Rogue Riverkeeper, an OSPC member and an organization that seeks to protect and restore water quality and fish populations in the Rogue River Basin and adjacent coastal watersheds, recently sent out an alert to encourage public input on Oregon Department of Forestry’s current riparian rulemaking process.
The alert is available on their website and posted here:
Streamside Trees Needed for Clean Water and Salmon
Protecting trees in streamside forests is incredibly important. Healthy riparian forests keep water cool, filter polluted runoff from roads and logging areas, and provide valuable wildlife habitat. Streamside forests are critical to aquatic ecosystems, and make the clean water we all depend on possible. Your help is needed now to protect them!
Right now Oregon’s rules fail to adequately protect our streams and riparian forests from logging operations and don’t meet the minimum standards necessary to avoid harm to imperiled salmon. Most streamside forests may be clearcut as close as 20 feet from streams that harbor fish, and forests along our smallest streams may be completely removed. These practices cannot continue if Oregon wants to reach its goals for healthy streams and fisheries.
Because our riparian protection rules are so poor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently denied approval of Oregon’s program to protect important coastal watersheds from impacts to water quality, and the state has lost millions in funding as a result. (OSPC note: Oregon may lose funding but has not yet).
Oregon now has a clear opportunity to protect our waterways and satisfy federal requirements. The Oregon Department of Forestry is currently considering new stream buffer rules for streams that could meet some key state and federal requirements, so now is the perfect time to make sure your voice is heard!