Conservationists ask governor to preserve more of Western state forests as landmark plan stalls

By Alex Baumhardt
The Oregon Capital Chronicle
November 15, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As officials at state and federal agencies attempt to wrap up the landmark Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan, stakeholders are issuing new demands and asking for final tweaks that could delay the already overdue plan into 2025. Conservationists say at stake are the fate of 17 threatened species and thousands of acres that make up some of Oregon’s last old-growth forests. For timber companies and two counties… the stakes are financial losses that could cost logging and milling jobs, as well money for police and schools. For the state, the risk of lawsuits under the federal Endangered Species Act remains as long as the plan is not finalized by the Oregon Board of Forestry and approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The latest demands for changes to the plan come from 10 conservation groups.

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