There is an interesting letter in the April 18 Register Guard headlined, “Handy has the better funding idea.”
The writer states that Rob Handy, one of my opponents for the North Eugene County Commissioner position, has a plan to bring 20 million dollars per year to the county’s general fund by taxing timber companies. At a debate last week I asked Handy to provide details of the plan to me or to the Register Guard. He has not done so. We will find, if and when he is able to provide the detailed plan, that Lane County has little or nothing to do with taxing at that level.
The writer states that our recent practice of asking for discretionary bail-outs from the federal government is a wise use of tax dollars. By, in effect, begging for relief.
What isn’t mentioned in the letter is that an idea I support is actually not my idea at all. It is the idea of Oregon Congressmen Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader, who have crossed party lines to come up with a program of restoring dollars to Lane and other counties lost by forest closures. The plan calls for a limited harvest of second growth and younger logs off BLM and Forest Service lands.
Their plan, (follow the links above for more details) outlined last week by DeFazio at the April 13 City Club meeting, calls for a managed and sustainable harvest of logs from federally controlled O & C lands. The O&C Act of 1937 set aside approximately 2.4 million acres of federally-owned forest lands in 18 western Oregon counties for the economic benefit of those counties.
I support the bipartisan plan which would actually see more standing timber in those forests in 20 years than there is today. It is a plan that would not only restore some of the promised revenue but would put Lane County residents to work.
Rob Handy does not support the plan.