Thursday, September 18, 2014

The board gave consent to funding the county's share of the 2014 budget of the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties, including a $12,000 special assessment earmarked for legal expenses related to a federal lawsuit over habitat protection in the state forests.

The Council represents the 15 Oregon counties, including Clatsop County, containing state forest land. In July 2012 the council's board voted to file as an intervenor in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the State of Oregon over what the groups claim are inadequate protection measures for the endangered marbled murrelet.

On Wednesday, Council Chair Tim Josi and Executive Director Gil Ridell told the board that as an intervenor on the side of the state, the Council has "a place at the table" during the legal process. Other audience members urged the county not to contribute to the legal defense, arguing that the Oregon Department of Forestry is failing to protect murrelet habitat.

The Council budget is approved at the annual conference of the Association of Oregon Counties in November.

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