O&C Lands Bill to move forward today
Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is scheduled to consider legislation from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden that could determine the future of our O&C lands.
The O&C lands are 2.8 million acres of federal lands nestled throughout western Oregon, rich with biodiversity and fraught with management challenges. These forested lands provide clean drinking water to more than 1.8 million Oregonians, remove millions of tons of carbon from our atmosphere, and are critical to Oregon’s recreational and fishing economy. They are also a valuable resource for Oregon’s timber industry, an important contributor to our state’s economy.
Irresponsible management of our public lands puts our children’s legacy at risk and jeopardizes our clean water. A balanced approach for our O&C lands must include adherence to our current environmental laws while also providing for responsible timber production, forest restoration projects and protection for different types of lands and waters within the O&C landscapes.
For the past year, Senator Wyden has been working to find a legislative solution that provides economic support for Oregon’s struggling rural communities while also protecting some of our state’s natural treasures. We believe the bill he is proposing today represents that important balance.
We encourage Senator Wyden to continue to ensure this balance between protecting our natural heritage and providing a predictable, sustainable supply of timber as he moves his legislation forward in Congress.