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BLM, O & C, And Forest Plans

BLM/Public Domain

Economist Ernie Niemi talks about forest value.

Some of the fiercest arguments over proper federal forest management in Oregon focus on the "O & C lands," forests once granted to the Oregon & California Railroad to finance construction. 

Back in federal hands, they are supposed to give half their timber revenue over to the counties containing them.  But with little timber being cut, county budgets have suffered. 

BLM is out with a draft of its management plan for Western Oregon forests, and will take comments into July. 

In this hour, we visit first with EarthFix reporter Jes Burns to get perspective on the lands and plans. 

Then forest economist Ernie Niemi in Eugene has a few theories on the value of the O & C lands, and whether their value is greater as standing forest... or as saw timber. 

He joins us with his views.   

The BLM will take public comments until mid-July, and the following public sessions are scheduled:

May 19th: Open house, Roseburg, OR

May 20th: Open house, Eugene, OR

May 21st: Open house, Salem, OR

May 26th: Open house, Klamath Falls, OR

May 27th: Open house, Medford, OR

May 28th: Open house, Coos Bay, OR

June 9th: Socio-economics workshop, Salem, OR

June 10th: Socio-economics workshop, Roseburg, OR

June 11th: Recreation workshop, Roseburg, OR

June 16th: Forest management workshop, Salem, OR

June 17th: Forest management workshop, Medford, OR

June 18th: Recreation workshop, Medford, OR

June 23rd: Riparian workshop, Eugene, OR

June 24th: Recreation workshop, Eugene, OR

June 25th: Recreation workshop, Salem, OR

June 30th: Elected officials workshop, Salem, OR


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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.