Wyden didn't get the message from O&C counties, businesses, and editorial boards across the state, urging him to work with Oregon's congressional delegation and other stakeholders to work on an O&C plan that truly fixes the problems in our forests and rural communities.
He didn't get the message from you, and from thousands of other Oregonians that we need an O&C solution that increases timber harvests, provides protection from excessive environmental lawsuits, and generates long-term revenue for counties dominated by land in federal ownership.
He needs to hear from you once again.
This Thursday, Nov. 13, Sen. Wyden plans to push badly-written O&C forest legislation through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. After the bill passes through committee, he intends to attach his flawed plan to "must-pass" legislation during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. Because his party will continue to control the U.S. Senate through December, Wyden could be successful in pushing it through Congress and having it signed by President Obama.
This latest version of Sen. Wyden's proposal still suffers from significant flaws and does not represent a balanced solution. It sets aside a large majority of guaranteed, permanent new wilderness and land set-asides. In fact, the newest version even proposes locking up more lands at the request of environmental special interests. Meanwhile, the plan doesn’t even require that the remaining lands be managed for timber production and fails to address the lawsuits currently crippling our communities and Western Oregon's remaining forest sector. It does nothing to address the revenue needs of counties with land bases dominated by federal ownership.
The cumbersome, overly-restrictive provisions have been tweaked, but as long as the Wyden proposal fails to address avenues for litigation and agency "analysis paralysis," this legislation will not fix the problems in our forests and rural communities. Whether intentional or unintentional, the legislation actually adds new avenues for litigation and layers of new requirements. This means more lawsuits, and more gridlock in our forests.
Please call Sen. Wyden at 202-224-5244 or click here to send him an email. Tell him his O&C plan is no solution for rural communities, but a giveaway to extreme environmentalists who seek to lock up more of our federal lands. Here are some other key messages:
--This proposed "solution" for Western Oregon's O&C forests would be a disaster for rural communities. Without sufficient harvest volume and legal certainty, the legislation directly threatens businesses and jobs, while the lack of timber receipts would perpetuate the decimation of critical public services.
- The Wyden proposal does not represent balance, but a huge give-away to environmental interest groups in Portland and Washington, DC, who could care less about the future of Oregon’s rural communities.
--It would be a grave mistake to push a flawed bill during the handful of days that remain in the current Congress. He should with Oregon Congressmen DeFazio, Schrader, and Walden on a truly balanced, effective and bipartisan solution.
It's up to us to stop Wyden's O&C plan from becoming law. Please call Sen. Wyden at 202-224-5244 or click here to send him an email, and encourage your family members, friends and neighbors to do the same!
Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities · United States
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