Federal Timber Dollar Payments Expected

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday,  the US Forest Service announced it will soon release $67.8 million in payments to 18 Oregon counties under the Secure Rural Schools program. Oregon is expected to receive more than $107 million in timber payments, once the Interior Department releases its funding to counties in the coming weeks. A county-by-county … 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 »

Governor Receives Letter on Timber Money

SALEM, Ore. — At a time when more than a billion dollars has already been spent fighting wildfires this summer, fire prevention efforts are being cut. A letter outlining timber payment reductions hit the Governor’s desk this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Thomas Tidwell sent Governor Kitzhaber a letter explaining the sequestration will … 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 »

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 »

County Leaders React to Mill Closure

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. – Josephine County leaders said the closure of a longtime mill will have major economic impacts on the county. Rough and Ready Lumber announced it was closing last week. The mill’s owners said they could not maintain a steady supply of logs from nearby federal forests, and said lawmakers in Washington, D.C. … 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 »

Commissioners Speak to D.C. Lawmakers

MEDFORD, Ore. — County leaders take a message to Washington, D.C., telling lawmakers how to help struggling counties. The main issue is the counties’ reliance on federal timber payments. County commissioners looked to lawmakers and fellow county leaders for alternatives during that trip to the Nation’s Capitol. County commissioners across the Rogue Valley spoke to … 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 »

Timber Funding Decision Not Made

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Programs in Josephine County will have to wait even longer to find out how much they will receive in federal funding. On Wednesday, the Josephine County Commissioners approved a carry over amount for their budget, but will decide how much each agency gets at a later date. Some the groups vying … Continue reading »