Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar met with Oregon timber industry and conservation leaders in Washington, D.C., today, following up on his pledge to work toward a solution to decades-old disputes over logging on federal forestland.
Officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service attended as well, as the group planned two pilot logging projects in southwestern Oregon that could yield a win-win for timber and habitat. One pilot project is on BLM’s Roseburg District. The other is in the Medford District.
Timber industry leaders say the pilots are a good start, but they also want to see a 20-year plan for logging more of the O&C Lands overseen by BLM.
Salazar’s involvement in the long-standing timber wars marks a new level of political action on logging on Oregon’s federal lands, which have been largely closed to timber harvest to protect the endangered Northern spotted owl and its habitat.
From the Washington Post:
“This is historic,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. “We’ve got direct secretarial involvement in a much more public process involving a much more diverse group of stockholders than at any time I have seen in the last 20 years on the controversy over management of our forests. That is a big deal.”