The Department of Forestry provides staff assistance and advice to Tribal Council, Branch of Natural Resources General Manager, Tribal Enterprise, Indian Forest Owners and Bureau of Indian Affairs in the formulation and implementation of policies and delivery of technical services for the activities of:
- development, sale and marketing of forest products;
- forest inventories and multiple-use management plans for the forest land base;
- preparation and revision of projects;
- forest improvement projects;
- forest protection; and
- assistance to tribes and individual Indian entrepreneurs for forestry related business/economic development ventures.
In compliance with the Federal trust responsibility and consistent with objectives of the Indian forest owners, the Department provides planning and scheduling of forestry activities, delivery of technical services and exercise of program oversight to ensure that regulatory and policy requirements are followed and technical standards of sound forest management are upheld.
The Department develops, reviews, and keeps current program administration matters; technical assistance methodology and practices; delegations of authority and manual directives controlling the forest operations; proposes and implements new technology and procedures to improve and facilitate management of Indian Trust forest resources; and maintains active working relationships with other governmental, academic, and private organizations concerning with forestry issues/problems of mutual interest.
Development is responsible for ensuring that regeneration harvest areas and wildfires are adequately regenerated in a timely manner to ensure for sustainable resource management.
This typically involves activities such as mechanical treatment of slash/vegetation, burning (pile or broadcast), soil ripping for seedbed preparation or density reduction, slashing of advance regeneration, seed collection, growing of conifer seedling, planting of seedlings, rodent control (pocket gopher trapping), and surveying of regenerated areas for stocking, survival, and growth.
Precommercial thinning of younger stands is performed when/where needed to maintain optimal growth rates for growth and yield targets across the reservation’s forest ecosystems.
Additionally, a tree improvement program is managed by Development with limited genetic enhancement efforts in the Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, and western white pine species. There are two seed orchards on the reservation.
The primary function of the Forest Engineering section is to ensure that the planning, development and maintenance of the road system utilized for management of the forest is performed in accordance with Tribal directives.
They work in conjunction with other Natural Resource staff, Tribal committees and members, and the BIA toward coordinating transportation system plan development and implementation. This section is responsible for identifying and constructing new roads, reconstructing existing roads, relocating existing roads, and removal of roads (which may include the eradication of roads no longer needed for forest management practices).
Planning & Inventory
The Planning and Inventory section is responsible for inventory, forest management planning, and administration of special projects. It manages all phases of forest inventories on Tribal trust, fee and allotment lands.
Responsibilities include managing the stand based inventory program and CFI permanent plot system, calculating stand volumes, reporting annual inventory status of the forest, determining trends in growth, defect and mortality, calculating the annual allowable cut, assisting area foresters with scheduling and planning of forest practices such as timber harvests, fuel treatments, and thinning, as well as monitoring forest management activities, to ensure compliance with best management practices and IRMP standards.
The Forest Stewardship section is responsible for planning and implementing activities on the forests on the Warm Springs Reservation. The primary function includes designing activity plans for both the current planning period and future entries.
This section is responsible for coordinating with the planning, G.I.S., engineering, silviculture, forest development, fire management, and natural resources departments in order to ensure proposed actions advance the goals of the Integrated Resource Management Plan, Forest Management Implementation Plan and other Tribal policies.
The primary responsibility of Timber Sales is the administration of timber contracts. Timber Sales ensure that the Purchaser of the Tribes’ timber complies with the terms of the timber sales contracts and that forest resources (trees, soil, wildlife, water, etc.) are protected.
This section works with sawmill representatives, logging contractors and employees (skidder operators, fallers, knot bumpers, etc.) so that the purchaser is aware of all regulations within the contracts. This section is also responsible for managing non-timber forest products such as firewood, boughs, mushrooms and cones.
The scaling section is responsible for determining the gross and net volume of logs extracted from the Tribal trust forestlands, as well as ensuring for proper utilization of the commercial forest asset. The volume may be expressed in terms of board feet, cords, cubic feet, linear feet or number of pieces and/or weight.
This section works closely with the tribal mill; monitors 3 party scalers; and the purchasers of the harvested logs from the forested areas within the reservation boundaries. This section also monitors the movement of logs from the reservation, and tracking the final destination of those logs.
The responsibilities of Silviculture include formulation of silvicultural prescriptions based on IRMP goals that address forest health, growth and yield, and fire resiliency. The silviculturist assists area foresters in planning and stand prescription details during the timber sale development process. The responsibilities also include providing technical assistance to other disciplines within the Department of Forestry and Branch of Natural Resources, input into interdisciplinary teams for resource management, updates staff on current forestry research, monitors stands following harvest in order to formulate better treatment plans, and providing training to all interested parties in silvicultural prescription development and insect and disease control.