Aquatic, riparian areas and wetlands are protected on state forests with a combination of site specific and landscape strategies. The biological and ecological objective of the strategies is to maintain or restore the key ecological functions of aquatic, riparian, and upland areas that directly influence freshwater habitat of aquatic species within the context of the natural disturbance regimes that created habitat for these species.
Site specific strategies are designed to maintain and restore aquatic-riparian functions while the landscape strategies address larger watershed scale functions. This blended approach seeks to emulate disturbance patterns in both upsiope and riparian areas.
Site Specific Management strategies
The following summary of Northwest Oregon, Southwest Oregon and Elliott State Forest aquatic and riparian strategies is provided recognizing that additional restrictions apply. For complete set of standards within forest management plans (FMP) follow the supplied links:
NW FMP Appendix J, Table i-i through J-2
SW FMP: Appendix C, Table C-i through C-2
Elliott FMP: Chapter 5, Table 5-2 through 5-3
Riparian management areas are established immediately adjacent to waterways to protect aquatic resources. Within these areas, special management considerations and operational restrictions apply. The width of riparian management areas varies by the type and classification of streams. These areas, which exist on both sides of a stream, are made up of four zones: Aquatic (stream), Stream bank (25 feet from edge of stream), Inner (100 feet from edge of stream), and Outer (160-170 feet from edge of stream). Similar restrictions apply to wetlands, lakes, and estuaries.
Applicable management standards for riparian areas are based on a stream classification system. Streams are classified as fish-bearing (Type F) or nonfish-bearing (Type N). They also are defined by size (small, medium and large). Type N streams are further classified as perennial and seasonal.
Landscape Management Strategies
Landscape strategies include managing thirty to fifty percent of the forest landscape for complex structure; applying best-management-practices when constructing, managing, and hauling on roads; and a risk-based approach to landslide processes.
Watershed Analysis is another landscape strategy and a key piece in determining current conditions of riparian and aquatic habitats and in guiding management to address limiting factors.
The Oregon Department of Forestry conducted watershed analysis projects in five watersheds containing large percentages of state forest land. These projects evaluated the interactions between management and a watershed’s physical and biological processes. Information provided by completed watershed analyses is used to inform district implementation plans. Completed watershed analysis reports and the watershed analysis manual are posted on the Watershed Analysis Projects
Habitat Restoration Approach
Forest Management Plans also establish a strategy for stream habitat restoration projects on State Forests. The overarching approach to stream habitat restoration can be summarized as:
- Eliminate human-induced conditions on the forest that may contribute to aquatic habitat deficiencies, or that may limit the timely recovery of desired aquatic habitat conditions.
- Promote aquatic habitat conditions that will support the short-term survival needs of depressed salmonids, in order to reduce the potential for further declines in these populations.
- Attain properly functioning aquatic habitat conditions in a timely manner.
- Encourage forest conditions that will support the ecological processes necessary to naturally create and maintain complex aquatic habitats on a self-sustaining basis.
Restoration will improve levels of aquatic function in the short term (to meet the immediate habitat needs of depressed species and place aquatic habitats on a trajectory toward desired conditions), while at the same time actions are carried out to restore the ecological processes and functions that create and maintain self-sustaining habitats over the long term.
Go to the forest management plans
area for a full discussion of aquatic and riparian management concepts, strategies, and standards.