Register-Guard Article: Forestry board member wants to expand Oregon’s streamside no-logging buffers

MEDFORD — A member of the Oregon Board of Forestry is pushing for the extension of streamside no-logging buffers in the state’s Jackson and Josephine counties.

The buffers would be similar to those already proposed for the rest of Western Oregon and are meant to keep salmon streams cool, the Mail Tribune reported .

Forestry board member Cindy Deacon Williams of Medford tried to get the Siskiyou Region added to the proposals last year, but it was voted down because data from the region weren’t included in the report used to support buffer expansion. Williams, who is a consulting fisheries biologist, said she will ask to have existing data mined and hopes the issue will be addressed in the coming year.

Many streams in the Rogue River Basin are already considered too warm for salmon.

“I’m hopeful in the coming year that it will be addressed,” Williams said. “Frankly, I think it probably is something we ought also to look at for Eastern Oregon.”

Stacey Detwiler, the conservation director for Ashland-based group Rogue Riverkeeper, said she wants to see the region addressed by the forestry department in the next year. Detwiler said she believes the Siskiyou Region, which remains under older 40-foot buffer rules, should never have been exempt from the expansions.

The Department of Forestry will discuss where to look next in its ongoing buffer discussions on Nov. 2, according to Lena Tucker, interim division chief for the department’s private forest program.

 State foresters are also holding eight open houses and public hearings throughout November and December to gather feedback on the proposed rules for Western Oregon. The first meeting is on Nov. 9.