A U. S. Senate committee has endorsed legislation to extend federal subsidies for timber counties one more year, and to protect more wilderness and wild rivers in Oregon.
Sen. Ron Wyden said Tuesday the two bills are part of his effort to solve the funding crisis for Oregon timber counties, which are struggling to finance law enforcement since the subsidies expired. Still to come is some way to increase timber harvests on what are known as the O&C lands in Western Oregon.
One bill would extend federal subsidies to timber counties nationwide, though at a 5 percent lower rate than before.
The other would create two new wilderness areas in central and southwestern Oregon, and extend wild river protection to parts of the Rogue, Chetco and Molalla rivers.