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. And on Thursday, the state’s top landlord, President Barack Obama, visits Portland, Oregon’s city of political heavyweights, before zipping off to Nike, in Washington County, Oregon’s realm of corporate heavyweights, only to return to Washington, D.C., the seat of national and world power….
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.