Oregon Board of Forestry clear cuts protections for salmon in the Tillamook

Last week, the Oregon Board of Forestry voted 5-2 to increase clearcutting on 600,000 acres in Tillamook and Clatsop state forests. The new plan lowers protections for older forest and increases the target for clear cutting. As a result, 50,000 acres of currently protected stands will be opened to clear cutting. Under the current plan, no more than 15% of the forest can be a recent clear cut. Under the new plan, up to 25% will be a recent clear cut.

North Fork Trask Logging

From OPB: Brian Pasko of the Sierra Club said, “We are disappointed by this decision – the Board of Forestry ignored overwhelming public comment against their plan to increase clearcutting and reduce protections for older forests and salmon streams. Of all days, you’d think on Earth Day they might try to align themselves with the majority of Oregonians who want more protection for our forests, but again and again this Board has shown it doesn’t reflect the mainstream.”

Bob Van Dyk of the Wild Salmon Center expressed concern about the scientific underpinnings of the plan changes. “State law requires the state forest plans to protect and restore fish habitat. The high levels of clear cutting allowed by this change need an independent scientific review before being implemented,” he said.

The effects on endangered species were also a concern. “Today’s decision to increase cutting on the Tillamook State Forest will harm water quality and place coho salmon, spotted owls and numerous other fish and wildlife species in jeopardy. These changes are not in the interest of Oregonians,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Some of the key salmon watersheds identified by Oregon Fish and Wildlife are predicted to have very high levels of clear cutting under the approved changes. An internal review by the Department of Forestry noted that under the new plan some watersheds would be at a “high risk” of changing watershed function due to extensive clear cutting, with potentially negative effects on salmon.

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8 Responses to Oregon Board of Forestry clear cuts protections for salmon in the Tillamook

  1. Rob R says:

    The public comment process is a complete farce, as this outcome so clearly proves. For those of us who took vacation days to attend meetings, and burned many hours on this fight, this is a slap in the face. Kitzhaber is our best hope. Let’s vote him in as our next Governor and get these a##holes booted off the board ASAP.

    What a joke.

  2. Anthony says:

    This is sooo upsetting. With all of the concern for global warming and interest in green living, it is disturbing to see how government, both local and nationally, fail to give credence to their claims of wanting to live sustainably.

    Along the same lines, I just watched Red Gold last night and the same issue is under debate; money or nature. Perhaps something is wrong with us and our delirious view wherein we strive to protect what little natural habitat which remains. One statement in the movie which is applicable here asks, ” What we have right now is our responsibility…to ensure that we don’t screw this up…so people aren’t looking at us in…50 years saying, “How did you let that happen?” It is sad to see all of the destruction that is occurring to nature all around us because of “democratic” decision. Sad is a tremendous understatement…it’s heartbreaking, really!

  3. Chris Deppa says:

    “It is the Mission of the Oregon Board of Forestry to… lead Oregon in implementing policies and programs that promote environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable management of Oregon´s 28 million acres of public and private forests.”

    Funny that environmentally sustainable management is the first thing listed in their mission statement. Blow political smoke much?

  4. Rick Allen says:


  5. God this really pisses me off. Absolutely infuriating.

  6. Rob R says:

    Yeah, the mission statement is pretty great. You can bet that will be changed, just as this same board is planning to redefine the legal definition of “greatest permanent value” such that clean water and wildlife are no longer a consideration.

    If you would like one or two individuals toward whom you can direct you furstrations, try these guys, and give ’em an earful:

    Marvin Brown, state forester, ODF – (503) 945-7211

    Tim Josi, Tillamook County Commissioner and spearhead for this action – (503) 377-2111

  7. Colin says:

    Is there any chance for appealing or suing ODF for their decision under state or federal laws?

  8. Rob R says:

    Not sure what the next move should be, Colin. We are very fortunate to have Bob Van Dyk at the Wild Salmon Center working on this. He and his team have the best grasp on the playing field and how best to move forward.

    My two cents: start stumping for Kitzhaber now. He is our best hope.

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