HB 2656 control of watershed areas

HB 2656 VOTE: NO
In Committee
Public Hearing 03/12/2019 7:00am HR D
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2656?pubDate=2019-03-07-11-32
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Committees/HEE/Overview

Send testimony to: hee.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov

Published on http://www.tracktheirvote.org

This bill allows total government control over watershed areas, requires a written plan for forest operations on forestland that supplies drinking water for one or more public water systems.

Limited Government
Overreach of government leading to complete closure of lands under Agenda 21. Establishes “Best practices” without proven results. Limits State Board of Forestry from implementing proven best practices, allowing exemptions for ‘ecological restoration,’ ‘carbon storage’ and ‘climate resiliency.’ Deliberately limits the application of established best forestry management practices for activities on forestland that supplies drinking water. Bans certain forest practices including: clear cuts, construction of a new logging road, and application of pesticides and fertilizers. Implementing ecological restoration and improving long-term carbon storage lacks scientific support.

Local Control
Restricts rural logging and forest management activities that is vital to the economy. Restrictions on sensitive water sheds are already in place.

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Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Legislators need to hear from you!

HB 2656 decimates the ability of private landowners to actively manage Oregon’s working forests. Private forests are currently managed under a suite of state and federal regulations protective of water quality. Maintaining the productive use of private forests is critical to the economic and social stability of many Oregon counties and communities.

  • HB 2656 supplants the Oregon Forest Practices Act, making Oregon more restrictive than California. California is experiencing the worst fire conditions in state history and is currently looking for ways to increase harvest levels to decrease fire risk and protect communities. Would also prohibit building of forest roads needed to combat fires.
  • HB 2656 shuts down working private forests, which sustainably produces 78 percent of Oregon’s timber harvest, supports over 100 manufacturers and employs more than 60,000 Oregonians in rural counties and communities across the state.
  • HB 2656 forces private management practices to mimic those on federal forests, where overstocked, diseased and inaccessible landscapes have generated 80 percent of acres lost to fire over the past decade. Carbon emissions from wildfire smoke emit millions of metric tons of air pollution, are costly to rural economies, and negatively impact Oregonians’ health.
  • HB 2656 removes Oregon from its position as the number one softwood lumber and plywood producer in the country, shuttering the United States’ primary source of renewable, carbon friendly building products, to be replaced by other producers of alternative products in other states and countries.
  • HB 2656 provides almost unchecked opportunity for non-native, invasive weeds such as Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry and Japanese knotweed to flourish, choking young trees, forest roads and riparian areas, impacting fire protection and wildlife habitat.
  • HB 2656 increases the cost of managing forest landscapes, encouraging forestland conversion to other land uses.

Please consider attending the hearing and/or sending a message to the Committee.


Bill sponsor  acknowledged that HB 2656 may seem “drastic” and said she hoped the proposal would start a conversation about the “right solution” for protecting watersheds.


  1. What strikes me is the first word in this is “control.” How arrogant of the sponsors to sit in Salem and dream up these monstrosities. I am a small woodland owner and am appalled that they would think to emulate the poor practices of Ca toward their forests. Forests are a living organism/system from the crown of the trees to the microorganisms in the soil. Unless we steward it this way we too can have more yearly fire conflagrations her in Oregon. Urban folks just do NOT get it…

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