Sen. Fred Girod: Commends Governor on task force recommendations

Girod commends Governor for a key task force recommendation
— Sustainable, green forests best hope of O & C Counties

Salem — The Governor’s Task Force on Federal Forest Payments and County Services has recommended the adoption of a plan to manage the resources of Oregon’s federal forest lands for the benefit of new jobs, money for local government and environmental protection. Senator Fred Girod (R-Lyons) believes this is the best path to helping local communities in light of lost Secure Rural Schools funding.

“The easiest way to get Oregonians back to work, create the revenue that local governments need to get on stable ground again, and keep our forests green is to start managing Oregon’s abundant resources,” said Girod. “I feel outraged that so many families are facing the loss of public safety patrols and other basic government services. By returning back to the economic strength of Oregon’s natural resources, we can give counties the tools they need to be successful in the long term, all while we keep our forests healthy.”

The Governor asked the task force to develop recommended “changes needed to provide stable and adequate funding for the provision of essential services at the county level,” according to the Governor’s executive order 07-21 creating the task force. Among the changes recommended in the Initial Report:

“The State should acknowledge that the plan revision process for BLM’s Western Oregon Lands has been a good faith, collaborative effort with broad based scientific input and should urge completion of the plan as soon as possible.”

“The way we manage these forests now is both an economic and environmental disaster,” said Girod. “We need to cut trees to create local jobs that work to keep our forests green. That’s why this proposal is right on the money.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is revising the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) to better manage 2.2 million acres under Oregon’s O&C Act. The plan would result in 94% of the revenue that counties are losing with the demise of the Secure Rural Schools. The plan would call for sustainable foresting of 48% of the land, while managing the other 52% for old-growth characteristics and species protection. New wages of $136.5 million would be generated from 3,442 new jobs.