Why wood buildups cause jams

October 23, 2003


EVERETT, Wash. - For the last several years, salmon protection rules required Washington state to line rivers with so-called woody debris. It provides perfect habitat for threatened salmon but when it was stacked up at the bases of bridges, it became the perfect recipe for trouble.

That's why a parade of logs, trees and other debris could be seen on some Western Washington rivers. In some places, the wood was stacked from the bottom of the river to the top.

One of the worst buildups was on the Eby Slough, but crews brought in heavy equipment and worked around the clock and by Thursday, the jam was gone.

Logs could be seen near where the rivers flow into Puget Sound.
"But that is a huge amount of logs, trees and other wood debris and it has be a concern downstream," said Todd Myers of the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources. "It's gone from here but it's still out there somewhere."

The debris is a danger to boaters but not as much of it as you'd expect.

"There have been some reports...a log or two, but no major groupings in the Puget Sound from the rivers," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Lanier.

That means much of it is along the banks of the receding rivers, valuable wood just sitting there.

Those who see a lot of wood along the sides and want to bring a truck and pick it up are advised to check that it doesn't belong to individuals or to the state.

However, the little firewood-sized pieces are apparently fair game.

The Coast Guard is asking boaters to watch out for logs and report any large groups they may encounter in the Sound.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site