[Comm-Council] FW: NEWS RELEASE: Governor Calls for New Approach to Federal Forest Management Plan
HOKLIN Lonn * DAS DO
Lonn.Hoklin at state.or.us
Thu Aug 21 16:15:24 PDT 2008
Public Affairs Manager
Oregon Department of Administrative Services
From: GOVERNORS Press [mailto:Governors.Press at state.or.us]
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:10 PM
Subject: NEWS RELEASE: Governor Calls for New Approach to Federal Forest
Television stations interested in obtaining footage of the fly-over
should contact KOTI reporter Lyle Ahrens at (541) 892-1049.
Theodore R. Kulongoski
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2008
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Jillian Schoene, 503-378-5040
Rem Nivens, 503-378-6496
Governor Calls for New Approach to Federal Forest Management Plan
Unhealthy forests and the absence of federal forest payments intensify
urgent need for a plan that restores forest health and predictable
revenue streams for rural counties
(Klamath Falls) - Governor Ted Kulongoski today examined federal and
private forest land in Klamath and Lake counties where tree death is
occurring on a massive scale due to insect infestation, an epidemic that
is compounded by older, dense forest conditions.
The purpose of the visit was to highlight the urgent need for a federal
forest management plan that restores forest health, reduces fire risk
and provides a sustainable resource for Oregon's long-term economic
viability. The Governor believes forests can be sustainably managed for
today, and for future generations, while also protecting old growth,
endangered species and water quality.
"We have been debating the utilitarian and aesthetic functions of our
forest lands for over 100 years. It is time to end this debate and find
common ground. We're a lightening strike away from a potential
disaster," Governor Kulongoski said. "Without action, insect damage and
costly forest fires will continue to occur, wasting a precious natural
resource that should be providing a steady stream of revenues for our
rural counties that have few, if any, alternatives."
The diseased and dying trees the Governor examined today are suffering
from mountain pine beetle infestations. Several hundred thousand acres
of land in Klamath and Lake Counties are affected, and some of the
current outbreaks are the largest and most severe in recorded history.
The consequences of unhealthy forests include increased fire risks, the
costs to taxpayers of fighting wildfires and economic losses to private
landowners and Oregon counties. The acreage burned in the United States
of the last twenty years is the highest on record during the past
"The absence of federal forest payments and the continued decline of
Oregon's timber industry have created economic distress in our rural
counties," the Governor said. "We can develop a management plan to
provide sustainable, predictable streams of timber to rural communities,
while also nurturing healthy forests that help us in the fight against
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the most effective way to prevent
the spreading of the insect infestation is through thinning to reduce
density and diversify the age of the trees.
The Governor made it clear that Oregon is a willing partner toward
developing and implementing improved management practices on federal
lands, and offered the state-supported Lakeview Biomass project as a
Through Oregon Solutions, a program created by the Legislature to
facilitate collaboration, the Lakeview Stewardship Group is working to
restore forest lands while also creating an opportunity for economic
growth by bringing a biomass facility to Lakeview. Key partners include
Collins Company, the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of the Fremont-Winema
National Forest and Defenders of Wildlife. This project has the
potential to create 140,000 tons of biomass.
"By collaborating with public and private partners using the Oregon
Solutions process, the Lakeview Biomass Project has the potential to
become a model for other communities across the state," the Governor
said. "It's time to end the debate and for the U.S. Congress to join
Oregon in this collaborative, solutions-oriented spirit."
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