Rep. Greg Walden told a group of Oregon forestland owners Monday about efforts in Congress to make up for the expiration of timber payments. Walden gave the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the The Oregon Forest Industries Council.
Walden told the crowd that he and his colleagues in the House were crafting legislation that he says would change the way federal forestlands are managed.
Central to that would be giving the Forest Service the ability to get around lawsuits. Walden says in recent years legal actions has slowed timber harvests to a mere trickle.
Walden also spoke about a different approach underway in the Senate. That effort led by Senator Ron Wyden would extend bridge funding for county roads and schools. Walden says the solutions are different be he sees areas of agreement.
“Between now and when we will change federal land management we will need some sort of bridge funding, but that is not the answer,” Walden said.
Walden said he hasn’t yet seen the details on the Senate plan, but he says in order to get though the House, the plan would have to somehow be paid for.