Timber payment renewal efforts ongoing

Timber payment renewal efforts ongoing

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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