Friday the Bureau of Land Management released a menu of options for managing its public forests in Western Oregon. At stake are 2.5 million acres. They’re called O&C Lands because they were once owned by the Oregon and California Railroad. This is being closely watched by conservation groups, timber companies and local governments:
Timber sales on O&C Lands traditionally provided a lot of money for counties in Western Oregon. But that funding nearly dried up in the 1990s. That’s when a number of endangered species protections went into effect.
The BLM’s top choice would provide counties with about 36 million dollars annually. Almost one-quarter of those forests would be open to logging, much of the rest set aside for wildlife habitat and to protect of rivers and streams.
The draft management plan covers O&C Lands near Coos Bay, Eugene, Medford, Roseburg, Salem, and Klamath Falls.
The BLM has meetings planned in most of these cities. The public can comment on the draft alternatives through July 23.