Protecting Streams in eastern Oregon
Logging next to streams can harm water quality and wildlife habitat. Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project is committed to upholding beneficial environmental protections for streams and Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas (RHCAs), and ensuring that commercial logging in RHCAs does not gain a foothold on public lands in eastern Oregon. Unfortunately, many ecological protections are now under attack, and the USFS is currently proposing to log in streamside corridors within Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas (RHCAs) in numerous timber sales. Such proposals are now commonly included in many of the large timber sales on public lands in eastern Oregon. Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project staff and volunteers have spent hundreds of hours on the ground, field surveying the proposed logging projects within streamside RHCAs. We use the information we collected to challenge ecologically destructive proposals.
We are opposed to commercial logging in RHCAs because of the well-documented and inherent degradation of water quality and riparian habitats, and the negative effects associated with the removal of larger, commercial-sized trees. We are opposed to the USFS incentivizing logging in these ecologically sensitive and complex areas. We also have serious concerns about ecologically inappropriate non-commercial as well as commercial logging, particularly when it exacerbates water quality degradation; increases road-related impacts such as fragmentation; logs large trees; occurs in mixed-conifer forests; causes a loss of mature forests or connectivity; degrades wildlife habitat; or threatens ecological integrity.