Forestry E-Newsletter – June 30, 2015

Be wildfire-aware when visiting the forest during the Fourth of July

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In this issue:

 Setting stream buffer sizes

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June 30, 2015

Even the humble sparkler burns at 1,200 degrees or higher — plenty hot enough to ignite forest vegetation. 

On a typical Fourth of July weekend in Oregon, the woods are fire-prone. 

This year the risk is especially high.


Ongoing drought, meager winter snowpack, and warmer-than-average temperatures have set the stage for any fire start to spread fast. An errant spark in the fuel-rich environment of a forest is all it takes.

Be careful with campfires, motorized vehicles and cigarettes – all common causes of wildfires.

And while we all associate fireworks with Independence Day, leave them at home when you travel to the forest. Even the humble sparkler burns at 1,200 degrees – enough heat to ignite grass, shrubs and trees in seconds. 

The Keep Oregon Green Association offers other practical fire safety tips to make your July 4 holiday safe and enjoyable. Please visit them online here.


Setting stream buffer sizes that keep streams cool

Streamside, or riparian, buffer rules ensure streams are shaded and provide a blueprint for where to leave trees during a timber harvest. The Board of Forestry continues working with all interests as they evaluate stream buffer sizes that keep streams cool, and balance environmental and economic outcomes.
The Board last revised these streamside buffer rules in the 1990s to further protect water quality, and included monitoring to ensure effectiveness.
In 2012, as part of an adaptive forest management approach, the Board began an analysis of streamside buffer rules based on Oregon Department of Forestry monitoring results for small and medium-sized streams where fish were. The research showed the rules fell short of the “protecting cold water” (PCW) standard. The standard means stream temperature should not rise more than one-half degree Fahrenheit because of human activity, where salmon, steelhead, and bull trout are present.
As the Board of Forestry considers revising the current rules, it also recognizes successes, including:
  • $100 million voluntarily invested to restore streams and salmon habitat through  Oregon’s Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.
  • Most stream water quality in forests rated as good or excellent.
  • Private forestlands provide some of the best Coho rearing habitat.
The Board will review options for revising the regulations at its July meeting and may begin drafting new rules for consideration this fall.


Oregon Community Trees:
promoting healthy urban forests


Cusick’s Checkermallow: This lovely hollyhock-like pink perennial rarely found outside its native Oregon is shown here growing in Canemah Bluff Natural Area, Oregon City.
Oregon Community Trees toured the above site recently just prior to their quarterly meeting, where they discussed promoting healthy urban forests through leadership, education and advocacy. Oregon Community Trees also hosts an annual 1-day conference with thought-provoking urban forestry topics and inspirational speakers. To learn more about Oregon Community Trees, visit their website.


Oregon Department of Forestry | 2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310