This article was written by Suzanne Penegor.
I have been reading with interest the recent editorials and front page stories regarding the new BLM proposals of how to best use our local timberlands to provide some economic relief to local county budgets and Oregon communities. The BLM’s Alternative 2 is the best choice in terms of restoring lost tax revenues as a result of increased set asides for non-use under the NW Forest Plan. The NW Forest Plan was a Clinton joke that never was implemented as promised. Even with the increased set asides under the NW Forest Plan, spotted owl populations declined due to predators such as the barred owl.
Preface: This opinion piece is in reference to several articles which were printed in Eugene’s local paper, The Register Guard.
Alternative 2 also reflects Oregonians’ desire to improve forest health by allowing salvage logging and replanting after fires. It addresses watershed concerns and balances those concerns with the economic benefits of restoring $108 million in revenues.
Unless we want to continue to watch our state become a tinderbox for wildfires due to nonmanagement of our public forests while we see American jobs exported that could be kept here in the natural resource industries like logging, we need to choose the best BLM plan–and that is alternative 2.