Recently, we reported that the Western Oregon Plan Revision was on the Governor’s desk for review and asked our readers to speak out against the plan. The Governor released his findings today asking the BLM not implement the WOPR. View the press release or the Governor’s letter to the BLM.
Governor Kulongoski expressed concern that the BLM plan to not complete consultation under the Endangered Species Act until after adoption of the plan could set a “bad precedent” for other federal agencies. In other words, no end runs around the ESA allowed now or in the future. In fact, both the conservation/environmental community and the logging community expressed concern about that very issue. The Governor’s other concerns included: water quality impacts, wilderness areas, insufficient monitoring provisions and the absence of forest management strategies that fight global warming.
We realize that the timber harvest community is hurting right now but in these economic times ramping up logging to 502 million board feet annually from these lands doesn’t make sense. Demand is sharply down. Why flood the market with cheap Oregon lumber? The Governor has expressed his support for the 502 million board foot target but believes that given the four year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools funding the BLM has time to develop, using the existing plan as a foundation, a management plan that is in compliance with the law, will bring a steady, dependable revenue stream and will protect Oregon’s natural resource heritage.
Thanks you to all of you out there who sent comments in to the Governor’s office.–KM