Wyden Timber Plan Faces Criticism

Dec 3, 2013

US Senator Ron Wyden's bill to increase timber harvest in Western Oregon is generating criticism from both sides of the ongoing logging debate.

Credit Rachael McDonald

Doug Robertson is a Douglas County Commissioner and the President of the Association of O & C Counties. He says he's still analyzing Senator Wyden's bill but...

Robertson: "For the issues that we're most concerned about, the certainty relative to litigation and the outputs in terms of volume and dollars for the counties is coming up short of what was expected or what is actually needed."

Robertson says he's not sure Wyden's bill will deliver the 300 million board feet it claims to generate. This translates to less revenue for Oregon's beleaguered counties than the bill in the House of Representatives.  Conservation groups are also critical of Wyden's plan. Charlie Fisher with Environment Oregon says ramping up logging will affect drinking water, endangered species and recreation.

Fisher: "Cutting our forests and increasing water pollution is just going to harm that. This proposal is actually going to decrease the amount of input people actually have on their forests."

Wyden released a draft of his O & C bill last week. He has not yet introduced it in the Senate. That bill will have to be reconciled with a similar proposal from Representative DeFazio in the House.