Oregon timber accountability bill spurs lawsuit fears

By Mateusz Perkowski
The Capital Press
February 27, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Oregon — Timber companies and some county governments are lamenting the defeat of legislation requiring Oregon officials to set and meet logging targets on state forestlands. Supporters say House Bill 4106 would have simply required transparency and accountability in state forest management without weakening environmental protections. …However, environmental groups are warning the proposal would’ve spurred court challenges against state officials for falling short of timber harvest projections, undermining their ability to adjust to shifting on-the-ground circumstances. “This bill creates a new right for the timber industry to sue the state over its timber harvest plans,” said Michael Lang, of the Wild Salmon Center. …The bill’s supporters simply want state forest officials provide an estimate of harvest levels. …Opponents allege that HB 4106 would force state forest officials to justify every conservation-oriented constraint and provide timber companies with a “back door” to challenge the HCP’s implementation.

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