A U.S. Senate committee endorsed legislation to extend federal timber county subsidies for another year.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the two bills are part of his effort to solve the funding crisis for Oregon timber counties, which are struggling to finance law enforcement, and other services, in the wake of expired subsidies and voter reluctance to increase taxes. Still to come is some way to increase timber harvests on what are known as the O&C lands in Western Oregon as a permanent funding solution for the counties.
One bill would extend federal subsidies to timber counties nationwide, known as the Secure Rural Schools Act, though at a 5 percent lower rate than before. Oregon's share would be about $100 million.
Read more at Capital Press.