California to protect trees near streams for salmon

Little-known Honcut Creek is the one place where imperiled California salmon might be able to make a comeback.

It's also where new logging rules soon will restrict how many trees can be cut on private land along this Feather River tributary, even though there aren't any salmon in its forested reaches. The goal is to protect potential salmon habitat by preserving shade along the creek -- to keep the water cool -- and to prevent erosion that could destroy spawning gravels downstream.

The logging rules are full of new language asserting the duty of landowners to protect salmon and their habitat at all times, a major difference from old rules in which lumber production was the primary concern.

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