Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs Felled Tree Study

06.01.2017 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Natural Resources

Tribal Council approved Natural Resources staff cutting down between 58 and 94 trees on Tribal trust and fee lands on Wednesday, May 31, to calibrate the department’s forest inventory computer software to local conditions, which will enable the software to make better predictions about future timber growth and yield.

Tribal Council approval was required to obtain a free-use timber cutting permit from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to fell trees on trust land.

According to Forester Andrew Puerini’s “Forest Officer’s Report,” the Tribe uses a computer-based forest inventory called Forest Projection and Planning Software for forest modeling and harvest scheduling purposes.

The Forest Biometric Research Institute recommends a process where 100-foot trees or taller are felled across the landscape and cross sections are measured and inputted into the software to calibrate growth and yield. The Tribe will cut down trees in 19 different locations with primarily Douglas fir being felled.

At the Wednesday, May 31, Legislative Action Committee meeting, Timber and Roads Program Manager Jeff Kuust said the estimated net worth of the felled trees will range from $2,538 to $4,113, but the study will give the Tribe a more accurate estimate of its forestland yield.

In response to a question from Tribal Council Vice Chair Cheryle A. Kennedy, Kuust said most trees on Tribal forestlands take about 28 to 30 years of growth before they come commercially viable.

In other action, Tribal Council approved the Portland Harbor Natural Resource Damage Assessment Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement because the Tribe is acting as a trustee for natural resources damages at the superfund site and OK’d an agreement between the Trustee Council, the University of Portland and the Oregon Department of State Lands that provides not less than $33,850.90 to fund Tribal employees and technical consultation with designing and estimating a value for a restoration site.

Also included in the May 31 Tribal Council packet was an approved staff directive requesting the Tribal Attorney’s Office prepare draft amendments to the Enrollment Ordinance that would return final decision making on involuntary loss of membership cases back to Tribal Council and an approved authorization to proceed for the Health & Wellness Department’s $150,000 Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Project to become the Tribe’s 2017 Spirit Mountain Community Fund Tribal Grant application project.

The meeting in its entirety can be viewed on the Tribal website,, by clicking on the News tab and then Video.