Oregon Still Pays For Development On Federal Property

Oregon Still Pays: That is not equivalent to the arrangement between Oregon and its federally-owned forest areas. It’s fairly comparable. 60% of Oregon’s forested areas are under the management of federal foresters. Numerous millions of acres require landscaping work. And Oregon is spending millions on the project with the federal government.

Oregon Still Pays For Development On Federal Property

In the year 2020, the state saw 11 fatal wildfires. The burnt area exceeded 1.3 million acres. A total of 3,522 structures were destroyed. Families had to relocate. It cost almost $130 million to put out the fires. There was an estimated $6.24 billion indirect damage. The Legislative Fiscal Office of the state provided such figures.

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We are aware that there is discussion over what should be done with federal or other forest areas. Some advocate doing nothing and letting nature take its course on federal forest holdings so that woods can return to their natural state. The issue is that wildfires will inevitably result in more fatalities and house destruction.

Oregon Still Pays For Development On Federal Property
Oregon Still Pays For Development On Federal Property

Thinning can be useful. Also clever are restoration initiatives that aim to restore the woods to a more natural form. It won’t put out or slow down all wildfires. It could be beneficial.

In order to complete some of that work, Oregon has a collaboration. The state contributed $6.5 million for the years 2021-2023, leveraging $8.25 in federal funds and revenues. This needs to be said again: Oregon pays the federal government $6.5 million to maintain its federal forests.

We have no doubts that the funds are being used for good. It helps fund the efforts of forest collaboratives like the Deschutes collaborative, which undertakes a variety of activities in an effort to foster consensus over restoration efforts. With the money, the Deschutes National Forest’s user-made roads and trails will be examined. It backs effective therapeutic efforts.

However, Oregon already has a lot of issues, so we have to question why Oregon is paying the federal government to manage its woods there more effectively.

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Doesn’t the federal government have to foot the bill? Shouldn’t we be reimbursed for the funds we have already invested in it?

Maybe Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Representative Cliff Bentz, and new Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer could put aside their party differences and take action.

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