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Rural leaders unenthused about Wyden O&C timber plan

A group representing Oregon counties that host large amounts of “O&C” timber land issued a lukewarm response to Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed timber-cutting bill Monday, saying it doesn’t go far enough.

“Based on limited review of a very complicated, 180-page bill, I have to admit disappointment,” said Douglas County Commissioner Doug Robertson, who serves as president of the Association of O&C Counties. “We will give it fair consideration,” Robertson said in a press release, “but on first reading it appears our communities are left far short of where we need to be in terms of sustainable jobs and revenue for public services in rural communities.”

The group, in a preliminary analysis, said it prefers the House bill proposed by Oregon Representatives Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, Greg Walden, R-Hood River and Kurt Schrader, D-Canby.

O&C lands are federal properties managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The House bill would allow more timber cutting on those lands than Wyden’s bill.

The Association of O&C Counties estimated that Wyden’s bill would generate enough revenues from timber harvests to provide about $18 million a year for county services, compared to more than $100 million a year from the House bill.

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .