North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection is requesting an extended comment period regarding the proposed Olympic Line clearcut. That land, owned by Stimson Lumber, directly abuts Jetty Creek. (See FERNS-NOAP Olympic Line, #2020-511-12574; Stimson Lumber Company.). The notice of this proposed cut was issued on November 20, and only allows fifteen calendar days (not business days) before the work may proceed on December 5. In fact, the fifteen day time period is effectively shortened by the Thanksgiving Day holiday, making the time available even more inadequate. This simply is not enough time for public notice and consideration of this cut which is very likely to have adverse effects on the primary source of drinking water for the City of Rockaway Beach, Jetty Creek.
We are concerned, because a large part of the 55 acres that is intended to be cut is so close to the main stream of Jetty Creek. While this may be legally allowable under the outdated and inadequate Oregon Forest Practices Act, we believe that because this area slopes so steeply towards the creek, additional sediment introduced into the creek will adversely affect the water that Rockaway Beach depends on. The Jetty Creek watershed is fragile. Further logging and subsequent pesticide spraying has a high probability of creating public health risks for the citizens of Rockaway Beach by jeopardizing its water quality and quantity. The extensive clearcuts that already exist in the watershed create low stream flows in the summer (when more water is needed) and high stream flows in the winter. In recent years, millions of dollars have been spent in this community to upgrade the water filtration plant and for salmon restoration. Additional clearcutting may jeopardize that work.
Since Jetty Creek is listed as supporting a threatened coho run and a wild steelhead run, any adverse effect on water quality is especially significant. There is known to be a high correlation between clearcutting on high-angle slopes, landslides, and erosion that affects salmon runs. Logging so close to a stream can increase water turbidity and temperature, both of which are detrimental to salmon runs. Olympic Line is one of the last areas along the creek that has larger trees, since the rest of the Jetty Creek watershed has already been extensively clearcut going back to about 2003.
If Olympic Line is clearcut, there will be very few trees remaining in the watershed that are older than 20 years (most of them are far younger). Also, that area is highly susceptible to landslides. In fact, there is already evidence of earth movement, since a large fissure presently exists within that area.
In summary, the area proposed to be clearcut, Olympic Line, is the most beautiful woods left in the Jetty Creek watershed.....an island of second-growth trees that have old growth characteristics with a healthy understory, all of which stands out in an area dominated by tree plantations. Compared to the other areas of the watershed that have already been cut, this area has much more biodiversity, This small island of biodiversity needs to be left so it can be a source for natural forest organisms that can help heal the surrounding clearcuts.
For all the reasons stated above, we appeal to the Oregon Department of Forestry to extend the time for public comment on this proposed cut. Fifteen calendar days is not enough time. And finally, we appeal to Andrew Miller, CEO of Stimson Lumber, to not clearcut one of the few remaining vestiges of forest in the Jetty Creek watershed upon which the citizens of the City of Rockaway Beach depend. Too much damage has already been done to the Jetty Creek watershed. For the future, let's all do what would be best for the drinking water and the fish.
How to Comment:
Oregon Department of Forestry:
Comments can be sent directly to Bryce Rodgers (ODF): email@example.com
Title your email as: "Please Post Comment to FERNS Olympic Line NOAP ID: 2020-511-12574".
Bryce will upload your comments directly to the FERNS page.
Submit comments directly to: Olympic Line NOAP (Must be signed up and logged in)
Additional: General Contact Form
Oregon Board of Forestry: General Contact Form
Stimson Lumber Company: Brent Long: firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-503-842-4004
Governor's Office: Governor Kate Brown: General Contact Form, 1-503-378-4582
Natural Resource Policy Director: Jason Miner email@example.com 1-503-986-6535
City of Rockaway Beach:
City Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-503-374-1752
Luke Shepard, City Manager: Lukeshepard@corb.us
Becca Harth, Office Manager: email@example.com
Tillamook County Commissioners:
Bill Baertlein, Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Faith Bell, Vice-Chair: email@example.com
Rachel Hagerty, Chief of Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Egan, Executive Assistant: email@example.com
If this additional logging by Stimson Lumber at Jetty Creek is allowed to proceed, it will demonstrate the imperative for revising the Oregon Forest Practices Act and related regulations.
Nancy Webster, Representing North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection