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Both Sides React to Timber Bill

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ROSEBURG, Ore. –Douglas County is home to four different O&C land districts.

“That’s why this is so important, not only to counties, but to our communities, our economy, our job base,” said Doug Robertson, President of the O&C County Association.

The association of O&C counties says because of protests and environmental lawsuits, forestry services have been slashed.

“Poorly managed if at all, the outputs have been negligible, the receipts have been negligible, that’s why there’s discussion about reauthorization of a safety net to keep the counties from becoming insolvent,” Robertson said.

That’s why local counties and those in the timber industry support the change in management that would increase logging on these federal lands.

“It would stabilize our resources to the extent, it wouldn’t provide sufficient resources for any counties as perhaps in the past 30-40 years ago,” Robertson said.

While half of the O&C lands would be used for timber production, the rest would protect some of Oregon’s natural resources.

“It’s the first legislative set aside of old growth ever. A million acres of older timber would be set aside, not to be managed for timber,” Robertson said.

Local environmentalists say the changes won’t help the environment at all.

“If your vision for Western Oregon is one of stump fields and muddy rivers, this bill is for you,” said Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildland Campaign Director.

Laughlin says this legislation would have a negative impact on Oregon’s drinking water.

“It really flushes a couple decades worth of conservation measures down the toilet and kicks us back into reckless forest management of the 1950s, 60s, 70s,” Laughlin said.

Although advocates for the bill say is would increase stream protection, Laughlin says it would do the exact opposite.

“It’d radically reduce the current protection measures that stream sides currently have, but it would be a small step from the way state and private forests are managed,” Laughlin said.

Those who support the legislation say it’s a win for the timber industry, local counties, and the environment.

“The health of the forest, declining rapidly, isn’t working. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna turn away from concern about the environment, it’s just the opposite, but we don’t want to see an environmental policy that drives resource dependent communities into extinction either,” Robertson said.

3 comments

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  1. Dave says:

    What in the devil do these right-wingers think they’re rejoicing about? The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate and would face a Presidential veto if it passed there.

    Face it, you Paul Bunyan wannabees are indeed a dying breed and I for one will be glad when the nails are put in the coffins. You think you have a chance here to rape the earth, but Mother Earth will have her revenge when the time comes, and it will surely come, when they lower you into a six-foot hole and she recycles your worthless bones and consigns them to oblivion.

    1. jason marks says:

      eye roll

  2. quasimodo says:

    dave go kiss a tree! it always cracks me up with enviros spout off about how bad logging is and they don’t have the slightest clue about it at all.

    fist off clear cut logging is actually good for the animals it creates feed sources while the replanted tree’s are small and do not block out the sun deer and elk herds prospered heavily before they stopped clear cutting on public lands, do you want to know where the big herds of deer and elk are now? they are on the private timber companies lands that still clear cut. the populations on public land have dwindled because of the lack of food sources.

    I do believe that changes need to be made to how close they can clear cut to streams and rivers the buffer zone distance is far to small it should be a bigger buffer to keep run off from ending up in the rivers and streams but other then that I say clear cut responcibily.

    and by the way it was a given that Obama would veto the bill since its the democratic agenda that closed the forests in the first place under the Clinton administration and then sent all our jobs to foreign soil with nafta the democratic agenda is to kill the working class Obama is following that agenda with Obamacare and free range immigration to fill all the jobs that American citizens lose because of obamacare

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