2017 ORS 527.755¹
Scenic highways
  • visually sensitive corridors
  • operations restricted
  • exemptions

(1) The following highways are hereby designated as scenic highways for purposes of the Oregon Forest Practices Act:

(a) Interstate Highways 5, 84, 205, 405; and

(b) State Highways 6, 7, 20, 18/22, 26, 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 38, 42, 58, 62, 66, 82, 97, 101, 126, 138, 140, 199, 230, 234 and 395.

(2) The purpose of designating scenic highways is to provide a limited mechanism that maintains roadside trees for the enjoyment of the motoring public while traveling through forestland, consistent with ORS 527.630 (Policy), safety and other practical considerations.

(3) The State Board of Forestry, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall establish procedures and regulations as necessary to implement the requirements of subsections (4), (5) and (6) of this section, consistent with subsection (2) of this section, including provisions for alternate plans. Alternate plans that modify or waive the requirements of subsection (4), (5) or (6) of this section may be approved when, in the judgment of the State Forester, circumstances exist such as:

(a) Modification or waiver is necessary to maintain motorist safety, protect improvements such as dwellings and bridges, or protect forest health;

(b) Modification or waiver will provide additional scenic benefits to the motoring public, such as exposure of distant scenic vistas;

(c) Trees that are otherwise required to be retained will not be visible to motorists;

(d) The operation involves a change of land use that is inconsistent with maintaining a visually sensitive corridor; or

(e) The retention of timber in a visually sensitive corridor will result in severe economic hardship for the owner because all or nearly all of the owner’s property is within the visually sensitive corridor.

(4)(a) For harvest operations within a visually sensitive corridor, at least 50 healthy trees of at least 11 inches DBH, or that measure at least 40 square feet in basal area, shall be temporarily left on each acre.

(b) Overstory trees initially required to be left under paragraph (a) of this subsection may be removed when the reproduction understory reaches an average height of at least 10 feet and has at least the minimum number of stems per acre of free to grow seedlings or saplings required by the board for reforestation, by rule.

(c) Alternatively, when the adjacent stand, extending from 150 feet from the outermost edge of the roadway to 300 feet from the outermost edge of the roadway, has attained an average height of at least 10 feet and has at least the minimum number of stems per acre of free to grow seedlings or saplings required by the board for reforestation, by rule, or at least 40 square feet of basal area per acre, no trees are required to be left in the visually sensitive corridor, or trees initially required to be left under paragraph (a) of this subsection may be removed. When harvests within the visually sensitive corridor are carried out under this paragraph, the adjacent stand, extending from 150 feet from the outermost edge of the roadway to 300 feet from the outermost edge of the roadway, shall not be reduced below the minimum number of stems per acre of free to grow seedlings or saplings at least 10 feet tall required by the board for reforestation, by rule, or below 40 square feet of basal area per acre until the adjacent visually sensitive corridor has been reforested as required under subsection (6) of this section and the stand has attained an average height of at least 10 feet and has at least the minimum number of stems per acre.

(5) Harvest areas within a visually sensitive corridor shall be cleared of major harvest debris within 30 days of the completion of the harvest, or within 60 days of the cessation of active harvesting activity on the site, regardless of whether the harvest operation is complete.

(6) Notwithstanding the time limits established in ORS 527.745 (Reforestation of certain harvest types) (1)(a), when harvesting within a visually sensitive corridor results in a harvest type 1 or harvest type 3, reforestation shall be completed by the end of the first planting season after the completion of the harvest. All other provisions of ORS 527.745 (Reforestation of certain harvest types) shall also apply to harvest type 1 or harvest type 3 within visually sensitive corridors.

(7) Landowners and operators shall not be liable for injury or damage caused by trees left within the visually sensitive corridor for purposes of fulfilling the requirements of this section, when carried out in compliance with the provisions of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.

(8) The following are exempt from this section:

(a) Harvest on single ownerships less than five acres in size;

(b) Harvest within an urban growth boundary, as defined in ORS 195.060 (Definitions); and

(c) Harvest within zones designated for rural residential development pursuant to an exception adopted to the statewide land use planning goals under ORS 197.732 (Goal exceptions). [1991 c.919 §17; 1993 c.306 §1; 1995 s.s. c.3 §39e; 1996 c.9 §7; 1997 c.249 §179; 2007 c.383 §1]

Chapter 527

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of State Forester to enter private lands to administer Forest Practices Act, (1978) Vol 38, p 17

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 527—Pest Control; Forest Practices, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors527.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 527, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano527.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.