Call for transparency from Sen. Wyden on O&C

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by Tom Partin, American Forest Resource Council

Since the release of Senator Wyden’s O&C legislation this week I am sure many of you are working to figure out exactly what it means for the O&C counties, communities and forests.  We are beginning to take a closer look at the legislation and hope to have more conclusions to share with the media soon.  However, the public currently lacks the information necessary to compare the legislation to other proposals and draw any conclusions about likely harvest volumes, revenues to counties, etc.

Attached you will find a letter I sent to Senator Wyden’s office requesting their help in providing this information.  I thought I would share the request with you since I believe the public would also benefit from this information.  As you may know, Governor Kitzhaber’s O&C Task Force Report modeled 7 different proposals for the O&C lands.  You can find that report online:

You will see extensive modeling of habitat, county revenues, and harvest levels in the report.  Page 45 shows just harvest vs. no-harvest acreage breakouts, timber harvest levels, and county revenue numbers for the proposals.  In case you are curious, “Run B” was the original DeFazio-Walden-Schrader O&C Trust Act, “Run C” is the modified, House-passed O&C Trust Act, and “Model D” is an ecological forestry management approach.

We hope Senator Wyden will release similar information on his proposal so the public can make an informed decision about the proposals before us now.  I will let you know what we hear back from his office and hope you will also help encourage this kind of transparency.