Oregon Board of Forestry Votes to Move Forward on Riparian Rulemaking

On September 3, 2014, the Oregon Board of Forestry unanimously voted to move forward with the riparian rule analysis needed for rules that would meet the  cold water criterion of Oregon’s stream temperature standard.  The Board of Forestry accepted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s recommendation to the Board of Forestry to accept the June 23, 2014 workshop summary and to proceed with the development of alternative management prescriptions. The final decision of the board was:

“The Board adopted the following pathway forward for the rule analysis process:

  1. The Board directed the department to continue with the current rule analysis, and in conjunction with the Regional Forest Practice Committees and stakeholders, to develop prescriptions for a new Riparian Protection Rule designed to meet the Protecting Cold Water (PCW) criterion to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP) and facilitate flexibility in harvest approaches through consideration of regulatory measures, voluntary approaches or a combination thereof, including:

    1. Variable retention;
    2. No-cut buffer rule alternatives; and
    3. Appropriate criteria for a Plan for Alternate Practice.

  2. The Board directed the department, in conjunction with the Regional Forest Practice Committees and stakeholders, to continue analysis of a) Geographic Regions in western Oregon to which the rule should apply, and b) to which stream segments (i.e., only those streams with salmon, steelhead, or bull trout present; the entire network of small and medium fish streams; or something in between) the rule should apply.
  3. The Board directed the department to develop preliminary economic and ecological information related to each prescription for the rule alternatives.
  4. The Board directed the department to work with the Board of Forestry/Environmental Quality Commission liaison process to communicate the Board’s concerns regarding the sensitivity of small and medium fish streams relative to the Protecting Cold Water (PCW) criterion and the potential impacts on forestland.  Work with the liaison process to help develop understanding, acceptance and support for the Board’s approach for addressing the PCW criterion.
  5. The Board directed the department to consider impacts of proposed prescriptions on large woody debris (LWD) recruitment.

The Board received the workshop summary (Attachment 1) as adequately documenting key points from presentations and associated discussions at the June 23, 2014 Riparian Rule Analysis Workshop.”

The Department of Forestry’s recommendation was part of the materials for the Board’s Sep. 3 board meeting.  View the full report. Read Mary Scurlock’s testimony to the Board of Forestry urging the Board to accept  the Department staff’s recommendation.

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