Oregon Department of Forestry

Rule Rule 629-635-0200
Water Classification


(1)

The purpose of this water classification system is to match the physical characteristics and beneficial uses of a water body to a set of appropriate protection measures.

(2)

For the purposes of applying appropriate protection measures, the State Forester shall classify waters of the state as streams, wetlands, or lakes.

(3)

The State Forester shall further classify streams according to their beneficial uses and size.

(4)

The State Forester shall classify streams into one of the following four beneficial use categories:

(a)

Type F;

(b)

Type SSBT;

(c)

Type D;

(d)

Type N.

(5)

For purposes of classification, a stream is considered to have domestic water use only if a water use permit has been issued by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

(6)

A channel is considered to have domestic water use upstream of an intake for the distances indicated below:

(a)

For domestic water use that is a community water system (as defined under OAR 333-061-0020 (Definitions)), Type D classification shall initially apply to the length of stream that was designated as Class I under the classification system that was in effect on April 22, 1994, which is that shown on district water classification maps at the time of adoption of this rule.

(b)

For domestic water use that is not a community water system, Type D classification shall be initially applied for the shortest of the following distances:

(A)

The distance upstream of the intake to the farthest upstream point of summer surface flow;

(B)

Half the distance from the intake to the drainage boundary; or

(C)

3000 feet upstream of the intake.

(c)

Type D classification shall apply to tributaries off the main channel as long as the conditions of subsections (6)(a) and (b) of this rule apply.
(7)(a) A representative of a community water system or other domestic use water permit holder may request that the State Forester designate additional lengths of channels upstream of a domestic water intake or reservoir as Type D. The representative or permit holder must present evidence that the additional stream protection is needed. The State Forester will decide whether or not to extend Type D classification to these other channels based on evidence presented by the requesting party showing that protection measures associated with Type N classification would be insufficient to prevent adverse detrimental temperature increases, turbidity increases, or other adverse water quality changes at the domestic water use intake or reservoir.

(b)

The process and criteria described in subsection (7)(a), and the criteria under section (6) of this rule will be used to evaluate the extent of Type D classification for new community water systems.

(c)

The State Forester will decide whether or not to extend the length of Type D classification within 30 days of the presentation of evidence.

(8)

The domestic water use classification may be waived by the State Forester at the request of a landowner who is the sole domestic water use permit holder for an intake and who owns all the land along upstream channels that would be affected by the classification related to that intake. This waiver shall not affect the classification related to downstream domestic water use intakes.

(9)

A stream or lake will be considered to have fish use if inhabited at any time of the year by anadromous or game fish species or fish that are listed as threatened or endangered species under the federal or state endangered species acts.

(10)

The fish use classification does not apply to waters where fish were introduced through a fish stocking permit that includes documentation that the stream had no fish prior to stocking.

(11)

For the purposes of stream classification, the State Forester will use the procedures in this section to determine if a stream has fish use.

(a)

For stream segments where field surveys for fish use show that fish use ends at a natural barrier to fish use or other point that is not an artificial obstruction to fish passage, the State Forester will designate fish use based on the survey.

(b)

For stream segments where field surveys for fish use show that fish use ends at an artificial obstruction to fish passage, the State Forester will designate fish use as continuing upstream from the artificial obstruction to the first natural barrier to fish use.

(c)

For stream segments where field surveys for fish use have not been conducted, the State Forester will designate fish use as continuing upstream from a point of known fish use and ending at the first natural barrier to fish use, without respect to any artificial obstructions to fish passage. An operator may request that the State Forester conduct a fish presence survey to verify this designation of fish use in stream segments associated with an operation scheduled to start between 12 and 24 months after the request.

(A)

The State Forester will make a good faith effort to conduct the requested surveys and will prioritize its survey work taking into account landowners without the financial or technical resources to conduct the surveys themselves.

(B)

As an option, the landowner may conduct the fish presence survey.

(C)

If neither the landowner nor the State Forester is able to conduct the survey before the operation begins, the Type F classification applies up to the first natural barrier to fish use.

(d)

To be used for stream classification under this section, field surveys for fish use must be conducted according to the protocol in “Surveying Forest Streams for Fish Use,” published by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(e)

The State Forester may use other information to determine the upstream extent of fish use including but not limited to field surveys for fish use by landowners or other entities, and local knowledge of stream conditions, natural barriers to fish use, or fish presence.

(f)

An operator may request an exception to Type F stream classification above an artificial obstruction to fish passage that is documented by field survey as the end of fish use. The State Forester will grant the request upon determining that the artificial obstruction is likely to continue to prevent fish passage for a period of time exceeding that needed to regrow trees to a size that would provide key pieces of large wood.

(g)

When an exception to Type F stream classification is made above an artificial obstruction to fish passage, the State Forester will classify the stream as either Type D or Type N as appropriate and operators must apply the corresponding vegetation retention requirements.

(h)

For the purposes of ORS 215.730 (Additional criteria for forestland dwelling under ORS 215.705)(1)(b)(C), Type N streams are equivalent to “Class II streams.”

(12)

For the purposes of stream classification the State Forester will use the procedures in this section to determine if a stream has fish use or both fish use and SSBT use.

(a)

Streams where the upstream extent of fish use is determined using field methods that also observe SSBT use where those stream segments have not previously been identified as having SSBT use, will be added to the Type SSBT classification in accordance with the Data Standard and Update Protocol referenced in OAR 629-635-0200 (Water Classification) (13).

(b)

For streams where SSBT use is based on observations or habitat, and where that use exists farther upstream than the upstream extent of fish use identified by field methods, the State Forester will use the farthest upstream segment with SSBT use to reclassify the end of fish use.

(c)

For streams where SSBT use is based on observations or habitat, and where that use exists farther upstream than the upstream extent of fish use identified by non-field methods, the State Forester will use the farthest upstream segment with SSBT use to reclassify the end of fish use.

(d)

For streams where SSBT use is based on concurrence of professional opinion, and where that use exists farther upstream than the upstream extent of fish use identified by field methods, the State Forester will use the farthest upstream segment with fish use to reclassify the end of SSBT use.

(e)

For streams where SSBT use is based on concurrence of professional opinion, and where that use exists farther upstream than the upstream extent of fish use identified by non-field methods, the State Forester will use the farthest upstream segment with SSBT use to reclassify the end of fish use. The State Forester will re-survey, using field methods, for the upstream extent of fish use upon written request from a landowner whose land immediately adjoins a Type SSBT stream segment described in this subsection.

(f)

A landowner may provide evidence to the State Forester that clearly identifies a waterfall or chute type of natural barrier to SSBT use based on field methods under OAR 629-635-0200 (Water Classification)(11). The State Forester will evaluate that evidence and make a determination on whether or not to adjust the extent of SSBT use within 30 days of presentation of evidence.

(13)

The State Forester will use the standards and procedures in this section to determine if a stream is Type SSBT.

(a)

The State Forester will initially classify SSBT use stream segments based on the Fish Habitat Distribution Database on July 1, 2017, excluding historical use stream segments and stream segments identified using habitat evaluation based on modeling according to the Oregon Fish Habitat Distribution Data Standard, Version 3.0, February, 2015. (Data Standard) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Habitat Distribution Data Update Protocol, September, 2005. (Update Protocol).

(b)

When advised by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) that new or higher quality data are available on the distribution of SSBT use, the State Forester will evaluate the need to reclassify SSBT use stream segments. Otherwise, evaluation of new or higher quality data and subsequent reclassification of SSBT use stream segments will occur at least every 4 years.

(c)

As needed, the State Forester will reclassify SSBT use stream segments, except for stream segments added based on concurrence of professional opinion as defined in the Data Standard.

(d)

The State Forester will apply SSBT use stream segments to operations described in notifications submitted after the date the stream segments are classified as Type SSBT.

(e)

If the Data Standard or Update Protocol is revised substantively in any way, the State Forester and the Board of Forestry will evaluate if changes to this rule are required.

(f)

Until the State Forester and the Board of Forestry have reviewed and approved revisions to the Data Standard or Update Protocol per subsection (e), the State Forester will not reclassify SSBT use stream segments based on information from the new portions of the ODFW Data Standard or Update Protocol.

(14)

For each of the four beneficial use categories (Type F, Type SSBT, Type D, and Type N), streams shall be categorized further according to three size categories: large, medium, and small. The size categories are based on average annual flow.

(a)

Small streams have an average annual flow of two cubic feet per second or less.

(b)

Medium streams have an average annual flow greater than 2 and less than 10 cubic feet per second.

(c)

Large streams have an average annual flow of 10 cubic feet per second or greater.
(15) The assignment of size categories to streams on forestland will be done by the State Forester as follows:

(a)

The State Forester will index average annual flow to the upstream drainage area and average annual precipitation. The methodology is described in Technical Note FP1 dated April 11, 1994.

(b)

Actual measurements of average annual flow may substitute for the calculated flows described in the technical note.

(c)

Any stream with a drainage area less than 200 acres shall be assigned to the small stream category regardless of the flow index calculated in (13)(a).

(16)

Wetlands shall be classified further as indicated below:

(a)

Significant wetlands, which are:

(A)

Wetlands larger than 8 acres;

(B)

Estuaries;

(C)

Bogs; and

(D)

Important springs in eastern Oregon.

(b)

Stream-associated wetlands that are less than 8 acres are classified according to the stream with which they are connected.

(c)

All other wetlands, including seeps and springs are classified according to their size as either “other wetlands greater than one-quarter acre” or “other wetlands less than one-quarter acre.”

(17)

Lakes shall be classified further as indicated below:

(a)

“Large lakes” greater than 8 acres.

(b)

All other lakes as “other lakes.”
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021