Water, logging bills spark debate in Salem

Water, logging bills spark debate in Salem

A pair of bills that pit jobs vs. the environment mosh were heard this week, with both sides predicting hopes and doom to the debate.

 

House Bill 4098 would set the logging level in state forests at a fixed percent of how much timber grows each year, waiving the Oregon Department of Forestry's current rules. House Bill 4101 requires the state to "aggressively pursue" drawing more agricultural irrigation water from the Columbia River.

Republicans in the Legislature have made the two bills a priority, saying they would generate jobs and increase state revenue. The Oregon Conservation Network, a coalition of more than 50 environmental groups, labels the bills a "major threat." Most Democrats in the Legislature lean to the conservation groups' point of view, but the slow pace of economic recovery has a way of changing votes.

 

Read more in today's Oregonian.