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Oregon Forestry Board Postpones Action On Streamside Logging Limits

July 23, 2015

The Oregon Forestry Board delayed a decision Thursday on logging restrictions to keep water cool for endangered salmon.  
At issue is how many trees should be left standing to provide shade along fish-bearing streams. Cold water is essential for many Northwest fish. When too many trees are cut, direct sun causes water temperatures to rise.

Oregon water quality standards say there should be no human-caused increase in stream temperatures more than about a half degree Fahrenheit. But under Oregon Forest Practices Act rules for private forests, an analysis shows there’s a 40-percent probability stream temperatures will rise beyond that standard.
Instead of approving more stringent rules, the Oregon Forestry Board decided to form a subcommittee to further examine possible changes. The board plans to consider the issue again this fall.
Oregon has less stringent streamside buffer rules than those in neighboring states. Federal regulators have said they would start withholding funds until Oregon strengthened those rules.

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The Bull Run River stream flows are below normal this year, as is the case for most streams across the Northwest.

Cassandra Profita