Thu, 04/30/2015 - 12:00am
Officials and Activists Weigh Options for O & C Lands
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released five options for updating the Northwest Forest Plan, which determines, among other things, the number of board feet allowed to be harvested from the O & C lands. These lands are a patchwork of square-mile plots surrounding the coprridor of the failed Oregon & California railroad extending the full length of the Oregon coast. In the 1930s, a deal was set up where the land once owned by the O & C would become public land for the benefit of local counties, and the result was decades of wholesale logging, only ending in the early 1990s due to environmental regulations. Officials in the 18 affected counties have stated they support whichever option allows for harvesting of the most board feet, since the money would allow the counties, many of them poor, to replenish desperately needed funds. Conservation activists take a different stance, noting that all five options call for more logging than the status quo, and logging is an outdated, non-diverse economic model. KBOO's Sam Bouman spoke with Morgan Lindsay, Outreach Director for Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands in Ashland, Oregon, for more on the O & C debate.