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Commentary

Letter: I encourage everyone to weigh in on HCP to protect fish and wildlife

In this Headlight Herald / Gazette article it says, “Fish are forest products too.” That’s because wild fish are the backbone of an $80 million a year sport fishery on Oregon’s North Coast. 

But, the article got it wrong when it stated the proposed Western Oregon State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan would “limit timber harvest dramatically.” According to the economic analysis in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the HCP, timber harvest and revenues would decline more if the current approach to logging played out over the next 70 years. In other words, there is more risk to timber harvest, jobs, and county revenue by trying to maintain the status quo on state forests than under the HCP alternatives. 

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Commentary

Letter: Yamamoto’s view on HCP off-base

As a Tillamook County taxpayer and professional fishing guide, I find Commissioner Yamamoto’s opinion piece to be off-base regarding the Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

Hundreds of fishing guides and outfitters depend on wild fish runs that originate in the six world-class wild salmon and steelhead rivers here—the Trask, Wilson, Kilchis, Miami, Nehalem, and Salmonberry. These salmon strongholds contribute to a growing $550 million outdoor recreation economy on the North Coast.

But, for the first time in my 26-year guiding history, Tillamook Bay is closed to fishing for wild fall Chinook. This follows other restrictions and closures for cutthroat trout, spring Chinook, Coho, chum, and steelhead.

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Commentary

Readers respond: Protect the Tillamook State Forest

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest and becoming truly immersed in the outdoors, my relationship with the natural world has never run deeper. One of the places that has become home to me is in the Tillamook State Forest along the banks of the Wilson River. The beauty around every corner never gets old and makes one want to keep exploring.

My relationship with my food has also become extremely important after I moved out West and learned about the abundance of wild delicacies. The entire process of researching the resource, putting in the effort to harvest, processing and providing food for myself, family and friends brings a joy that’s hard to describe. It sets off primal reward systems that I didn’t know existed and has caused a sort of paradigm shift in how I view the natural world.

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Commentary

Guest Column: Let’s give fish a better future

I grew up fishing in Oregon. Too young to fish in the ocean, I was mesmerized by the salmon my dad and grandpa caught fishing out of Astoria. I knew salmon fishing was in my future, but at the time, didn’t know how far this passion would take me.

My early days of fishing set me on a course to provide this experience to others. I’ve been working as a professional fishing guide for 31 years.

I’ve seen good years and bad with the available catch of salmon and steelhead. These wild fish are the lifeblood of an $80 million a year sport fishery on the North Coast. Depressed wild populations of coho, Chinook, steelhead and chum salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout, have eroded away the incredible transfer of wealth from urban communities, for prospective anglers who come to fish on the coast and the rural communities who benefit from that economic activity. Degraded habitat is at the very center of less abundance in fish populations and economic opportunity.

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Commentary

Letter: Support rainforest conservation plan

I’ve lived on the North Coast for 33 years. As the owner of NW Women’s Surf Camps and Retreats, I have the pleasure of teaching people to catch their first wave along the Oregon Coast, looking from the ocean onto the beauty of our beaches and forests.

As a business owner, I understand that it is the health and beauty of the forests, rivers, estuaries, ocean, and wildlife that draws people here to spend their income and time in our restaurants, retail shops, hotels and on the water. That’s why I support a strong conservation plan for the Tillamook Rainforest.

The Tillamook Rainforest stretches across more than 500,000 acres of state public forest lands between the North Coast and Portland. It supports wildlife, sequesters carbon, filters water for 500,000 Oregonians, and provides recreation like hiking, mountain biking, summer swimming, mushroom gathering, hunting, and fishing. These activities, the cool moist air, and the sense of beauty people experience beneath the forest canopy are not just unique experiences for many, but a unique economic asset.

The Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan would protect habitat for 17 threatened and endangered species on the North Coast like the coho salmon, marbled murrelet, and slender salamander. The plan would also provide assurances for timber production outside dedicated conservation areas. This plan is fair and balanced.

We have the opportunity to weigh in on a Tillamook conservation plan by June 1, and I encourage you to do so today at forestlegacy.org.

Lexie Hallahan, Owner

Source: Seaside Signal

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