Wyden Introduces Senate Bill to Double Timber Harvest
Senator Ron Wyden introduced this morning his proposed Oregon and California Land Grant Act of 2013, that according to Wyden would double the timber harvest on 2.1 million acres of O & C lands in Western Oregon while streamlining environmental reviews and permanently protecting nearly half of the land with a conservation emphasis.
The legislation would amend the original Oregon and California Lands Act passed in 1931. 18 counties in Western Oregon depend on timber receipts from the former O & C Railroad lands in lieu of taxes for their annual budgets.
The bill would eliminate individual impact statements now required for each timbers sale, replacing them with two large-scale environmental statements with one each for dry and moist forests.
A house bill, the O & C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act, also seeks to amend the 1931 bill. That bill, a non-partisan collaboration between Oregon’s Congressmen, is different than the Wyden’s senate version.
The Senate version does not set aside federal environmental laws. Wyden says the whole Oregon delegation is united on the fundamentals