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).
Learn about an ongoing campaign at forestwaters.org to to bring protections for rivers and streams in our forests up to the level needed to safeguard clean water and forest communities
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 initial policy objectives were 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 new rules still allow logging too close to salmon streams to reliably prevent warming.
- The new rules will only apply to part of Western Oregon.
- The new rules will only apply, at most, a small distance upstream of salmon, steelhead and bull trout reaches. (SSBT streams are only 25% of all the streams on private forestlands)
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.