advisory panel that will update the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan.

Two Oregon State faculty members in the college of forestry have recently been appointed to positions in the federal panel tasked with updating the Northwest Forest Plan.

Meg Krawchuk and James Johnston are two of 21 people selected by the U.S Department of Agriculture to work on an amendment that reflects new management needs for the federal forests in the northwestern region of the United States.

According to Johnston, an assistant professor in the college of forestry, the Northwest Forest Plan has managed millions of acres of federally owned land in western Oregon, western Washington, and northern California since 1994. The plan is set to be revised every 15 years.

“The job of the panel is to provide advice, perspectives, ideas, and recommendations to the US Forest Service and its partners to develop management approaches for lands within the Northwest Forest Plan footprint,” said Krawchuk, an associate professor in the college of forestry. “We won’t be writing the plans – that’s the work of USFS planning teams.”

The panel’s job is to contribute different perspectives, interpretations, and to use their outside eyes to help guide the process of updating management plans.

There are a few different topics the faculty members and the panels are tasked with considering. According to Krawchuk, these include climate change adaptation, wildfires, mitigation, and heat. Others include the importance of maintaining old growth forests, and thinking about ecosystems in a different way so it includes all components.

“This NWFP (Federal Advisory Committee) is a conversation about the future of our public lands in the Northwest, and helping to chart a course for future generations,” said Krawchuk. “It’s exciting to be a part of this conversation, and to have a chance to help make change in the world.”

“I’m looking forward to conversations with managers and stakeholders about how we can protect the rights, health, and well-being of communities with long histories with the national forest, and improve the sustainability of rural economies and old-growth forests,” said Johnston.

According to an OSU press release, Johnston and Krawchuk are two of nine scientists on the panel, and they are tasked with finding applications of using the best science available for the Northwest Forest Plan.

Krawchuk said the panel will be bringing different knowledges together, so that it fits all categories of ecosystems that service the landscape.

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