Salem, OR (August 8, 2016) – Gubernatorial candidate Dr. Bud Pierce says Gov. Kate Brown’s lack of involvement with the BLM Western Oregon Plan shows yet again failed leadership from the Governor’s office.
“Fixing the federal government’s mismanagement of O&C timber lands is a critical issue for thousands of Oregonians,” said Dr. Pierce. “Under the BLM’s plan, Oregon will continue to lose family-wage jobs and forest products infrastructure, resulting in more reductions to vital public services.”
Pierce believes funding for many county services will run dry without better management of our O&C lands.
“O&C land management is highly relevant to our state government. Under federal law, the O&C lands must be sustainably managed for the benefit of counties. Timber revenue is essential in many rural western Oregon counties where the federal government controls much of the land base. For generations, O&C land management contributed to rural prosperity and supported public services such as law enforcement and social services. With the dramatic decline in timber harvests, many of our communities suffer from poverty and high unemployment,” said Pierce.
Pierce worries that the state of Oregon may have to financially support vital services in rural counties.
“If action isn’t taken, the state of Oregon will eventually be responsible for funding and providing county services. This will have a serious impact on the state’s budget and the government’s own ability to fund services well beyond the O&C counties facing insolvency,” said Pierce.
Pierce also says this inadequate BLM plan will result in more catastrophic wildfires, especially in southern Oregon’s dry, fire-prone forests.
“As Governor, I will actively work with Oregon’s congressional delegation to find a balanced O&C solution that protects our counties and puts more Oregonians back to work. Any solution must assure a reliable timber supply, adequate revenues for counties, and more jobs and economic opportunities in rural Oregon,” said Pierce.