Timber payment renewal efforts ongoing

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Oregon's congressional delegation continues to seek renewal of federal timber payments and develop new revenue for counties.

The U.S. Senate is tackling the timber payments re-authorization issue. Payments were first instituted in 2000 as compensation to rural counties, parishes, and boroughs across the nation for revenues they lost after environmental concerns caused a sharp decline in logging on federal lands. The funding has since twice been extended, at a reduced level, in last-minute deals.
The proposal currently in the Senate would re-authorize the payments for five more years, ramping them down by 5 percent each year.
“It’s a difficult slog in these budgetary times,” said Tom Towslee, communications director for U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. “But we’re optimistic.”

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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