Spirit Mountain invests in healthy forests, clean water

Spirit Mountain invests in healthy forests, clean water

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 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.

Pacific Rivers, with help from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, is advocating for healthy rivers and clean water in several ways:

Creating buffers — 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.

Reducing Pesticides — 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.

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