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Oregon forestry board may increase tree buffers along salmon streams, first time since 1994

By Jeff Barnard
Associated Press

The board votes soon on taking the next step in developing rules governing how many trees must be left standing along streams to keep the water shaded and cool enough for salmon to survive.

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Oregon's state Board of Forestry is working on balancing a healthy timber industry with healthy salmon runs.

On Wednesday, the board votes on taking the next step in developing rules governing how many trees must be left standing along streams to keep the water shaded and cool enough for salmon to survive.

It would be the first change to the riparian protections of the Oregon Forest Practices Act since 1994.

The question was raised by a 2011 study that found temperatures were getting warmer in salmon streams on state-regulated timberlands in the Coast Range.

The Department of Forestry is recommending the board go forward with analyzing the different logging prescriptions that would be needed to meet the cool water protection standards for small- and medium-sized streams with salmon, steelhead and bull trout, and their economic impact.

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