We have Salmon-Safe wine. Salmon-Safe beer. Salmon-Safe buildings. Salmon-Safe campuses.
What about a Salmon-Safe forest?
When we consider how to protect healthy rivers and clean water in Oregon, we have to do more than just strengthen the laws for logging Oregon’s private forests. That’s the stick.
What about the carrot? What if we could make it not only required to treat our air and water better, but actually attractive to business?
At Pacific Rivers, we are working to not only change the laws, but also to incentivize good practices so that the forest products industry can remain robust in Oregon and continue to contribute to the economy – but fairly and in ways that reflect the value of clean water and healthy forests.
Pacific Northwest forests are one of the Earth’s most significant carbon sinks. There is value in this.
Our forests provide clean air. There is value in this.
Our forests filter and store clean water for drinking, and for fish and wildlife. There is value in this.
While there is value in all of these things, forestland owners do not get paid for carbon storage, clean air, or clean water. They get paid for sawlogs.
What if we paid them for carbon storage, clean air, and clean water? What if they could still harvest timber, and still allow the forests to store carbon and provide clean air and water?
Pacific Rivers is working to secure funding for a new project that will do just that.
Salmon-Safe is a non-profit started by Pacific Rivers that develops certification standards for farms and more to tell consumers these products were grown in a way that did not harm salmon. Currently, we are exploring how to create a Salmon-Safe forest certification to help timber companies get paid for more than just sawlogs. We can incentivize clean air, clean water, and carbon storage.
The project is in its infancy. But Pacific Rivers is committed to figuring out how to change the culture of forestlands management in Oregon and beyond.
Photo courtesy of Salmon-Safe.