Westside Fire Recovery at Risk, How You Can Help in Two Minutes

Your help is needed to support a major forest recovery effort on the Klamath National Forest.

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Like Strangers in Their Own County

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Commissioner Chris Brong of Skamania County, Washington reminds readers of the challenges of funding critical services in a forested county when most of the land base is controlled by the federal government. Here's what he had to say:

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Tester Comment Reflects Frustration with Federal Forest Management

Fringe activists are predictably making hay over statements made by Sen. Jon Tester regarding the impact of litigation and the “analysis paralysis” driving federal forest management today.  They are making the most of their “gotcha” moment; one individual went so far as to liken the Democratic senator to Adolf Hitler.  To be clear not every timber sale on Montana’s federal forests is tied up in litigation.  But it sure seems that way to those who've witnessed the steep decline in federal timber harvests and lamented the economic decline of our rural communities.

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Report: Why Wyden's O&C Bill Doesn't "Double" Timber Harvests

Sen. Ron Wyden recently announced the reintroduction of his O&C federal forest legislation, pledging once again to "double" timber harvests as a way to create desperately-needed jobs in rural Oregon.  However, a recent report commissioned by Oregon’s affected counties indicates that the Wyden plan would actually reduce harvest levels. 

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Sheriff Brown: Washington’s Rural Communities Need a Federal Forest Solution

Next year Washington State can continue to play a leading role in efforts to improve the health of our federally-owned forests while restoring economic opportunity to our rural forested communities.  Help can’t come soon enough, especially for county governments. As timber receipt revenues remain low and an extension of “Secure Rural School” payments remain unclear, some counties are faced with massive budget shortfalls that can only be addressed with draconian cuts to services. 

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Skamania County, WA Declares Emergency Due to Unhealthy National Forest Conditions

Nearly 80 percent of Skamania County, Washington is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, along with three wilderness areas and the Mt. St. Helens National Monument. Environmental lawsuits and regulations meant to protect the forests have instead led to widespread decay.  Forest health has declined due to the lack of active management, and local forests have become much more vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires. The Skamania County Commission recently took the extraordinary step of declaring an emergency and formally demanding that the state and federal government take immediate action to eliminate hazardous conditions in and around the communities and watersheds.  Here is the text from their resolution:

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Oregon Voter Registration Deadline is Oct. 14

Thanks to you, our elected officials are finally getting the message that it's time to restore the health of our federal forests and rural communities. Slowly but surely, we are making progress in our effort to promote active management on federal lands to create more jobs in the woods while reducing the threats of wildfire, insects and disease. 

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Rep. Daines: Bill Will Restore Active Forest Management

When I was growing up in Montana, we had a vibrant logging industry with 30 active sawmills. A career in forestry was a promising one. It’s a different picture today. Timber harvests in Montana’s national forests are down 80 percent over the last three decades, largely due to excessive federal regulations and endless obstructionist tactics from fringe groups. Nineteen of our 30 sawmills have closed. Just this month, two of those remaining mills announced layoffs or cutbacks.

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Bipartisan House Coalition Calls on New Senate Energy Chair to Act on National Forestry Reforms

With wildfire season approaching across the American West, there's increasing pressure on the U.S. Senate to act on measures to restore the health of federal forests while creating jobs in rural communities.

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What Rural Oregon Needs: Notes on the Senate O&C Hearing

“Nobody will get all they want. Nobody will get all they think they deserve, but everyone will get what they need.” 
-Sen. Ron Wyden, announcing his O&C legislation on Nov. 26, 2013

Does Sen. Wyden's O&C bill deliver what rural communities need?

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