A Balanced Approach
What Does Balance Mean?
It’s easy to say we support a balanced plan for managing the O&C lands, but defining that balance is the important and hard work that must happen now.
Right now Oregon communities that once relied on ancient forests for their economic stability are suffering. Many O&C county budgets have plummeted and this has led to real-life hardships for many of our friends, neighbors, and fellow Oregonians.
These communities were built by timber harvest. It has provided jobs and built the infrastructure to support some of the greatest small towns in Oregon. We must develop a path forward that will support and maintain these communities.
At the same time, old style clear-cutting without the protections that are critical for clean water, wildlife and irreplaceable ancient forests simply will not work.
There is a better way. Sustainable harvest practices and much needed forest restoration projects can provide good jobs while increasing the resiliency of our forests and enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat.
A responsible balance cannot be achieved by simply picking a number of acres for timber harvest and another for conservation. Some parts of the O&C lands are appropriate for harvest; in others, harvesting could do permanent damage to irreplaceable resources. Clean water isn’t a luxury, it is a right and we need to protect the clean drinking water resources on these lands. Wild salmon and the other wildlife that call these lands home are a part of the legacy that we must pass on to our children and grandchildren.
Vibrant, more resilient rural economies. Healthy communities and families. Clean drinking water for all. Ancient forests, abundant wildlife and responsible timber harvest. Finding the balance for all of these values is our challenge – and our opportunity.
Protecting the O&C Lands
Nestled throughout western Oregon are 2.8 million acres of federal lands – commonly referred to as O&C lands – rich with biodiversity and fraught with management challenges. read more
Starting in the 1960s and continuing for much of the following three decades, the Bureau of Land Management clear cut forests in western Oregon at a rate of more than 50,000 acres a year. read more
O&C Lands play a vital role in providing drinking water for over 1.8 million Oregonians, with approximately 75% of O&C Lands falling within the Department of Environmental Quality’s “Drinking Water Protected Areas.” read more
Despite decades of intensive logging, parcels of land in Western Oregon boast some of the most remarkable natural landscapes and collections of plants and animals anywhere in the state. read more
Oregon’s McKenzie River has long been recognized by whitewater enthusiasts and anglers alike for its outstanding recreational value. read more
Rising 3,175 feet from its densely forested surroundings, Mount Hebo is one of the highest peaks in the Northern Oregon Coast Range. read more
The emerald-green waters of the North Umpqua River are legendary among rafters, hikers, and fishermen. read more
The Rogue River starts high in the Cascade Range near Crater Lake and flows west for more than 200 miles through the rugged Klamath Basin before emptying into the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. read more
The Devil’s Staircase, a waterfall on Wassen Creek in Oregon’s Coast Range, lies at the heart of one of the most remote locations in the state. read more
Just west of the small town of Cave Junction, in the heart of southern Oregon’s Klamath-Siskiyou region, lies the 180,000 acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness. read more