State forestry board stays course on habitat conservation plan

By Nicole Bales
The Astorian
February 16, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In a divided 4-3 vote on Wednesday, the Oregon Board of Forestry decided to stay the course on a draft habitat conservation plan amid growing pressure from counties and the timber industry to start over. The special virtual meeting was called late last week after county and timber industry leaders raised alarm over new data on timber harvests released by the state Department of Forestry. The 70-year plan would designate no-logging areas across nearly 640,000 acres of state forests, mostly in Clatsop and Tillamook counties. The protected areas are intended to keep species under the federal Endangered Species Act safe and keep the state in compliance with federal law. However, some county and timber industry leaders say the plan goes further than it needs to protect habitat. They also say reductions in timber harvests will have major ramifications on jobs and the 15 counties that depend on revenue from logging state forests.

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