Thursday, April 14, 2016

Klamath joining suit over timber funds

A coalition of Western Oregon counties, including Klamath, has declared their intent to sue the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for allegedly violating timber regulations. In a news release Tuesday from the Association of O&C Counties (AOCC), the coalition said they will challenge BLM in federal court over violations of the O&C Lands Act. Passed by Congress in 1937, the act set standards for the sustainable management of 2.5 million acres of forestland throughout 17 Oregon counties. Specifically, the act said no less than 500 million board feet of timber will be harvested annually and timber proceeds will be split evenly between counties and the federal government. BLM’s current proposed management plan would reduce both timber harvests and county revenue, which AOCC said are violations of the act. “We have no choice but to litigate, and we are on firm legal ground in doing so,” said OACC President Tony Hyde, who is also a Columbia County commissioner. Hyde said BLM had the option to balance jobs and county revenue with environmental priorities, but “refused” to consider such factors in their plan...more

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