Rivers & Land Management
The integrity of rivers depends on the ecological health of the entire surrounding landscape and, in turn, healthy rivers benefit the lands they drain. This relationship between land management activities and the health of rivers underlies all of PRC's work. Land management practices including forest road management, commercial timber harvest, forest thinning, and post-fire logging have impacts beyond just their local impacts in the uplands; these activities can alter the entire watershed and cause harmful downslope impacts to the ecological health of rivers.
Forest roads cause serious impacts to aquatic ecosystems. PRC's goal is to reduce these harmful effects. PRC's work involves advocating for increased funding for roads remediation, education efforts about the effects of roads, litigation to protect important road-related laws, policy advocacy to ensure effective implementation of road-related policies, and providing technical expertise on effective road remediation.
Pacific Rivers Council works to protect important regional federal forest plans that have been designed using the best available science, and that strive to recover aquatic ecosystems. Our primary efforts are focused on the Northwest Forest Plan, new legislation promoting large-scale thinning projects, and the Sierra Nevada Framework.
Pacific Rivers Council works for an ecologically sound approach to managing forest fires and their impacts, both before and after they occur, that also recognizes the need to protect the growing wildlands-urban interface. We focus on appropriate watershed restoration after fires and ensuring that efforts to manage forest fires do not create damaging aquatic impacts that will outweigh any ecological benefits of these efforts.
State and private forestlands in the Northwest encompass stream habitats essential for the recovery of endangered salmon, trout and other native aquatic species. As the number of federally protected species and degraded waters on these forestlands grows, it has become clear that many of the state policies governing logging on state and private forestlands are inconsistent with the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).