Next Thursday, July 23, the Board of Forestry will make a final decision on western Oregon stream buffers in response to small temp. changes observed following timber harvest (0.7 degrees Celsius). Although these temperature changes are insignificant, short-lived, and lack scientific proof that they harm fish, federal agencies and environmentalists are pressing for no-cut buffers five times larger than currently required.
This will have significant impacts on people owning forested lands in western Oregon. As determined by the Department of Forestry, a 100 ft. no-cut buffer on all fish-bearing streams in western Oregon would have an immediate financial impact to landowners of over $700 million! Even a 70 ft. no-cut buffer on only those streams with salmon, steelhead, and bull trout would cost landowners in excess of $100 million.
It is crucial that Farm Bureau members speak out against unnecessary forested stream buffers. Even those who do not own forested lands should be concerned about this regulatory overreach! These rules will set a precedent for the state and have a ripple effect on ODA’s riparian protections on ag lands.
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