We are an ad hoc coalition of groups working together to educate policymakers and the public about the need for stronger stream protection rules on Oregon’s private forestlands. Our coordinator is Mary Scurlock, a longtime freshwater conservation advocate. Contact Mary
What does the Coalition want?
We want the state of Oregon to implement science-based forest practices regulations and support landowner programs for logging and associated activities on private forestlands that are adequate to meet water quality standards and to prevent impairment of native aquatic species recovery.
Our short-term policy objective for 2014 and 2015 was to push for the Oregon Board of Forestry to adopt new stream protection rules under the Oregon Forest Practices Act to prevent logging that warms streams. These rules should have been designed to meet the “Protecting Coldwater Criterion” of Oregon’s stream temperature standards. The Board of Forestry adopted new rules that went into effect July 1, 2017. Unfortunately, these rules are inadequate.
The most recent rulemaking process was focused only on private forestlands in Western Oregon.
Private forestlands are managed either by industrial private management or smaller family forestry operations.
OSPC advocated for the Board of Forestry riparian rule change to extend beyond only those streams that provide habitat for “salmon, steelhead and bull trout.” (SSBT streams). In watersheds where a Total Maximum Dailly Load allocation for stream temperature exists, OSPC argued that the load allocation and the stream reaches to which it applies must be included.
The following graphic illustrates that SSBT streams are only 25% of all the streams on private forestlands, most of which need stronger protection but won’t get it from this rule process.
For more information about the interplay between the cold water quality standard and existing TMDLs, read NEA’s letter to the EPA and NOAA, and its attached memo to the Oregon Department of Forestry. (See also OSPC member Northwest Environmental Advocates’ memo to the Oregon Department of Forestry).
Furthermore, addressing shade is just a first step toward fixing Oregon’s logging rules. Rules and landowner incentives also need to ensure streams aren’t harmed by sediment from roads and logging-associated landslides, and that forest managers are leaving enough trees to enable natural stream processes to create the kind of in-stream habitats native salmon and other aquatic species need to thrive.
- Learn why Federal Agencies disapproved Oregon’s coastal nonpoint source water pollution control program due to weaknesses in Oregon’s Forest Practices Rules and other issues: Oregon Coastal Nonpoint Program disapproved by EPA/NOAA
- In this memorandum, aquatic ecologist Chris Frissell refutes industry claims about the three “Paired Watershed Studies” in western Oregon, explaining that these studies do not provide sound reasons to delay or cease the current rule making process to improve stream buffers on small and medium fish-bearing streams. This report follows up and expands on Dr. Frissell’s presentation to the Board of Forestry at the June 23, 2014 Riparian Rules Workshop. Dr. Frissell’s report is titled, The Western Oregon Paired Watershed Studies: Initial Results, Limitations and Policy Implications
- Learn why Oregon believes its forestry rules are adequate to meet the Coastal Zone Management Act: Oregon Perspective on Logging Rules under Federal Coastal Zone Law
- Learn why conservation groups believe Oregon’s forestry rules are NOT adequate to meet the Coastal Zone Management Act:
- Northwest Environmental Advocates’ Comments on Oregon’s water pollution control in the coastal zone
- Expert Declaration by Chris Frissell on effects of logging on water quality finding Oregon’s forest practices rules on private lands are inadequate for temperature protection, large wood recruitment, erosion and sediment delivery.
- Paired Watershed/ BACI Research Studies: Cautionary Limits of Inference and Interpretation
- Many of the above documents discuss Oregon Forest Practices Rules before the July 2017 new rules, but continue to be relevant because the added protections of the 2017 rules were so minimal.