Western Oregon BLM Federal Public Forestlands:
The So-Called Billion Board Feet “Promise” of the Northwest Forest Plan
The timber has long complained that the Northwest Forest Plan has never produced the "billion" board feet that they were "promised" in 1994. No such promise exists. Nonetheless, the timber industry still seeks it. They seek the most major fraction of the fantasy billion board feet from BLM lands in Western Oregon. While BLM lands are national forests, they are lower case national forests as they are not part of the National Forest System that shows up in that pretty green color on nearly every map one can see.
The following is Appendix F of Ecologically Appropriate Restoration Thinning in the Northwest Forest Plan Area: A Policy and Technical Analysis,, authored by Andy Kerr of The Larch Company and co-produced by Conservation Northwest, Geos Institute, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, and Oregon Wild. (The entire report will be featured in a forthcoming missive.) All of the information and most of the content for Appendix F was provided by Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild. The so-called "promise" applies to all federal public forestlands within the range of the northern spotted owl. The contribution from Western Oregon BLM lands was on the order of 20% of that. The timber industry now seeks 50% from Western Oregon BLM lands. As you'll discover upon reading the following, any such "promise" wasn't stated in the Record of Decision for the Northwest Forest Plan, the legally relevant document. In addition, as new information became available as to the extent of stream zones, lands transferred out of the federal domain, revision of land and/or resource management plans and other factors are resulted in the "official" target timber volume being reduced.
The “Billion Board Feet Promise” of the Northwest Forest Plan 
When developing the Northwest Forest Plan, only “Option 9” developed by the Federal Ecosystem Management Assessment Team would cut enough timber to satisfy the political concerns of The White House. Option 9 was marketed as having a “Probable Sale Quantity” (PSQ) of approximately one-billion board feet annually.
The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) doesn’t promise the timber industry one-billion board feet of timber, and logging one-billion board feet is not a goal of the NWFP. The Plan merely estimated that implementing the plan might lead to this level of logging, as stated in several places in the NWFP’s Record of Decision:
The PSQ levels shown are estimates. They represent neither minimum levels that must be met nor maximum levels that cannot be exceeded. They are rough approximations because of the difficulty associated with predicting actual timber sale levels over the next decade, given the discretion that agency land managers possess in administering plans and deciding when and where to offer timber sales, as well as the complex nature of many of the standards and guidelines. They represent our best assessment of the average amount of timber likely to be awarded annually in the planning area over the next decade, following a start-up period.
PSQ levels are presented as an effect, not a goal, of the standards and guidelines.
…[I]t is recognized that the Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and the requirement to do watershed analysis before management activities can take place implies a higher level of uncertainty and a potential for future change with respect to future levels of sale offerings within Key Watersheds. 
Even as scientists were writing the Northwest Forest Plan, most realized that the protection measures needed to ensure species viability made logging a billion board feet impossible.
One of those scientists, Jack Ward Thomas, soon afterward became chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Thomas recalls warning the Clinton Administration the plan ‘wouldn't come anywhere close’ to producing the billion board feet the administration had told the public it would.…
But the plan still predicted the high "Probable Sale Quantity" of 1 billion board feet of timber, known as Option 9. Many in the timber industry saw the figure as a commitment, [Oregon State University forestry professor K. Norman] Johnson said.
“It's what the administration said would happen,” he said. “It was an attempt to provide the environmental protection of a very restrictive alternative while still maintaining the harvest of Option 9. We knew from the start it was impossible.” 
A few other points about that “billion board feet”:
1. Initially, it was actually 0.958 billion board feet. Rounding is generally fine, but not when rare old-growth forest is involved.
2. 844 (88%) of that initial 958 million board feet (MMBF) target targeted late-successional (mature and old-growth) forests.
3. The PSQ was officially adjusted downward to 868 MMBF to reflect completion of BLM Resource Management Plans in Oregon and National Forest Land and Resource Management Plans in California.
4. The PSQ was officially adjusted downward to 811 MMBF to reflect that stream densities across the landscape has been underestimated.
5. Refinement of the Northwest Forest Plan to account for the actual implementation of “Survey and Management” required by the original plan reduced the PSQ to 760 MMBF. This also accounted for the transfer of certain BLM lands to the Coquille Tribe. After “survey and manage” was “adjusted,” over one million acres of late-successional (mature & old-growth) forest would remain available for logging.
6. Had the federal forest agencies actually implemented “survey and manage” as it was originally adopted, and not tried to cripple or eliminate the program so they could meet artificial and unsustainable timber targets, the PSQ should have been adjusted down to 510 MMBF.
 All of the information and most of the content for this appendix provided by Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 1994. Record of Decision for Amendments to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management planning documents within the range of the northern spotted owl. Standards and guidelines for management of habitat for late-successional and old-growth forest related species within the range of the northern spotted owl. April 13, 1994 (hereinafter 1994 NWFP ROD) at page 19.
 1994 NWFP ROD at 66.
 1994 NWFP ROD at E-20.
 Milstein, Michael. April 29, 2002. “Old Fight Over Old Growth Renewed.” Oregonian, Portland, Oregon. Page A01.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 1994. Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for management of habitat within the range of the northern spotted owl. Standards and guidelines for management of habitat for late-successional and old-growth forest related species within the range of the northern spotted owl. February 1994, at page 3&4-265.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 2000. Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer, and Other Mitigation Measures Standards & Guidelines. November 2000 (hereinafter 2000 FSEIS), at page 431.
 2000 FSEIS at page 88.
 2000 FSEIS at page 88.
 2000 FSEIS, page 434.
 2000 FSEIS, page 436.
 2000 FSEIS, page 434.
In any case, Congress has never funded the federal forest agencies at a level to fully implement the timber sale portion of the Northwest Forest Plan.