Main Elements of Proposed JAG Consensus Recommendations

Landscape Recommendations

·         Create a narrow band of Older Forest that runs along the edge of JDSF from the SE to the North, continuing along the northern boundary until Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch, and then going south to connect to the Woodlands Transfer Area.  This Older Forest Structure Zone includes Old Growth Reserves, Late Seral Development Areas, and Old Forest Development Areas.

·         Designate several new reserves.

Silvicultural Recommendations

·         In areas of the forest not allocated to Older Forest Structure Zones, Reserves, or Special Concern Areas, and not associated with approved research and demonstration projects, manage using “Matrix Silviculture.”

·         Matrix Silviculture is essentially single-tree selection with an emphasis on growing and harvesting trees in larger size classes, enhancing structural diversity, and maintaining aesthetics, while maintaining or increasing harvest volumes.

·         Late Seral Development Areas will be managed for structural characteristics of older, mature forest, which include large old trees (greater than 150 years), large snags, large down logs, deformed trees, multiple canopy layers, and a high level of within-stand variability including both horizontal and vertical structural diversity. Silviculture will be single-tree and limited group selection, commercial thinning. At some point, harvesting may cease.

·         Old Forest Development Areas will be managed for structural characteristics of older forest, including large diameter trees, snags, down wood, multiple canopy layers, and high level of horizontal and vertical structural diversity. Silviculture will be managed primarily using single-tree selection.

Research Recommendations

·         Develop a world-class research program at JDSF based on focused research within three Centers of Excellence.

·         Develop a Strategic Research Plan, within a Regional Context, that is compatible with the other important goals of forest.

·         Develop a Research-Oriented Landscape Allocation

·         Implement research that requires non Matrix Silviculture only when the project is within a Center of Excellence and there is a reasonable expectation that the research will occur.

·         Convene and support a Research Planning Team to develop the Strategic Research Plan and associated Landscape Allocations.

o        The Research Planning Team would operate in cooperation and coordination with the JAG, the Board’s Research and Science Committee, JDSF Staff, CALFIRE, and other stakeholders.

o        The Research Planning Team would be constrained to honor the recommendations of the JAG in areas other than research, notably the landscape allocation recommendations.

o        The Strategic Research Plan should attempt, when consistent with the research objectives, to design projects that are compatible with Matrix Silviculture. Experiments with negative impacts should be designed to minimize such impacts, while providing scientifically valid results.

·         Establish and support an entity responsible for implementing the research plan.

Recreation Recommendations (Draft)

·         To the extent feasible, incorporate the recommendations of the Recreation Task Force for expanded recreation and education in the new Recreation Plan for Jackson Forest.

Taken together, the recommendations of the Task Force provide a practical vision for long-term future expanded recreation that is consistent with the recreation goal of the management plan. The JAG endorses that vision.

Key elements of the Task Force recommendations are:

o        Provide dedicated funding and staffing for recreational and educational projects, maintenance and programs.

o        Designate an experienced, enthusiastic staff member responsible for education and recreation in the JDSF.

o        Develop three sets of looped multi-use trails, each in different areas of the forest.

o        Increase the number of access points with sufficiently large parking areas to accommodate equestrian trailers.

o        Expand and modernize existing camps; provide backpacking camps; make group camps available throughout the year.

o        Establish a target shooting range. This range would make it feasible to request legislation to prohibit target shooting practice outside of the range.

o        Increase promotion of recreation and education, including development and maintenance of a JDSF recreation website, contact with public schools throughout the state, and by establishing and maintaining informational kiosks in the forest for easy access by visitors.

o        Help establish an unaffiliated but cooperating non-profit “Friends of Jackson Forest” to gain grant funds and facilitate volunteer support of recreation facilities.

o        Consider developing legal OHV use, with careful attention to potential environmental, potential user conflicts, and other regulatory issues.

·         Prior to the completion of Recreation Plan process, proceed with recreation maintenance and improvements to existing trails and facilities as needed or as recommended by the Recreation Task Force.

·         Develop and apply measurable guidelines for protecting recreation resources wherever located in the forest and for protecting aesthetic resources along highly traveled roads.

·         All trails and roads with significant recreation use should receive at least the aesthetic protection measures contained in the JAG’s recommendations for the 2009-2010 Brandon Gulch THP, which had a goal of recovering visual quality within 3-5 years after harvest.