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Think Out Loud

Forest Values

Pete Springer/OPB

What’s the best way to manage — and to assess the value of — a state forest? That’s a question currently under consideration in the legislature. House Bill 3072 would allow the state to change the way it defines the “greatest permanent value” for forest lands by emphasizing the economic value of logging in the forest rather than balancing timber with ecological and recreational benefits. 

Tillamook and Clatsop County commissioners (who sit on the largest pockets of state forest land) see an increased emphasis on logging as a way to bring more revenue to counties that were cash-strapped before the current global recession. The Oregonian editorial board (and plenty of environmental groups) see the current legislative proposal as the end of a balanced approach to forest management.

This is actually similar to a show we did back in July of last year, when we asked What’s an Uncut Forest Worth? (In a sense, the legislature is looking into whether the state should also — and prominently — ask the opposite question: what about if we cut it down?)

Do you live near a state forest? Do you work in the wood products industry? Do you camp or hike in state forests? How do you assess the value of the woods around you?


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