Forest Practices Rules Adopted to Help Save Salmon

“Jennifer M. Belcher, Commissioner of Public Lands,has announced the start of new emergency forest practices rules aimed at better protecting Washington water quality, salmon and other endangered fish from forest practices such as logging and road building. The emergency rules were drawn from the recommendations of the Forests and Fish Report, a 1999 report developed over a two-year period by representatives of federal, state and local governments, landowners and most of Washington’s tribes. The rules were adopted by the Washington Forest Practices Board in January in response to the current federal listing of more than a dozen Washington salmon or trout runs as threatened or endangered, and to meet the requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. The new emergency rules detail: – How Washington’s streams are typed, based on the presumed presence or absence of fish. – How to better protect functions associated with Washington’s streamside habitats, also called riparian areas. – How forest operations on potentially unstable slopes affect fish habitat and water quality. – How current road design, location, construction and maintenance rules can be updated to enhance water quality and better protect fish habitat. – Other rules relate to watershed analysis, adaptive management, pesticides, multi-year forest practices permits and enforcement of Washington’s forest practices rules.Free copies of the rules are available from DNR offices in Castle Rock, Chehalis, Colville, Enumclaw, Ellensburg, Forks, Olympia and Sedro Woolley. For more information, phone 1-800-527-3305. The rules also may be viewed on DNR’s web site at: Forest Practices Board is an independent state agencyThe Washington Forest Practices Board is an independent state agency established in 1974 by the Legislature under the state Forest Practices Act, and is supported by DNR. By law, the board is charged with adopting rules to protect the state’s public resources while maintaining a viable timber industry.”