Oregon’s top two newspapers, The Oregonian & Statesman Journal gave strong editorials on behalf of Oregon timber during Obama’s visit. See excerpts below:
From Statesman Journal Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes:
“But there’s an even more important issue that cries for your help: increasing timber harvests on federal lands.Trees are a renewable resource. Timber jobs are good-paying jobs. For generations, they were the glue that held Oregon communities together. People could make enough money in the woods or in the mills to feed their families and also to support community organizations. Not so today.In beautiful Oregon, tourism was touted as the economic salve after many of those jobs were lost to environmental protests, automation and changing markets. But tourism doesn’t pay like logging and mill work do…You can promise all the federal help you want, but we Oregonians are skeptical of such promises as well. Since the early 1900s, timber money was to flow to Western Oregon counties from the federally managed O&C Lands. But in recent decades, the federal government has reneged on much of its commitment — not just on O&C lands but on other federal forests throughout the West.”
But as much as Oregon fancies itself as set apart, a knotty fact remains: The state is more than half owned by the federal government. Some 53 percent of its 98,000-plus square miles is held by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service….
Obama Could: Deepen his support for water-sharing agreements in southwest Oregon’s drought-stricken Klamath Basin, much of it an unsustainable farming project originally conceived and marketed by the federal government.— Tell Oregonians that some of the logging they’ve had difficulty performing on federal forests should be restarted – giving a boost to broke rural counties in which political fundraisers wouldn’t generate much.
— Assure Oregonians, and coastal Coos Bay in particular, that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will act swiftly and without interference in weighing an application to site a liquid natural gas export terminal at Coos Bay, whose fortunes fell with the decline of logging.
— Suggest that the federal Department of the Interior attach to endangered species listings, which in many instances govern use of public lands, estimates of economic impact over the anticipated lifetime of species recovery.
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