Wyden Includes $330 Million For Timber Counties In Helium Bill

Jun 19, 2013

The Senate Natural Resources Committee approved a 1 year extension of timber payments Tuesday. The payments help out counties with large national forests: land that isn’t on local tax rolls. Amelia Templeton reports.

  The proposed 1 year extension would give counties across the nation about $330 million. Oregon would get about a third of that.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says the proposal should go the full senate for a vote soon. That’s because it was tacked on to a bipartisan bill that deals with an impending helium shortage

Wyden: “The helium legislation is considered a must pass bill over the next few months.”

Wyden says his longer term plan is a bill, still in the works, that would increase logging in federal forests to help raise revenue for the counties.

Wyden: “If we could get this one year extension passed that would give us a little bit of time to get the longer term approach in place.”

The Senate Natural Resources Committee, which Wyden chairs, will hold a hearing on federal forest management next week.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio