The Oregon Board of Forestry decided this week that the state should strengthen logging rules to protect streams on private land. That may mean leaving more trees uncut to shade waterways.
The Oregon Forest Practices Act tells logging companies how many trees to leave along streams. But a recent study found the water temperatures in some Coast Range streams rose by 1-point-3 degrees Fahrenheit even when logging companies followed the rules.
Oregon Forestry Board Chairman John Blackwell says the study provided enough evidence for five of the seven state forestry board members to vote for tighter regulations on Wednesday.
“What we did at the Oregon Board of Forestry meeting cut was look at those numbers, look at that research and say ‘We the board of forestry feel it’s necessary to begin a process of adapting the Forest Practices Act to preclude, to the extent possible, those kinds of increases in water temperature following a logging operation on a forest sites,’” he said.
Two board members who voted no said they agree with the science in the study. But they say it’s too early to start changing the rules while other studies are still underway.
(This was first reported for opbnews.org.)
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