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In a sense, all envirnmental protections have the risk of putting pressure somewhere else. Even if you just look at this issue from a monetary perspective, by limiting harvest in our state forests we maintain budget shortfalls for rural counties that have to be made up in other ways.
This bill is really about the Tillamook. The Northwest corner of the state has a large concentration of state forest land, basically held in trust by the state to fund Tillamook & Clatsop counties. Their schools and county services rely on these funds.
State foresters have determined that the sustainable yield of timber from the forest is about 150 million board feet. But the county commissioners have used their political strength to push for higher harvests every year. Josi thinks 300 million board feet is the right number. To your question, there is no other forest that can make up the difference for the counties. If they get less timber, then they get less money.
So, if forests are managed sustainably at the 150 million board feet level, the counties will have to acquire other means of funding to maintain revenue and basic services. It's a system that forces rural counties to over exploit their natural resources in order to maintain quality of life. It made a lot of sense when the county populations were smaller, but they have outgrown the system.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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