Oregon has weaker rules for protecting rivers, water, and human health from the impacts of private timberlands than any of its neighbors – California, Washington, and Idaho – all of which turn a profit in timber.
Pacific Rivers recognizes that timber production in Oregon should remain profitable and contribute to the state’s economy. However, Oregon needs comprehensive reform on private timberlands to protect river and stream health for people, fish, and wildlife.
Watch Behind the Emerald Curtain, our 30 minute film exposing the impacts of these outdated forestry laws.
We advocate for healthy rivers and streams in several ways:
Buffers of standing trees along streams keep water cool for fish, and filter out sediments and pollutants. Currently, most Oregon streams have no buffers, while the rest have inadequate buffers. We need adequate stream buffers, based on science, because when it comes to clean water, every stream matters.
Oregon allows aerial spraying of highly toxic herbicides, some of which are banned in other countries. Despite industry claims to the contrary, spray drifts into homes, schools, health clinics, and more. Oregon only notifies homeowners of upcoming aerial pesticide sprays if they pay a $25 fee.
Oregonians need common-sense rules to limit the most toxic chemicals, no-spray buffers around schools and other sensitive areas, and free public notice before pesticide spraying so human and river health are protected.
Staying off steep slopes.
Oregon allows virtually unrestricted logging and road building on steep slopes and/or unstable soils on privately owned timberlands. We need stricter rules to avoid landslides that put sediment into rivers and streams — bad for fish, other aquatic wildlife, and people’s drinking water.
Below is our short film, Every Stream Matters, on the need for wider buffers of standing trees along rivers and streams on Oregon’s private industrial timberlands:
How you can help:
Consider becoming a Pacific Rivers’ member today and help us modernize Oregon’s shameful logging practices.
Contact your representative: If you’d like to contact your state senator (Senate) or representative (House), but are unsure of who represents you, please look them up here: Find Your Oregon Legislator. Or take action using this form or by clicking on the “Take Action” button below.
Read More: Our work on Oregon’s Private Forests
by Hilary Shohoney— Pacific Rivers has long been a vocal advocate for comprehensive reform of the Oregon Forest Practices Act (OFPA), the rules that govern forestry on private forestlands. In 2015 we produced a 30-minute film on the topic that has reached thousands of Oregonians and generated a barrage of comments that were sent to … Continue reading Now is the time for Comprehensive Reform
February 28, 2017 — Salem, Ore. – Today, Representative Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) introduced HB 3226 to modernize Oregon’s Forest Practices Act (OFPA) in order to reverse decades of catastrophic damages to the State’s waters, fish, wildlife and soils from clearcutting and other industrial logging practices. The proposed legislation would make the OFPA consistent with best … Continue reading Landmark Bill Seeks Modernization of Oregon’s Forest Practices Act
Portland, Ore – In the wake of a shocking Oregon Public Broadcasting story revealing that a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) report was silenced by Big Timber and Oregon’s State Forester, conservation and citizen groups are calling on Governor Brown to provide the accountability and transparency promised when she took office. In a letter signed … Continue reading State Forester betrays public trust by ignoring sound science
By Kate Taylor and Nancy Webster — The water smells strangely like a swimming pool. Water pouring from the kitchen tap. Water we drink. Water we serve to our families, pets and friends. Water we bathe in. It all smells like chlorine. One of us (Kate) moved to Rockaway Beach, Oregon a few years ago … Continue reading Stand with Kate and Nancy to demand responsible logging
by Natalie Bennon, guest blogger — April 14, 2016 — in Water Currents — If you’ve ever been to Oregon, you probably think of us as a green state – a utopia filled with people who recycle, ride bicycles, and hike and fish in healthy forests filled with clear streams. But when it comes to … Continue reading Film Reveals Oregon’s Dirty Logging Secrets — National Geographic blog
Pacific Rivers wants to thank Spirit Mountain Community Fund for investing generously in Pacific Rivers’ work to make Oregon’s forests healthier, and water cleaner. Oregon has the most lax rules for protecting rivers, water, and human health from the impacts of private timberlands than any of its neighbors – California, Washington, and Idaho – all of … Continue reading Spirit Mountain invests in healthy forests, clean water