Oregon Considers New Proposals For Limiting Logging Near Streams

September 26, 2015, AP

This AP story  is available on the OPB website.

Coho salmon. Rick Swart/Oregon Deparment of Fish and Wildlife

A subcommittee of the Oregon Board of Forestry has identified two proposals for new state logging rules to keep streams in western Oregon cool enough for salmon.

One proposal increases no-cut buffer zones to 90 feet. The other offers approaches such as thinning or staggering harvests. Currently, trees must not be cut within 20 feet from streams.

Conservation and fishing groups say neither proposal is sufficient. They say no-cut buffers should be 100-foot deep.

Removing too many trees leads streams to warm up, which can harm fish. Logging near streams also eliminates downed logs, which help create deep pools for salmon to escape predators and hide from the heat.

Logging operators say increasing buffers would impact their business. The Board of Forestry will consider the proposals on Nov. 5.