What is the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition

clean gravels on the Middle Fork Willamette River
clean gravels on the Middle Fork Willamette River

We are an ad hoc coalition of groups working together for stronger stream protection on Oregon’s private forestlands. Our coordinator is Mary Scurlock, an experienced freshwater conservation advocate.  Contact Mary

The Oregon Stream Protection Coalition is a collaborative project supported by funding from the Lazar Foundation, the Burning Foundation and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment (Columbia River Fund 2017).

We are currently updating our briefing documents with information about which government agencies are responsible for protecting water quality  in our rivers and streams from logging impacts and  how Oregon’s stream protection rules need to be improved.

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:

Additionally, 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.

The photos below illustrate how the landscape looks on private lands in Oregon after logging under the current forest practices rules.

 

 

 

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