GROUPS ASK COURT TO END CLEAR-CUTS ABOVE STREAMS WITH COHO SALMON

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Sat Jun 1 14:18:48 EST 2002


>From The Oregonian, May 31, 2002, p E5 (Metro)

GROUPS ASK COURT TO END CLEAR-CUTS ABOVE STREAMS WITH COHO SALMON
Conservationists seek a federal injurnction against the practice on
industrial forest land in Oregon

By JONATHAN BRINCKMAN, The Oregonian
	Five conservation groups Thursday sought a court injunction against
all clear-cut logging on steep slopes above coho-bearing streams on
industrial forest land in Oregon.
	The motion comes as part of a federal lawsuit filed by the
conservation groups in February.
	The groups said that Oregon logging rules, which regulate logging on
state and private land, violate the federal Endangered Species Act.
	The lawsuit claims the state Forest Practices Act does not adequately
protect Oregon coastal coho, which are listed as threatened under the
federal law.
	The injunction, if granted, would stop 5 percent to 15 percent of all
industrial logging in the state, conservationists say.
	"There is an uncontested body of evidence that clear-cutting on
landslide prone slopes is a serious problem for coho salmon," said
Mary Scurlock of the Pacific Rivers Council, one of the conservation
groups. "Unfortunately, this lawsuit was the only way to get the
Department of Forestry's attention on this matter."
	Patti Goldman, an attorney with the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund,
which represents the conservation groups, called landslides from
clear-cut slopes into coho streams "a serious problem."
	Oregon law already prohibits clear-cut logging on steep slopes above
roads and homes, where a landslide would threaten public safety.
	That law was passed in 1999, three years after four people were
killed by landslides off clear-cut slopes.
	Oregon Department of Forestry officials say they are allowed to
prohibit logging to protect public safety, not streams. Besides, said
Ted Lorensen, an assistant state forester, landslides may benefit
salmon in the long term by putting logs and gravel in streams.
	"It's easy to say, ‘Stop landslides because they're bad,' but we know
that's not always the case," Lorensen said.
	The forestry department and a group that represents the forest
industry, the Oregon Forest Industries Council, each filed a motion
last week asking for the suit to be dismissed. Oral arguments on the
motion for an injunction and the motions to dismiss are scheduled for
Oct. 17.

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com




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