The council shall coordinate the development of comprehensive timber harvesting and forest management guidelines. The guidelines must address the water, air, soil, biotic, recreational, and aesthetic resources found in forest ecosystems by focusing on those impacts commonly associated with applying site-level forestry practices. The guidelines must reflect a range of practical and sound practices based on the best available scientific information, and be integrated to minimize conflicting recommendations while being easy to understand and implement. By June 30, 2003, the council shall review the guidelines and identify potential revisions. If deemed necessary, the council shall update the guidelines by June 30, 2005. Changes to the guidelines shall be peer reviewed prior to final adoption by the council. By December 1999, the council must undertake a peer review of the recommendations in the forest management guidelines adopted in December 1998 for protecting forest riparian areas and seasonal ponds.
Before the implementation of timber harvesting and forest management guidelines, new site-level practices and landscape-level programs, the council shall analyze the costs and benefits of new site-level practices and landscape-level programs. When the analysis concludes that new landscape-level programs and site-level practices will result in adverse economic effects, including decreased timber supply and negative effects on tourism, opportunities to offset those effects must be explored. The council shall also:
(1) identify and quantify forest and timberland acreages that will no longer be available for harvest; and
(2) encourage public resource agencies to provide sustainable, predictable supplies of high-quality forest resource benefits, including timber supplies that are consistent with their multiple mandates and diverse management objectives. These benefits should be provided by public resource agencies in proportion to their forest land's capability to do so.
In reviewing the guidelines, the council must consider information from forest resources, practices, compliance, and effectiveness monitoring programs of the department. The council's recommendations relating to revisions to the forest management guidelines must be subject to peer reviewers appointed by the council. The council must consider recommendations of peer reviewers prior to final adoption of revisions to the guidelines.
The timber harvesting and forest management guidelines are voluntary. Prior to their actual use, the council must develop guideline implementation goals for each major forest land ownership category. If the information developed as a result of forest resources, practices, compliance, and effectiveness monitoring programs conducted by the department or other information obtained by the council indicates the implementation goals for the guidelines are not being met and the council determines significant adverse impacts are occurring, the council shall recommend to the governor additional measures to address those impacts. The council must incorporate the recommendations as part of the council's biennial report required by section 89A.03, subdivision 6.
The commissioner, with program advice from the council, shall accelerate monitoring the extent and condition of riparian forests, the extent to which harvesting occurs within riparian management zones and seasonal ponds, and the use and effectiveness of timber harvesting and forest management guidelines applied in riparian management zones and seasonal ponds. This information shall, to the extent possible, be consistent with the monitoring programs identified in section 89A.07. Information gathered on riparian forests and timber harvesting in riparian management zones and seasonal ponds as specified in this subdivision shall be presented to the legislature by February 2001 and in subsequent reports required in section 89A.03, subdivision 6.