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:Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
“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?Read more
Washington Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Derek Kilmer have reintroduced the "Wild Olympics" wilderness legislation for the Olympic Peninsula. Please take a moment to read this message, contact your federal officials, and urge your friends, family and neighbors to do the same!Read more
"Let's pass the bill and find out."
That's what Sen. Ron Wyden's spokesman said when Oregonians started asking questions whether his O&C forest bill would provide true economic certainty to Western Oregon's rural, forested communities.
Didn't we hear the same response before Congress passed the health care bill?Read more
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has released his long-awaited bill to reform management of Western Oregon's O&C timber lands. Despite his pledge to "double" timber harvests, there are growing concerns whether it actually fixes the problems that have contributed to high unemployment and poverty in rural communities.Read more
With post-fire salvage and restoration efforts underway on Southwest Oregon private forests burned in the Douglas Complex fire, the State of Oregon is warning the Bureau of Land Management about hazards posed to forest workers from nearby federal lands. A recent action by officials with the State of Oregon again highlights growing concerns over the lack of active management of BLM's O&C lands, the continued uncertainty over restoring federal forest lands in the region, and the need for a congressional solution.Read more
Over 100 forestry, outdoor, education and county associations recently urged Senate leaders to take action on forest management legislation for the benefit of forest health and rural communities. In a letter, the groups write that solutions are needed in light of poor forest conditions and the resulting record-setting forest fires:Read more