Wyden: Federal regulation key to logging bill OK

Published On: Nov 26 2013 12:49:04 PM PST
Grants Pass, OR -

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says he can't get legislation increasing logging on the so-called O&C lands in Western Oregon enacted without keeping them under federal environmental laws.

The Oregon Democrat announced his O&C bill Tuesday in the Capitol in Salem, saying it would double the timber harvest, while protecting old growth forests, wilderness, and fish and wildlife habitat.

Wyden's bill was endorsed by representatives of the timber industry, timber counties and conservation groups that joined him at the announcement.

But doubters remain, such as Doug Robertson, president of the Association of O&C Counties. He says the only way he has seen to protect timber harvests from legal challenges is to turn the lands over to a trust that manages them under state logging rules.