Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An Oregon Board of Forestry subcommittee will meet in Salem April 26 to continue work on improving the financial viability of the Department of Forestry's state forest management program.  Clatsop County Manager Scott Sommers told KAST News ""The County looks forward hearing the recommendations submitted by the subcommittee."

The four-member panel is narrowing a list of alternative funding sources that could supplement timber sale revenue, and will recommend a set of possibilities to the full board for further consideration. The subcommittee is also expected to make recommendations about timing, principles and process for developing alternative management strategies for 700,000 acres of forestland that the board oversees. The board is scheduled to receive the subcommittee recommendations at its June 5 meeting.

The management of Oregon's Board of Forestry lands is funded almost entirely from a portion of timber sale revenues. Most of the revenues are passed along to help support county government and other local public services.

However, current long-range forest management plans have produced less revenue than projected, and falling timber prices during the recent recession have compounded the challenge. These trends have prompted major reductions in forest inventory, research, monitoring, recreation management and other activities, and jeopardize the program's long-term financial viability.

The forests are managed by law to provide a broad range of environmental, economic and social benefits.

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