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Oregon Considers Wider Stream Buffers For Logging

Private land logged in Coos County. Note the trees left along the stream.

Nina Bell and Christopher Frissell make the case for enhanced stream protection.

Jim James explains the landowner position on stream buffers.

The basic science is deceptively simple: streams with trees around them tend to be cooler because of the shade.

Streams with no trees warm up and become less hospitable to fish.

But getting people to agree on where to leave trees, and how many, takes a lot of work.

The Oregon Department of Forestry monitors logging on private lands in Oregon, and ODF is under pressure to change its rules on stream protection.

Staff is expected to make recommendation of some kind to the Board of Forestry this summer. Our interviews begin with Peter Daugherty, who runs the Private Forests Division at ODF.

After our chat on procedures, members of the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition check in with the case for expanded logging buffer zones around streams.

They are followed by Jim James at the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, making the case for leaving the stream buffer standards just as they are today. 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.