About the IRST

The Independent Research and Science Team (IRST) oversees the production of “best available science” (set by them per OAR 629-603-0400(4)) following the research agenda for informing policy decisions set by the Adaptive Management Program Committee (AMPC) and the Oregon Board of Forestry. Work under the research agenda will be primarily accomplished via open requests for proposals. The IRST has staff support from OSU’s Institute for Natural Resources, and will work in coordination with the rest of the Adaptive Management Program via Oregon Department of Forestry's Adaptive Management Program Coordinator. The rules defining the IRST are excerpted below. 

Forest Practices Act: Adaptive Management Program IRST

For the full rules about the Adaptive Management Program, go to Department of Forestry, Chapter 629, Division 603 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

(1) The purpose of the Independent Research and Science Team (IRST) is to complete work described in division 603 of OAR chapter 629 and section 38(8), chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022.

(2) The IRST shall develop its operating procedures through a charter approved by the IRST. The charter shall include:

(a) A values statement on the purpose of the IRST, including the need for ongoing good relationships;

(b) Ground rules for IRST member interactions;

(c) Measures to obtain research expertise or review from outside the IRST;

(d) Determination of what constitutes a substantial decision per section 38(9)(b), chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022;

(e) Process for selecting chairperson(s). The chairperson shall have the usual duties and powers of a presiding officer;

(f) Process for nominating new members to fill vacancies and add new disciplinary expertise pursuant to section 38(6), chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022;

(g) Role, expectations, and representation on subcommittees; and

(h) Measures to maintain and improve the long-term effectiveness of the IRST, including:

(A) Succession management procedures;

(B) Onboarding of new IRST members; and

(C) Regular review and updating of the IRST charter.

(3) An IRST member’s term may be renewed upon a two-thirds vote of the rest of the IRST and then ratification by the board. A two-thirds vote of the other IRST members, or a majority vote of the board, may remove an IRST member before the end of their term.

(4) The IRST shall develop standards for best available science for the adaptive management program that include:

(a) Types of sources of best available science;

(b) Process for determining what is best available science based on criteria set by the IRST, including an assessment of study quality and relevance;

(c) Testable hypotheses as a crucial element for successful research;

(d) A peer review process that is transparent and addresses both study designs and study reports. The IRST shall not grant anonymity to authors, handling editors, or peer-reviewers before January 1, 2028. After January 1, 2028, the IRST may modify the anonymity requirements to peer reviewers by a substantial decision of the IRST; and

(e) Other elements the IRST determines are necessary.

(5) The IRST may update the best available science standards developed pursuant to section (4) of this rule.

(6) The IRST shall conduct their meetings per the IRST charter, and all IRST meetings shall be conducted as public meetings consistent with Oregon Public Meetings Law. The IRST will provide for public testimony at meetings unless the chairperson determines that doing so would be detrimental to the conduct of the IRST’s business.

(7) The IRST may pursue scientific inquiry via various avenues, including:

(a) Literature review;

(b) Field monitoring;

(c) Original research;

(d) Commissioned studies; and,

(e) Other means of scientific inquiry.

Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 527.710 & Section 34(2), Chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022
Statutes/Other Implemented: Section 38(7), Chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022 & Section 34(1), Chapter 33, Oregon Laws 2022
DOF 4-2022, adopt filed 11/09/2022, effective 11/15/2022