Comments on vegetation buffer guidance in DOE’s SMP Handbook.

Comes now buffer guidance intended to “…assist local government planners…” in meeting requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Department’s SMP Guidelines, drawing on “a vast body of scientific knowledge”. Having spent several years reviewing some 4,000 references on buffering and related subjects, and several decades in the company of buffer research, I would like to be impressed by DOE’s present command of tidewater buffer science, informed by the agency’s antecedent attention to wetland buffer scholarship. I’m disappointed; here’s why.

Chapter 11 is “Vegetation Conservation, Buffers and Setbacks”, whose scientific foundation is, in my opinion, ill-derived and misleading to the point of absurdity.

Read more comments on Chapter 11 of the Department of Ecology’s new SMP Handbook by Donald F. Flora, PhD below.

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