In our recent congressional recess conversations with Representatives DeFazio and Schrader, we spent time digging into their legislation that would increase timber harvests with O&C forests. The congressional delegation is trying to find funding for formerly logging-dependent counties, as federal subsidies to those counties have all but dried up.
The plan is to divide the land roughly in half, with part of the land dedicated to logging, and the rest held for conservation. The legislation was influenced by a panel convened by Governor Kitzhaber that included stakeholders from the counties, timber companies, and environmental interests.
But the members of that panel aren’t convinced the proposed law serves all of their interests. Conservation groups are concerned with how the land was divvied up — they say some of the land dedicated to logging is critical for spotted owls and other species.
Do you live or work on or near O&C lands? How do you think they should be managed? What is your reaction to the legislation introduced by Representatives Schrader, DeFazio, and Walden?