The Oregon Department of State Lands is seeking comment on an update to the state’s essential salmonid habitat map – which identifies areas where activities like adding riprap, building docks or installing culverts usually require a removal-fill permit.
Created with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife data, the map identifies streams where sensitive, threatened, or endangered fish species – including Chinook salmon and steelhead trout – lay eggs and where young fish grow. Oregon law has greater protections for this important habitat. A DSL removal-fill permit is likely required to remove or add any materials in mapped essential salmonid habitat areas.
The updated map adds 1,700 stream miles – about 8 percent more than the existing map – for a statewide total of about 22,300 stream miles of essential salmonid habitat.
The map was last updated in 2015. DSL is also proposing to update the map more regularly, using the most current ODFW data.
“Having a map that shows current, accurate data helps Oregon protect waters that are critical for salmon species to thrive,” says DSL Director Vicki Walker.
With the guidance of a rule advisory committee, DSL developed the proposed process for map updates, which would occur as often as yearly and include a public review and comment period. Ongoing engagement with Oregon Tribes and efforts to increase awareness of essential salmonid habitat are also proposed.
Review the updated map, the draft rule outlining the process for future map updates, and other information about proposed changes on the DSL website.
DSL has also created a new email list to share essential salmonid habitat map updates and information. Join the email list.
Public Meetings Set for Feb. 16 and 17
Public meetings will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. DSL will provide an overview of essential salmonid habitat, then take comment in a public hearing. Meeting links and call-in information are on the DSL website. If no participants join in the first 15 minutes, DSL will end the meeting.
Comment may also be submitted by online form, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to DSL at 775 Summer Street NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301.
The comment deadline is Thursday, March 4, at 5 p.m.