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Governor Kitzhaber names panel to recommend O&C solutions

  1. ​(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today announced he has convened a group of county officials, forest products industry representatives, and conservation leaders to address challenges facing O&C counties in Oregon. The Governor asked the group to build on existing proposals and develop recommendations that help Oregon counties improve financial stability, ensure adequate sources of timber that support local mills and jobs, and meet Oregon’s water and land conservation goals. He expects the group to craft a proposal to take to the Oregon delegation and Congress in early 2013.
     
    “We’re not under any illusion that this will be easy,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “But the human and environmental costs of the status quo are unacceptable, and Oregonians have shown time and again their ability to come together to solve difficult problems. An Oregon solution that protects the environment, creates jobs in rural communities, and helps restore funding for critical services is our best hope for O&C counties, and we have the right people at the table to get it done.”
     
    The group includes the following 14 members and will be facilitated by John Ehrmann of the Meridian Institute:
     
    O&C Counties
    •   Doug Robertson – Douglas County Commissioner
    •   Tony Hyde – Columbia County Commissioner
    •   Simon Hare – Josephine County Commissioner
    •   Jamie Damon – Clackamas County Commissioner
     
    Conservation
    •   Greg Block – Wild Salmon Center
    •   David Dreher – Pew Foundation
    •   John Kober – Pacific Rivers Council
    •   Sybil Ackerman – Sybil Ackerman Strategies
    •   Bob Davison - Defenders of Wildlife
    •   Jack Williams – Trout Unlimited
     
    Forest Products Industry
    •   Allyn Ford – Roseburg Forest Products
    •   Dale Riddle – Seneca Sawmills
    •   Jennifer Phillipi – Rough and Ready Lumber Co.
    •   Ray Jones – Stimson Lumber

    The Governor's O&C County Solution Principles
    1. Stable County Funding – Recognize O&C Act’s unique community stability mandate and provide adequate and
        stable county revenues sufficient to meet needs for basic public services.
    2. Stable Timber Supply – Provide adequate and stable timber supply that will provide for employment opportunities,
        forest products and renewable energy.
    3. Protect Unique Places – Permanently protect ecologically unique places.
    4. Durable & Adaptive Conservation Standards – Maintain Northwest Forest Plan forest management standards – Late
        Successional/Old Growth Reserves & Aquatic Conservation Strategy – in an adaptive manner where and when
        required to comply with environmental laws.
    5. Conservation Opportunities – Promote conservation advances on private “checkerboard” lands through voluntary,
        non-regulatory incentives – financial, technical, regulatory relief, etc.
    6. Federal Budget Neutral – Recognize that O&C solution will need to be budget neutral or positive at the Federal level.
    7. Achieve Certainty – Develop a policy framework that will provide for certainty in achieving all of these principles.

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