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Negotiations and Threats Produce Forest Deal
Look for legislation in the 2022

Governor Kate Brown -- trained as an environmental lawyer -- has announced that nearly ten months of negotiations between private forestry representatives, small forestland owners, conservation leaders, and fishing organizations has resulted in a historic proposal for new regulations on over 10 million acres of forestland in Oregon. The proposal seeks to meet the federal standards for a statewide Habitat Conservation Plan. The changes to the Forest Practices Act agreed to by the parties will be brought before the Legislature.

In 2019, environmental groups created pressure by filing three ballot measures each of which increased the regulatory scope of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. IP 35 increased regulations on logging and aerial spraying near waterways. IP 36 and IP 37 each increased regulations on clearcuts and made changes to the Oregon Board of Forestry. These ballot measures brought the timber industry to the table and talks resulted in an agreement between environmentalists and the timber industry which resulted in the Oregon Legislature passed SB 1602 during the first special session of 2020.

Governor Brown made this statement:

“Today’s historic agreement is a perfect example of the Oregon Way -- coming together at the table to find common ground, to the mutual benefit of us all,” said Governor Brown. “Together, this agreement will help to ensure that Oregon continues to have healthy forests, fish, and wildlife, as well as economic growth for our forest industry and rural communities, for generations to come. I would like to thank everyone involved for their role in making this agreement a reality today.”

The parties agreed on a framework for: On January 12, the parties began a series of meetings in which they discussed proposed changes to forest practices, pursuing a statewide Habitat Conservation Plan from federal agencies for threatened and endangered species, which would provide more regulatory certainty for landowners and long-term conservation benefits to designated wildlife species. The parties worked intensively throughout the year towards formalizing an agreement to bring before the Legislature.

Legislation will be brought forward to the Oregon Legislature to solidify the Private Forest Accords in statute. The State will bring forward the proposal for consideration by NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Habitat Conservation Plan.

These deals come at a time when lumber prices are at historic highs and housing availability is in crisis, and these regulations will surely put more pressure on these factors.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-03 10:40:04Last Update: 2021-11-03 10:25:17



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