The US House of Representatives debated a bill Thursday that would dramatically increase logging on federal forest lands in the Northwest.
The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act affects national forests across the country. But it also includes provisions specific to the former railroad lands in Western Oregon known as the O&C lands. Oregon Representatives Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader spoke on behalf of the bill. DeFazio stressed the need for a long term plan to provide for rural counties that have, for more than a century, relied on shared timber revenues to fund vital services.
DeFazio:"The federal government made a commitment to these counties a hundred years ago. Congress should honor that commitment."
But DeFazio also expressed concerns about the larger bill. The Congressional Budget Office has found the legislation would more than double the amount of timber the forest service sells each year. Wednesday, the White House budget office indicated that President Obama would likely veto the legislation if it reached him. The House is expected to vote on the measure on Friday.
Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting