Eastern Oregon Commissioners Express Concerns Over Wyden's Eastside Forest Bill

Earlier this year Sen. Ron Wyden introduced S. 1301, known as the "Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection and Jobs Act of 2013."

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Sustainable Forest Action Coalition: Federal Legislation Critical to Rural California Counties

The Sustainable Forest Action Coalition, a coalition of California local officials, forestry professionals and advocates, recently sent a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein and other members of the California congressional delegation highlighting the need for forest management solutions to improve the health of forests and forested rural communities:

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House Committee Advances Legislation to Restore the Health of Federal Forests, Rural Communities

We had the following to say regarding H.R. 1526, legislation approved today by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee to improve federal forest management to promote forest health and rural job creation: 

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Timber Harvested vs. Burned on Federal Forests

In 2012, wildfires burned 9.3 million acres, while the U.S. Forest Service harvested approximately 200,000 acres. This means that 44 times as many acres burned as were responsibly harvested and restored.

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Another Look at Oregon Timber Harvest Levels

Oregon timber harvest levels are higher for the third consecutive year, according to a report released this week by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Media reports attributed the increase to higher demand for log exports and housing starts.  Harvest levels on federally-owned lands actually dropped from 2011, offering no relief for rural communities and their cash-strapped local governments. 

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Court’s Ruling in O&C Case a Victory for Oregon’s Rural Communities

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. yesterday handed down a key victory for Southwest Oregon communities that are entitled to sustained yield timber harvests from Oregon and California Railroad Grant Lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  While this decision is focused on the O&C lands in Southwest Oregon, it has positive implications for communities throughout Western Oregon.

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Healthy Forests Equal Healthy Communities

The La Grande Observer recently published the following commentary by BoiseCascade's Lindsay Warness and Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities' Nick Smith:

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Action Alert: Put Rural Communities First

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, is scheduled to vote Tuesday, June 18 to approve legislation (S. 353) sponsored by Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley to designate new Wilderness areas and other land set-asides in Oregon.  The proposal includes the "Wild Rogue" Wilderness designation for 50,000 acres of BLM lands in Southwest Oregon.

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Financial Instability is Putting Children at risk in Douglas County

Evelyn Badger-Nores is the executive director at Douglas C.A.R.E.S., a child abuse response and evaluation service provider based in Roseburg (The views in this column are hers alone.). In this column, Ms. Badger-Nores says a lack of jobs and economic opportunities has led to an increase in child abuse and neglect in her local rural communities: 

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Video: How Did We Get to This Point?

The Oregon Legislature is considering measures that would allow state government to take over certain county services- and even impose an income tax- in some timber-dependent communities. The Governor warned he might even send in the National Guard to police these areas.  How the heck did we get to this point?  In this video, State Rep. Bruce Hanna reminds Salem these problems were caused by "the blatant disregard for one of Oregon's most fundamental, robust and sustainable resources: forestland."

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