The House Natural Resources committee met Thursday to consider a bill, HR 4019, that would set new minimum timber harvest levels and create revenue targets for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.
The bill, introduced by Committee Chair Doc Hastings (D-WA) would direct 65 percent of the profits from projects on federal land into a trust that would distribute funding to counties for schools, roads and services.
The bill would require federal forests to generate 60 percent of the average gross receipts they earned between 1980 and 2000. A specific list of eligible projects could be used to generate that revenue: timber sales, mineral leases, grazing, recreation, energy development and wildfire protection plans.
The bill also would set mandated minimum timber harvest levels in federal forests at half the average amount of timber sold on a unit between 1980 and 2000.
A few hours later, Oregon Rep. Peter Defazio and Rep. Kurt Schrader, both Democrats, released draft legislation that would transfer half of the O&C forests in western Oregon into a public trust for timber management. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is the third author of the draft bill. You can read the full text below.