Thursday, May 16, 2013

Woody Debris Bill - on it's way!

Mabel Creek Oregon       TU Restoration Photo
HB 2396 – Large Woody Debris: PASSED a vote on the Senate floor on Monday by a 22-7 vote. May 15 it is up for a concurrence vote (on Senate amendments) on the House floor. If it passes there it is all done except for the signing by the Governor. So if you hear a story in the news today about an excited red-headed spectator in the House Gallery during the vote on HB 2396, you know who that will be [and if you can’t figure that out or have never met Tom – that would be our man in Salem! THANKS TOM!!]. 

It is not a perfect bill but it does give some good protection to large woody debris in streams. It is one of Trout Unlimited's major priorities this session. TU Oregon [especially Tom] wish to give a special thanks to Rep. Brad Witt, the major sponsor of this bill, whose hard work and leadership made this possible. Also special recognition to Rep. Debby Boone, who has been a champion of this concept for many years plus Senator Jacky Dingfelder and Senator Alan Olsen, who lead the efforts to move the bill in the Senate. Also thanks to Rich Angstrom, lobbyist for OCAPA, who represents the gravel industry; Rich’s efforts help made this bill possible.
TU, working with others, has tried to pass a bill like this for over 12 years. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, it finally happened. This is a great bill for wild fish habitat. I am trying to get a special signing ceremony with the Governor - we will let you know if that happens