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News Release
Forest Practices Act changes require steep slopes certification training: registration now open - 05/26/23

SALEM, Ore.—Forest Practices Act (FPA) rule changes aim to provide regulatory certainty and to protect fish and wildlife. On January 1, 2024, the steep slopes rules go into effect. In 2022 the Oregon Legislature directed the Board of Forestry to make about 110 FPA rule changes. Part of those rule changes address harvesting on steep slopes. These rules require foresters and those planning timber harvests to receive steep slopes certification training. 

This specialized training will focus on the Western Oregon steep slopes model outputs and how to determine the no harvest boundaries for steep slopes. The Oregon Department of Forestry will hold the following certification classes:

June 14, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Roseburg

June 16, Holiday Inn, Wilsonville

June 20, Comfort Suites, Albany

Please register on the Oregon Department of Forestry website.

The new laws require this certification for large forestland owners, those who own 5,000 or more acres of forestland. Qualifying small forestland owners don’t need this certification. The goal is to help people follow the rules intended to improve fish and wildlife habitat in and around streams.

The main reason to keep trees on certain steep slopes is to allow natural landslides to deliver large wood and sediment to streams over time and ultimately improve aquatic habitat. Human activities on the landscape can influence the timing and size of landslides, the amount of large wood that is available for future delivery to streams, and can increase the amount of sediment delivered to a stream. 

Increased amounts of sediment can adversely impact fish and other species. Sediment can fill in gravel beds for spawning, reduce food availability and impact a fish’s ability to see prey. Large wood from landslides creates vital habitat and protection for fish and other creatures.

The steep slopes rules only apply to Western Oregon, which informed the selection of training locations. If there is more demand than seats available, the department will offer more classes to meet the need.

View more news releases from Oregon Dept. of Forestry.