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Browsing the archives for the Oregon governments category.

OREGON: Judge: Counties can sue state over forest lands

Courts, Forestry & USFS, Oregon governments

By CARISA CEGAVSKE Senior Staff Writer

The News-Review

Aug 2, 2017

Linn, Douglas and other Oregon counties can sue the state for breach of contract after all, a Linn County Circuit Court judge has ruled.

The ruling came in a $1.4 billion class action lawsuit that revolves around forest lands formerly owned by 15 Oregon counties and now held in trust by the state. The counties argued they gave up the lands to the state on the condition they would be managed for timber revenue that would be shared with the counties. They’ve alleged that amounted to a contract, which they argue the state has breached by leaving too much timber standing, depriving the counties of the money they say they were promised.

Judge Daniel Murphy had ruled June 20 that the state was protected from the counties’ claim by sovereign immunity. At the time, Murphy said the counties, as entities of the state, could seek more favorable timber management but they could not sue the state for money.

After a July 13 hearing, Murphy changed his mind. In a final letter opinion July 17, the judge reversed himself, rejected the state’s sovereign immunity defense, and ruled that the case could proceed.

The July 17 decision was actually the second time Murphy had reversed himself on the immunity question. He had initially ruled to strike the state’s sovereign immunity defense. With the immunity defense out of the way again now, the case can move forward.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Douglas County’s portion of the land involved in the lawsuit is mostly located in the Elliott State Forest, and the total acreage is relatively small compared with that in other counties; however, Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman said the 4,800 acres the county gave to the state could potentially generate around $1 million a year in timber revenues.

Freeman said if the counties win the lawsuit, the additional money coming in to Douglas County would help reduce the amount the county needs to draw from its reserves to pay for county services. The county currently draws about $9 million a year out of its reserves.

Freeman said $1 million a year is a substantial figure, amounting to about half the annual cost to operate the former Douglas County Library System, or half the cost to pay for the county’s deputy district attorneys.

“A million dollars a year is real money. It would certainly be an important part of a revenue stream for Douglas County,” Freeman said.

Freeman said the judge’s decision on sovereign immunity is good news for citizens because states and counties have many contracts with each other. Frequently, those contracts talk about resolving contract disputes in the courts.



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett speaks out on wild fire threats

CA & OR, Forestry & USFS, Oregon governments

From Doug Whitsett

May 19, 2016

The season for northwest wildfires has arrived, with two major forest fires already occurring in Northwestern Washington. Catastrophic wildfires have become progressively more destructive, causing enormous damage to both public and private forest and range lands, as well as posing severe risks to public health and the environment.

Pundits and politicians often claim the increasing wildfire frequency and severity is being caused by recent man-caused climate change. However, several of the largest and most destructive fires in our history occurred long before the terms global warming and climate change were coined. They happened during severe drought conditions in the 1930s and 40s in Oregon coastal range forests. Without doubt, the primary cause of the rapid escalation in wildfire frequency and severity is the near complete failure of national forests and federal rangeland management. Ground and ladder fuels have been allowed to accumulate for decades, creating conditions for fires to burn with such intensity that they are virtually impossible to control.

There is more than 12,000 miles of contiguous border between Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected forest and rangeland and federally owned forestland in this state. The proximity of state and private forest land to these federal holocausts in waiting pose the greatest risk to private and state owned lands and structures. Much of that destructive potential could be prevented through the active management of federally owned public lands.

Decades-long political gridlock has prohibited meaningful solution to this vexing problem. Most previous attempts to improve federal forest management has been complicated by a number of factors. They include the sheer volume of federally owned forests in Oregon, the loss of funding from federal timber harvest sales and the constant threat of lawsuits from environmental groups who are apparently content to watch our valuable timber and rangeland resources literally go up in flames year after year.

Recently, some members of our political leadership appear more willing to try to change the untenable status quo. As part of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, [ https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2642/text ] Congress enacted a pathway for the state and federal governments to work together to develop a solution.

In late March, Governor Kate Brown signed a Good Neighbor Agreement [ http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD496285 ] (Agreement) with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Also signing that document were ODF State Forester Doug Decker, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Curt Melcher and U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Jim Pena. Good Neighbor Authority [ http://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/farm-bill/gna ] allows the USFS to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with states to allow them to perform watershed restoration and forest management services on lands managed by the federal agency.

It prohibits the use of joint funding for construction, reconstruction, repair or restoration of paved or permanent roads or parking areas, projects in wilderness areas or any expenditures on buildings. Authority for the Agreement was derived from two sources.

The first was the aforementioned 2014 Federal Farm Bill. One particular provision [ https://www.dropbox.com/s/8j9znrsecb6gohl/2014%20Farm%20Bill%20Provisions.pdf?dl=0 ] of that lengthy document provides a legal definition for good neighbor agreement, and enables the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior to enter into such agreements with a Governor to carry out authorized restoration services.

The Secretary of Agriculture has jurisdiction over lands managed by the USFS, and the Secretary of the Interior oversees land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The second source of authority for the Agreement comes from these provisions [ https://www.dropbox.com/s/436cnpjfeyunbko/Appropriations%20Act%20Authority.pdf?dl=0 ] of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, [ https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3547/text ] signed into law by President Obama in January of that year. After the Master Good Neighbor Agreement [ https://www.dropbox.com/s/b825eqpanhcwsf2/040416%20GNA%20Statewide%20Agreement.pdf?dl=0 ] was signed by Brown, a letter was sent out [ https://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2016-03/1072/93079/LeadersIntentLetter.pdf ] to regional, area and district managers and forest supervisors by Melcher, Decker and Pena touting its possible benefits.

According to that letter, the provisions of the Farm and Appropriations bills enhanced opportunities to work across private and public land boundaries, gain efficiencies, and advance partnerships that restore and manage natural landscapes, advance jobs, and improve public values associated with National Forest System lands. It states that the Agreement is intended to deepen and strengthen the existing state-federal partnership between the State of Oregon and the U.S. Forest Service in advancing the interest of the public, communities, places and missions we serve.

Goals of the Agreement, as stated in that letter, include reducing hazardous fuels, tree thinning and increasing fire resilience, addressing insect infestation and related forest disease. Equally important, it provides for addressing the enormous damage to water quality and instream habitat caused during and in the aftermath of wildfires. On-the-ground forest managers desperately need those tools to both help reduce the severity of wildfires and to restore stream health following wildfires.

The Good Neighbor Agreements are contracts between state and federal entities. They are meant to be significantly different than the current public-private collaborative agreements. My staff recently spoke with a rural county commissioner about public-private collaborative projects currently happening in his part of the state. The commissioner described them as a home run, and added that four consecutive projects have been able to move forward without any lawsuits. Some collaborative agreements in other parts of the state have been decidedly less successful and more litigious. Public-private collaborative projects often include organizations who have traditionally opposed private property rights and the use of natural resource assets by anybody in the private sector. Too often, these organizations, or affiliate groups, are quick to litigate proposed timber sales and even thinning projects.

The phrase public benefit often come up in these discussions. That term is generally used to mean the public trust, which is rooted in English common law. Then it meant the King held all natural resources in trust for his subjects. Today, it is used to challenge the use of public resources by individuals such as federal timber sales, rangeland permits and water rights.

A favorite legal tool for progressives and environmental extremists is to use the public trust doctrine to supplant the doctrine of prior appropriation in water law and to expand the regulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. The claim is routinely litigated that the government is required to provide those additional protections as a matter of public trust. Too often, activists judges agree, even though neither public trust nor public benefit are even mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. We believe the Agreement has the potential to allow the state to help local officials address the backlog of issues and deferred maintenance of federal forest lands located in their communities.

It is not a silver bullet that will solve the multitude of issues involving the federal ownership of about 53 percent of Oregons landmass. We do believe, if properly implemented, it can represent a significant step toward sustainable management of federal forest and rangeland resources.

Even incremental better management will help to prevent the kinds of devastating wildfires that have ravaged Oregons pristine landscapes for far too long. Please remember–if we do not stand up for rural Oregon, no one will.

Best Regards,


Senate District 28

Email: Sen.DougWhitsett@state.or.us I Phone: 503-986-1728 Address: 900 Court St NE, S-311, Salem, OR 97301 Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/whitsett

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Oregon: 3 lawmakers hit with ethics complaint over wolf bill

Agriculture, Greenies & grant $, Lawsuits, Liberty, Oregon governments, Wolves


PNP comment: The group threatening the lawsuit is Cascadia Wildlands — wolf lovers! Canadian gray wolves shouldn’t be listed to the Oregon Endangered Species Act, because they are not native wolves. And the Canadian gray wolves are not threatened with extinction, but are actually multiplying faster than there is food (wildlife) available for them. — Editor Liz Bowen



  • Updated

Marysville Daily Forum

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An environmental group filed an ethics complaint Monday against three Oregon lawmakers, accusing them of knowingly making false statements to their colleagues about the intent of a bill that has blocked an environmentalists’ lawsuit over the delisting of the gray wolf.

At the center of the complaint is House Bill 4040, which upholds in state law the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision last year to remove the gray wolf from the endangered list — a move aimed at managing the species’ growing population in certain parts of Oregon.

The bill was unusual for the Oregon Legislature, but the intent was to ultimately block an ongoing lawsuit by environmentalists, who argued delisting was premature and scientifically flawed and petitioned the court for a judicial review.

But that’s not how the bill was presented when it was first introduced in early February, and some lawmakers repeatedly denied that was the intent at all.

“Does this basically prevent litigation? … and the answer that I have come up with, or the answer that I could find was, no it doesn’t,” Republican Rep. Greg Barreto said during a February House floor session when HB 4040 was up for vote. “They can still have their day in court.”

The Oregon Court of Appeals ultimately tossed out the lawsuit last month, citing the new law.

It was those kinds of statements that prompted Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands to file an ethics complaint against Barreto, his fellow Republican Rep. Sal Esquivel and Democratic Rep. Brad Witt at the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.



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Klamath joining suit over timber funds

Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS, Klamath County, Lawsuits, Oregon governments

Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon

A coalition of Western Oregon counties, including Klamath, has declared their intent to sue the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for allegedly violating timber regulations.

In a news release Tuesday from the Association of O&C Counties (AOCC), the coalition said they will challenge BLM in federal court over violations of the O&C Lands Act.

Passed by Congress in 1937, the act set standards for the sustainable management of 2.5 million acres of forestland throughout 17 Oregon counties. Specifically, the act said no less than 500 million board feet of timber will be harvested annually and timber proceeds will be split evenly between counties and the federal government.

BLM’s current proposed management plan would reduce both timber harvests and county revenue, which AOCC said are violations of the act.

“We have no choice but to litigate, and we are on firm legal ground in doing so,” said OACC President Tony Hyde, who is also a Columbia County commissioner.

Hyde said BLM had the option to balance jobs and county revenue with environmental priorities, but “refused” to consider such factors in their plan.

“Once again, the federal government has failed the communities where these lands are located,” said Hyde.

Decreasing revenues

AOCC said counties who depend on such revenue have suffered significant drops in timber dollars and have seen increases in crime, poverty and unemployment rates as a result. The group also accused BLM of wasting “tens of millions of dollars” on developing a management plan they believe will be thrown out.

AOCC said they have retained Portland-based law firm Stoel Rives to file suit on behalf of affected counties.

“The last two decades of ineffective management by the BLM has to stop,” said Hyde.

In a joint statement from Klamath County, commissioners said further reductions in timber revenue will likely result in “cuts to all Klamath County services.”

Commissioners said O&C lands were once a “mainstay” of the local economy and said they could be again “if the BLM would strike a proper balance between environmental protection and economic activity.”

Commissioners plan to meet with department heads Thursday morning to discuss budget proposals and potential cuts.


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Standoff sheds light on conservative sheriffs group

Agriculture, Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, Freedoms - Individual, LaVoy Finicum, Liberty, Oregon governments

PNP comment: Oregon’s Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer continues to be harassed for lack of complicity with feds. — Editor Liz Bowen

AP The Big Story

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The actions of two rural Oregon sheriffs during an armed standoff at a national wildlife refuge were striking: one worked with federal officials to end the siege while the other questioned the FBI’s authority and offered words of support for the occupiers.

Sheriff Dave Ward of Harney County, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located, cooperated with federal and state police, urging standoff leader Ammon Bundy and his followers to stand down and respect the law.

Meanwhile in Grant County, immediately to the north, Sheriff Glenn Palmer called the occupiers “patriots.” When Bundy and others were arrested during a Jan. 26 traffic stop, they were on their way to his county. An Arizona rancher who police fatally shot when they say he reached for a gun shouted he was on his way to meet Palmer.

Palmer is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a group that bills itself as “the last line of defense” against a federal government they contend overreaches on gun control and other issues. They see sheriffs as the ultimate law enforcement authority in their dispute with the federal government over control of federal lands.



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Ranchers pack Jordan Valley gym to oppose monument plan

Agriculture, CA & OR, cattle, Constitution, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, Oregon governments, Ranch life

04.04 / 20:50


About 300 ranchers and other local residents packed the Jordan Valley high school gymnasium April 3 to sound off on a proposal to designate 2.5 million acres of Malheur County as a national monument.

JORDAN VALLEY, Ore. — Ranchers and others who would be in the middle of a proposed 2.5 million-acre national monument strongly opposed the idea April 3 during a town hall meeting. People who oppose the proposal should speak up and make sure their voices are heard, said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who hosted the meeting, which attracted about 300 people, most of them ranchers.When someone asked what locals could do to make a difference, Walden said, “Education, education, education. Because people just don’t get it and we’re outnumbered. Your involvement matters and it makes a difference.”The Bend-based environmental group Oregon Natural Desert Association, backed by the Keen Footwear company of Portland, has proposed the establishment of the Owyhee Canyonlands national monument and wilderness area on 2.5 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land in Malheur County.The Obama administration, which could establish the canyonlands area by presidential proclamation, has given no sign what it will do.Though proponents say traditional land uses would be allowed under the proposal, opponents believe having more than 40 percent of the county’s land designated as a national monument would restrict grazing and access to these lands and harm the local economy.When people who support the proposal say the Owyhee Canyonlands is one of the most extraordinary places on earth, “I say, it’s that way because of how it’s being managed today,” Walden said. “It’s that way because of the way you’re taking care of it.”He encouraged local residents to repeat that point.“We need to show them what good stewardship looks like and move the public debate because we have a good story to tell,” he said. “It’s critical to show them the good work being done today on the range.”

Jordan Valley is in the middle of the proposed monument area.“It would have a huge impact on this area,” local rancher Bob Skinner, former president of the Oregon Cattle Association, told Capital Press. “These people are really scared.”

The April 3 meeting is among several town hall meetings being held to help inform people of the proposal and allow them to weigh in, Skinner said. “We’re trying to make a statement every time we meet,” he said. “We think it’s going to have an impact … because politicians listen to numbers.”Walden sai…

link to My Informs.com below —


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Legalized Theft In the Beaver State

Economy, Oregon governments


William O’Keefe | 03/10/2016 |

Only government can make stealing a virtue. Oregon is on a course to do just that.  The House and Senate have passed legislation that would eliminate coal as an electric power source within two decades. The bill, now awaiting Governor Kate Brown’s signature, would require that renewables provide 50 percent of the state’s power by 2040.

This is a scheme that must have the state’s two major utilities–Portland General Electric and Pacific Power–salivating, because they will reap higher profits.

Oregon’s in-state power generation is primarily hydroelectric, providing at least half of the Beaver State’s electric power, according to the Energy Information Administration. Coal and natural gas provide most of the rest of the state’s electrical power. Oregon also imports electricity from Idaho Power, which generates electricity from hydropower and natural gas.

Since the legislation forces in-state coal-generated power to be eliminated before the end of its useful life, customers will bear the brunt of shut down and decommissioning costs. This could represent a financial windfall for the two major utilities. The potential for expanding hydropower is limited because the same environmental activists who have led the charge to eliminate coal-fired power also oppose expansion of hydroelectric power. As a result, coal-fired power will be replaced by higher-cost alternatives or greater imports from out of state power generators.

The state’s two major utilities complain and wring their hands about the heavy hand of government overriding good business decisions and market forces. In reality, they will smile all the way to the bank. But since utilities operate at a “cost of service” basis, they get reimbursed by customers for the costs they incur and also have a guaranteed rate of return. The higher the costs, the more revenue they receive. In the end, Oregon’s utilities will market themselves as leaders in the green energy climate change movement even though nothing they do will affect the climate.

It is unlikely that Oregon’s legislation will lead to a single coal plant closing. Pacific Power, one of the utilities subject to the legislation, has equity interests in coal plants that provide electric power to customers in six states. As National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners president Travis Kavulla wrote in the Wall Street Journal, Pacific Power “could simply reallocate coal-generated power to customers outside Oregon.” Portland General Electric is a co-owner of a coal plant with Montana utilities. It could follow a similar strategy.



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Federal Court Upholds Oregon’s Right to Protect Water Quality and Fish Habitat

Lawsuits, Liberty, Oregon governments, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment:  Don’t let blood shoot out of your eyes as you read the lies in this article! — Editor Liz Bowen

Federal Court Upholds Oregon’s Right to Protect Water Quality and Fish Habitat

Court Finds That Restrictions on Mining Methods Are Clearly Within the State’s Authority

March 25, 2016

Rogue Riverkeeper.org


Forrest English, Rogue Riverkeeper 541-261-2030
Roger Flynn, Western Mining Action Project 303-823-5738
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands (541) 434-1463
Lori Ann Burd, Center for Biological Diversity 971-717-6405
Jake Crawford, Native Fish Society (720) 253-8485

Medford, OR — This morning a federal court upheld an Oregon law restricting motorized gold mining in and along sensitive salmon streams. The District of Oregon court held that the State of Oregon has the right to regulate both state and federal land to protect water quality and fish habitat, and it has done so in a manner that does not conflict with federal law.

“The court correctly found that mining operations on federal land must comply with state laws enacted to protect public health and the environment,” noted Roger Flynn, with the Western Mining Action Project and one of the attorneys representing conservation and fishing groups that joined the case to help defend the Oregon law.  “This decision supports a growing effort in Western states to protect clean water and fisheries from mining pollution and wildlife habitat damage,” said Flynn.

At issue in the case is Oregon’s Senate Bill 838, passed  in 2013 to implement temporary restrictions on equipment such as suction dredges and other motorized mining equipment in and nearby habitat essential for salmon, and to protect water quality. The law went into effect this January and remains in effect through 2021. The 2013 law came about due to increasing concern throughout the state about the cumulative effects of these gold mining techniques on streams and rivers.

“With these protections Oregon has taken the first step towards addressing threats to our salmon runs and water quality from mining,” said Forrest English of Rogue Riverkeeper. “We look forward to sensible regulation that extends beyond 2021 and that ensures these values are protected for all future Oregonians, the court has made it clear that we can do that.”

Peer reviewed science shows that suction dredging can mobilize toxic mercury into rivers and streams, as well as reduce salmon spawning success due to alterations in habitat. Additionally in hot spots, such as the Umpqua and Rogue Rivers, the number of dredges has created conflicts with anglers and other recreationists.

“Oregonians can breathe a sigh of relief that many of our rivers and most sensitive salmon fisheries will be protected this summer from the toxic plumes of mercury that suction dredge mining releases,” said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Gold miners brought a lawsuit against the State of Oregon last October alleging that federal laws denied Oregon the right to protect environmental resources within the state. Environmental groups and commercial fishing interests including Rogue Riverkeeper, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Oregon Coast Alliance, Cascadia Wildlands, Native Fish Society and the Center for Biological Diversity intervened on behalf of the state and are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center and Western Mining Action Project.

“We are very pleased the Court has clarified that the State of Oregon has the power to protect our cherished rivers from destructive suction-dredge mining, especially the famous Rogue River and its tributaries — one of the most important salmon rivers in Oregon,” said Cameron La Follette with Oregon Coast Alliance. “State environmental laws are a crucial means of protecting the public’s investment in salmon habitat restoration in our public waterways.”

“We are incredibly encouraged that the Court made the common sense decision to permit Oregon to regulate harmful mining practices in some of Oregon’s most cherished waterways,” said Nick Cady with Cascadia Wildlands.  “Oregonians have a right to protect the things they value, including clean water and salmon.”


– See more at: http://rogueriverkeeper.org/news/press-releases/federal-court-upholds-oregon2019s-right-to-protect-water-quality-and-fish-habitat#sthash.6uYtAbLa.dpuf

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Oregon Sheriffs Testify before House: We’re not going to Enforce Your Gun Grabbing Law! Read more at http://sonsoflibertymedia.com/oregon-sheriffs-testify-before-house-were-not-going-to-enforce-your-gun-grabbing-law/

2nd Amendment rights, Oregon governments, Sheriffs

Sons of Liberty Media.com

Written by:

Published on: April 25, 2015

Earlier this week, I wrote about Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel took a stand alongside other constitutional sheriffs in Oregon and issued a statement to the media that he would not enforce the requirements of Senate Bill 941, which puts tighter restrictions on Oregon citizens concerning the sale of firearms. This week, sheriffs from across the state testified to representatives that they would follow the sentiment of Daniel and not enforce the bill, should it become law.

Tami Jackson, at Saving Our Future, provided the following videos of the testimony of these sheriffs.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer — is shown on video at link below


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Oregon candidate exposes social, economic catastrophe caused by federal control in Josephine County

Bureau of Land Management, CA & OR, CORRUPTION, Economy, Elections, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS, Oregon governments


February 26, 2016

An Open Letter to Presidential Candidates from Josephine County, Oregon

By Toni Webb, candidate for Commissioner of Josephine County

TO: Candidates running for President of the United States

This letter is to inform you of the struggles faced by the people of Josephine County, Oregon, due to ongoing problems with the federal government’s control of our public land, including our once-productive forests. Bad policies and misguided management by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, have left our rural county economically and socially devastated. I hope that you, as candidates for President of the United States, will seriously consider why the effort to transfer the ownership and control of public lands back to western states, like Oregon, is so critical to our survival.

I am from Josephine County, Oregon.

Because of federal land-taking, we now have a broken county with a median household income less than the State of Mississippi.  My father owned a sawmill here in the 1940’s; anyone who wanted to work could easily find a job. In the 1960’s, Josephine County had 53 sawmills; the revenue for Public Safety was around $18 million per year. Josephine County, Oregon, has relied on the use of our natural resources for Public Safety, Education, and necessary Public Projects. We now live under the constant threat of having to close the jail; and this July we will receive our last congressional subsidy of $4.3 million. Use of our resources has declined to the point that we are now an impoverished county largely dependent on welfare and government social services.

Earlier this month—the last remaining sawmill in our county closed indefinitely because they could not get enough logs to fill orders. We’ve gone from 19 sheriff’s patrols to a budget for only three patrols by this summer. Our County government laid off 127 people in 2012; 90 of those people were in the Sheriff’s Department.

All promises from the Federal government to Josephine County have been broken.  The government has not honored its commitment in the 1937 O&C Act, and the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have incrementally reduced the timber harvests for two decades.

The BLM and Forest Service close vital roads throughout the county, so that we can’t put out forest fires. Those agencies then refuse to let us log the burnt areas and derive some income from the catastrophe. Management of our lands by Washington, DC, has proved to be a disaster to our county, both in terms of revenue for necessary services and in terms of modern forest management practices for sustainability.

The EPA runs roughshod over our private and public lands; overly-zealous environmental activists derive much of their income from government grants.  Environmental groups consistently portray logging as environmentally-destructive “clear-cutting”, when in fact, timber companies in Oregon are well-known for responsible, sustainable forest management.

With this loss of use of our land to generate revenue and provide jobs, come many of the predictable social problems, as indicated below: drug abuse, health problems, rise in student dropout rates, children living in poverty, increased homelessness, and reliance on welfare subsidies. This is the result of not having control and benefit of our county land.

Poverty in Josephine County has reached the point that we cannot pass a property tax levy to fund public safety.  Having barebones public safety negatively impacts our ability to retain and attract businesses and qualified workers.

We would appreciate having the support of our presidential candidates for the transfer of our lands from federal mismanagement. We need your help to prevent further loss and to reverse the losses that have plunged our county into poverty.  No matter which candidate emerges from the Presidential race, we will be looking to support the candidate who will be in favor of transferring the control of public lands to the states.  If you want to restore the promise of America, start with Josephine County and help us help ourselves.

Thank you and Best Wishes,

Toni Webb

Josephine County, Oregon


Josephine County, Oregon, population:  84,000   Area: 1,642 sq. miles

68% of Public Land is controlled by the Federal Government


Outmigration of younger population, who cannot find work.

Influx of seniors, largely from out-of-state, attracted by the low property tax ($.58 per thousand in the county, outside the City of Grants Pass).

-24% of the county population is over 65 years old.

-30% of children in Josephine County live in poverty; 20% of adults 18-64 live below the poverty line.

-65% of the children eligible for free/reduced cost lunches.

-Increased homelessness and reliance on welfare subsidies.

Drug abuse – #1 in Oregon for Rx drug abuse (seniors selling Opioids to supplement income). Rampant heroin, methamphetamine drug use. Approximately 125 babies born each year at hospital with drug addiction.

High school dropouts – 30-36% dropout rate throughout county. Misuse of funds allocated to school district. Dropout rate has not changed in 30 years.

Unemployment – 11%, estimated to be 20% in 18-30 age group. Rise in young people working part-time and growing marijuana.

Largest % employers: schools, health care, and social assistance.

County Health Ranking: 29th out of 33 counties in Oregon. High level of obesity-44% of adult population has chronic high blood cholesterol. 23% of children, grades 1-3, have rampant tooth decay; 62% of lower income children have at least one cavity.


Reposted by Reagangirl.com  2/26/16

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