Conservation groups have launched an ad campaign taking aim at a proposal in Congress to increase logging on federally-owned former railroad lands in Western Oregon.
One billboard for the campaign looks something like a dystopian postcard. Above a treeless forest hillside, a banner cheerfully reads “Welcome to Oregon, home of the clearcut.”
The ads target a bipartisan bill sponsored by Oregon Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden. It would increase timber production on what are known as the O&C Lands.
“When we talk to conservation-minded Oregonians, they assume clearcutting is a thing of the past, that we learned our lesson from the Timber Wars and the reality is that this war never stopped,” said Steve Pedery, Conservation Director with the group Oregon Wild.
But DeFazio says campaign’s message is exaggerated.
“The lands that would be managed are generally younger stands of timber, many of which are in a very unhealthy state having been previously managed.”
DeFazio says the bill would bring much-needed revenue to Western Oregon counties and protect a million acres of old growth.