SALEM — Gov. John Kitzhaber on Thursday called for Congressional action to improve the financial stability of Oregon counties, ensure adequate sources of timber to support mills and jobs and meet conservation goals for land and water protection. In a letter to Oregon’s Congressional Delegation, Kitzhaber reported on the work of his O&C Lands panel and outlined components of a solution for hard-hit counties.
The governor brought together a group of 14 county officials, forest product industry representatives and conservation leaders who spent three months developing a series of forest management options. The panel seeks to continue its work with the Oregon delegation to resolve the longstanding O&C issue.
“I applaud the panel for establishing a foundation of understanding and trust between county officials, forest product industry representatives and conservation leaders that has eluded O&C discussions for decades,” said Gov. Kitzhaber. “I believe a solution can and should be passed into law that achieves significant economic and environmental benefits for Oregonians.”
The O&C Lands Panel analyzed a range of land management options utilizing timber supply and projections modeling as well as ecological effects modeling. The results propose creative new ways to optimize public values tied to O&C land management.
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