(1) Within areas of large, blocked ownership, the department shall manage for a desired future condition that can be characterized by the proportion and distribution of forest types and structures historically present on the landscape.

(2) A typical analysis unit shall be the administrative unit wherein the department shall focus on maintaining or restoring a range of the forest conditions that would have naturally been present given topographic, edaphic, and climatic characteristics of the area, and considering fiduciary and other obligations.

(a) Among the forest conditions the department shall typically consider are:

(i) successional stage;

(ii) species composition;

(iii) stand structure;

(iv) patch size and shape;

(v) habitat connectivity and fragmentation;

(vi) disturbance regime;

(vii) old-growth distribution and attribute levels; and

(viii) habitat type.

(3) The department shall design timber harvests to promote long-term, landscape-level diversity through an appropriate representation of forest conditions across the landscape as described in ARM 36.11.404.  Where state ownership contains forest conditions made rare on adjacent lands by the management activities of others, the department may not necessarily maintain those conditions in amounts sufficient to compensate for their loss when assessed over the broader landscape, except as it coincides with other agency objectives.

(a) However, if state ownership contains rare or unique habitat elements, as previously defined in ARM 36.11.403 occurring naturally, the department shall manage so as to retain those elements, to the extent it is consistent with fiduciary duties owed to the beneficiary.

History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.