AMA Organization
The Northwest Forest Plan includes lands administered by both the Bureau of Land Management, Salem District, Tillamook and Marys Peak Resource Areas; and the Siuslaw National Forest, Hebo Ranger District; as part of the Northern Coast Range Adaptive Management Area. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are expected to collaborate fully in management of the area. The AMA is almost evenly divided between national forest and BLM management units, as shown in Fig. 4.

Who is responsible for AMA management?

Following are the key BLM and Forest Service positions:

The names of those currently assigned to these AMA staff positions, with their mailing addresses, phone and FAX numbers, and internet or DG addresses, are listed in Appendix H.

Decision space

The Northwest Forest Plan is clear on its mandate that, in the Adaptive Management Areas, the agencies are to pursue:

The line officers of the three management units within the AMA have responsibility for all decisions affecting lands and resources on federal lands within their respective units. Clearly, their decisions must be consistent with applicable laws, agency regulations and policy, and approved plans, including the Northwest Forest Plan, the Siuslaw Forest Plan, and the BLM Resource Management Plan. However, these planning documents create land allocations and deal with land management issues mostly in broad, fairly general terms (with certain exceptions). If they were to include a great deal of site-specific detail (if such detail were available) they would take much more time to prepare, would be too lengthy to be easily usable, and would quickly become outdated.

The three AMA managers need to regularly make decisions to implement site-specific actions, under the umbrella of the land-use allocations and standards contained in the plans. Local agency managers still have considerable discretion regarding:

Thus, no one should assume that all decisions have been made in advance. There is plenty of room for meaningful public input and participation.

AMA Operations

Coordination between Forest Service, BLM, and PNW


Coordination with Indian Tribes


Coordination with other agencies 


Community interaction

Interaction between the federal land management agencies and local AMA communities can take many forms, but the most important avenues are as follows:

The AMA Team welcomes suggestions regarding additional ways of increasing and improving agency-community interaction and collaboration.

Project development guidelines

The importance of designing, implementing, and monitoring activities in order to learn as much as we can from them is central to AMA objectives. We can't structure every AMA activity as a research project; however, to assist in the learning process for projects carried out in the AMA, the following guidelines are recommended:

Frame objectives: The learning objectives for each adaptive management project should be clearly stated in all NEPA documents, and the project implementation plans should describe strategies for accomplishing the learning objectives. The Lead Scientist or others may assist in this step. For some actions in which proven techniques are used to accomplish specific habitat goals, the learning objectives may be simply to confirm the results of previous treatments.

Use controls for comparison: So that they can be effectively evaluated, most projects should have a control with which the effects of management actions can be compared. Controls should be clearly delineated on maps, documented in project files, and protected from manipulation for as long as they are useful to the comparison (for example, at least the first 20 years for a thinning project). Ideally, treatment areas should be delineated in a project area first and controls randomly selected from among them.

Keep treatments simple: It is important to keep the number of different types of activities within a project limited to a few treatments. Otherwise, each unit treated can become a unique case study (without replication), and documentation and delineation of what was done where on the ground can be more difficult. Simplicity in terms of the number of things to be compared within a project will not only make learning easier, but should make project design and implementation much easier. Different types of activities can always be tried on different projects.

Document projects: Documentation should consist of a description of each activity and why, how, and where it was implemented. Similar documentation methods should be developed for all agencies and a central repository designated for all records, ideally in a readily retrievable electronic format with hard copy backup.

Monitor: Define a monitoring plan for each project, detailing what will be measured, and when (what might be measured if resources are available could also be included). Monitoring should include, at a minimum, a pre-project characterization, a post-project characterization, and some schedule of future measurements. For some objectives, remote sensing (aerial photography or satellite imagery) may be adequate. If monitoring includes field measurements, permanently-marked sample points are highly recommended. Taking photographs at such points may be a useful way to show results to others.

Table 4 illustrates a proposed outline for the flow of work on learning projects in the AMA. The purpose of the chart is to help identify the sequence of actions and the kind of participants needed to ensure that each project will meet both its learning objectives and its management objectives. Not every project will require every step of this process--some actions, in fact, may not be defined as learning projects, though every action presents at least some opportunity for learning. This process itself will continue to be revised as we learn which approaches work better than others.

Table 4. Development Process for Learning Projects

Action Persons Responsible Additional Information
Identify information needs 
FS/BLM/PNW employees; other agencies; Sub-Pac, Tribes, other groups; public  Lead Scientist maintains files of information needs, forwards questions to agencies 
Determine if the information has already been generated  Scientists and Agency Specialists 
 (Forest Service, BLM, PNW) 
Assigned specialists prepare feedback for originator 
Prioritize needs; recommend projects PAC; AMA Sub-Committee, other public Provide recommendations to agency managers 
Select projects and assign to administrative units  Agency managers 
Determine where projects fit in agency work plans 
Design study & monitoring plans 
PNW scientist(s) with agency resource specialist(s)  Decide appropriate level or rigor of experimental design or management study 
Find general locations 
Unit managers and specialists 
Return project file to AMA Coordinator if a suitable location cannot be found 
Include studies in development of specific projects  ID teams with scientists 
Provide public input through scoping 
Implement projects  Unit managers and specialists  Keep scientists informed of progress 
Monitor projects 
Unit managers & staff, with scientists if expertise needed  Include public and volunteers where feasible 
Analyze and interpret data generated  Scientists and/or resource specialists  Determine what we have learned 
Prepare information papers 
Scientists and/or resource specialists 
Write to share with other agency offices, other AMAs, and public 
Input information to central data base 
AMA Coordinator 
Determine if new questions have been generated 

Watershed analysis

The Northwest Forest Plan states that, "Ultimately, watershed analysis should be conducted in all watersheds on federal lands as a basis for ecosystem planning and management". Watershed analysis is a process designed to analyze and document the major ecological structure, functions, processes, and interactions occurring within a watershed. The area to be included in each analysis usually contains between 20 and 200 square miles.

Within the AMA are 24 identified watersheds, as shown on map 5. Some of the watershed units displayed on the map may be combined for analysis. The map also identifies the four watesheds for which the analysis has been completed and others for which analysis is in progress. The information collected through watershed analysis will be important in the design and implementation of all activities conducted in the AMA.

Key Watersheds

The Northwest Forest Plan designated certain drainages as key watersheds. Some of these key watersheds were designated to protect current "high quality habitat", while others were applied to watersheds in which currently degraded habitat rates a high priority for restoration. Within key watersheds, an analysis is required prior to management activities, except for minor activities such as those categorically excluded under National Environmental Policy Act regulations. Timber cannot be harvested from key watersheds before watershed analysis is completed. The proposed schedule for analysis of the remaining watersheds within the Adaptive Management Area is shown in table 5.
At this time, we are not aware of current plans to prepare watershed analyses for the Wilson River, Trask River, Tillamook River, and Middle Siletz.

Table 5. Schedule for watershed analysis in the Northern Coast Range AMA
Project Calendar Year of Analysis
Watershed 1994 1996 1997 1998 1999+ Key 
Lead Office
Nestucca River Done Yes
North Yamhill Done No
Schooner / Drift Creek Done Yes Hebo RD
Upper Siletz River Done Yes Marys Peak RA
Little Nestucca River X No Hebo RD
Luckiamute River X No Marys Peak RA
Sand Lake (part of Coastal Frontal) X No Posible contract-Hebo RD
Willamina / Deer / Panther Creeks X No Tillamook RA
Kilchis River X Yes TBNEP1
Neskowin Creek X No Hebo RD
S. Yamhill / Lower Mill / Rickreall X No Marys Peak RA
Rock Creek X No Marys Peak RA
Salmon River X No Hebo RD
Lower Siletz River X No Hebo RD
Scoggings Creek / Upper Tualatin River X No Tillamook RA
  1 Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project

Timber harvest projections

The Northwest Forest Plan states that AMA plans should contain a short-term timber sale plan and long-term yield projections. For the long term, preliminary estimates indicate that a reasonable range of activity could result in a wide range of acres treated and volume harvested in any given year. The low end of the range reflects what can probably be accomplished with the limited staff and funding available at this time. The high end reflects the estimated potential harvest after additional watershed analysis and specific project planning. Table 6 shows our preliminary estimates of annual acreage to be treated and volume that would be harvested.

Table 6. Estimated range of harvest acres and harvest volume for the AMA
Management Unit
Volume Range, MMBF1
Hebo Ranger District  380 - 590  6.1 - 8.1
Marys Peak Resource Area  85 - 244  0.8 - 2.2
Tillamook Resource Area  310 - 780  3.5 - 9.3
Totals  775 - 1614  10.4 - 19.6
1 Millions of board feet

Projected short-term (3 - 5 years) harvest plans for the AMA, including acres and associated volumes for specific planned projects, are shown in Appendix B, Timber Sale Plans. The information is based on current knowledge and assumptions, which will be refined and modified as additional watershed analyses and various AMA treatment trials are completed.

Funding AMA programs

As efforts to reduce the size and cost of the government proceed, the level of future appropriated funds for AMA programs appears uncertain. Success of the AMA, therefore, will most likely depend on the development of alternatives to traditional funding. As stated in the Northwest Forest Plan, page D-2, the AMA should provide:

Following are some possible alternatives for generating funds:

Grants: One type of opportunity would be to seek grants from private corporations and companies, through agreements in which nonFederal parties provide money, equipment, property, or products to assist with ecosystem management activities, for mutual benefit.

Funding from AMA receipts: When commodities are removed from federal lands in the AMA, whether timber, special forest products, or other materials, fees are generally charged. The AMA Team proposes to seek authority for new mechanisms for distribution of receipts. If a portion of the funds generated from federal lands within the AMA could be applied to AMA programs, the need to compete for limited federal dollars would be substantially reduced. A proposal requesting legislative action to provide this authority--at least on a trial basis--would need to be developed and submitted to the Washington offices of the Forest Service and BLM. Such authority could permit the Northern Coast Range AMA to eventually become self-supporting, with most costs borne primarily by those who use and benefit from the resources on public lands in the AMA.

Under such a funding system, incomes derived from activities within the AMA would be divided between the counties (under existing formulas), the local agencies, and the U.S. Treasury. Funds credited to the agency AMA accounts in the first year would be applied to AMA programs in the next fiscal year, with a fixed percentage dedicated to monitoring programs. Capital investment funding would continue to be received through appropriations for the first five years. Money not spent in one year could be carried over to the next. Money collected from past timber purchasers that is dedicated to reforestation activities would continue to be used until all approved projects stemming from those sales are completed. Cooperative account funds would be transferred to the AMA budget, and those agreements would be fulfilled.

Pilot program--recreation receipts: Many federal land management agencies have large backlogs of deferred maintenance for recreation sites. Facilities must sometimes be closed for health and safety reasons. With federal budgets expected to decline 15 to 25 percent over the next seven to ten years and recreation use increasing, federal agencies need to look for alternative funding sources for recreation. One opportunity is a pilot cost recovery fee program designed to maintain facilities on our public lands. This concept allows at least 80 percent of fees generated from the recreation facilities to remain at the management unit, and allows the money to be used for operation and maintenance. This pilot program will be implemented on National Forest System lands in 1997.

Road maintenance funding: Road maintenance fees are a good example of the costs of a program being paid by primarily by those who benefit most. Fees are collected for commercial haul of timber products or rock over federally owned and maintained roads. Fee rates are based on thousands of board feet for timber hauled or cubic yards for minerals hauled. Funds are deposited in an account and then distributed to the various road maintenance units.

Communication sites fees: The BLM and Forest Service developed a new fee policy and schedule for communication sites in the fall of 1995. The two agencies have adopted identical fee schedules and policies so that consistent rental fees will be charged for communication uses on public land. The new policy provides for the collection of fair market value for uses such as microwave dishes and communication towers and facilities.

Late-Successional Reserve in the AMA

Approximately 68 percent of the AMA is also classified by the Northwest Forest Plan as Late-Successional Reserve (LSR). This designation has some important implications regarding AMA management:

Why was LSR designated within the AMA?

The region-wide system of Late-Successional Reserves was designed to provide a "functional, interactive, late-successional and old-growth forest ecosystem" (Plan 1994, p. 6). Under all ten alternatives analyzed by the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (FEMAT 1993), LSR was designated for the north coast area, in which very little older forest habitat remains. One of the major reasons for this designation is to help ensure that nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet would be protected and increased. Nesting habitat for the murrelet, a small sea bird that nests in large, old trees, is very limited in the AMA at present. This is because most of the old-growth forest was eliminated by wildfires or logging during the last 100 years. The Plan explains the situation as follows:


How does the LSR classification affect AMA activities?

The primary management goal for this AMA is essentially the same goal as for Late-Successional Reserves: to maintain and develop late-successional forest habitat. Some significant differences exist, however, between the two allocations. The standards and guidelines for LSR are more specific than those for AMA:

On the other hand, programmed timber harvest is not only permitted, but expected in those portions of the AMA that are not LSR. In the portions of the AMA not designated as LSR, there is no upper age limit specified for timber stand management--so a great deal of room exists for innovation. Under the Plan's guidelines, stands of any age could be treated to enhance multistoried structure, increase species diversity, or encourage development of large, limby trees. The design of stand treatments may reflect a greater emphasis on providing economic benefits for local communities, while continuing to work towards the goal of increasing the amount of older-forest structure. Also, research projects planned for the AMA may incorporate a wider range of treatment types than would be considered appropriate in an LSR.