Sheriff Turns to Neighborhood Watch

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The lack of federal timber money is at the center of several budgeting problems in Southern Oregon. Local law enforcement is making its voice heard in the debate over the region’s failing timber industry. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says federal oversight of timber lands is to blame for the county’s underfunded law … Continue reading »

Timber Payment Cuts Affect Fire Fights

ASHLAND, Ore. — As those cuts to timber payments get deeper, forest ecologists say it could lead to more severe wildfires in the future. When you do a really good job putting out a fire, you can actually leave behind a forest that’s more susceptible to fire in the future. So then, you have to … Continue reading »

States Lose Millions in Sequestration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal sequester means millions of dollars will not be heading to Oregon, but the state won’t have to write a check on top of that. The U.S. Forest Service wants the states to pay back a portion of their last payment under a federal subsidy for timber counties known as Secure … Continue reading »

PILT Payments to Increase

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Counties that rely on federal timber dollars have a few hundred thousand dollars more in the current budget. The 2013 timber dollar amounts were reduced because of the federal sequestration, but then, federal cuts were not as deep as expected. On Thursday, the Department of the Interior announced Jackson County will … Continue reading »

Oregon Gets Timber Dollar Boost

MEDFORD, Ore. — Beginning next week, another $2 million in federal timber payments will be paid out to Oregon counties In February, the Bureau of Land Management reduced the secure rural schools funding paid to 18 Oregon counties by 10% in anticipation of automatic spending cuts, called sequestration. However, the Sequester was only a 5.1% … Continue reading »

Timber Counties Troubles Continue

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Rural counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California are being told to pay back millions of dollars in federal timber payments. In a statement, both Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkely say rural communities should not have to pay the price for poor sequester cuts by Washington politicians. While that issue … Continue reading »

Oregon Senate Passes SB 581

SALEM, Ore. — Every senator in Oregon voted to help cash-strapped rural counties missing out on timber payments. Senate Bill 581 is now on its way to the House. It extends a program allowing the state to step in to help counties that have lost timber payments. The original county assistance law allows a county … Continue reading »

Timber Panel Gives Options to Lawmakers

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — The governor’s special panel to address county timber payments says it has come up with options to help counties, logging, and the environment. In October, Governor John Kitzhaber put together a special panel of county leaders, timber companies, and environmental groups to try to solve the issue of reduced O & … Continue reading »

Governor Works On Timber Payments Plan

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The financial problems in rural Oregon counties are now getting attention from the federal and state level, and county leaders say a solution needs to be found quickly. From county commissioners, to the Governor, to members of Congress, a number of groups are focused on one thing: helping Oregon counties that … Continue reading »