Director Mike Matz presented testimony today before the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the Oregon and California Land Grant Act of 2013 (S. 1784), introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden to find a solution to the decades-old issue of managing 2.8 million acres of “O&C” lands in Oregon.
“We believe that your bill, S.1784, the Oregon and California Land Grant Act of 2013, is a step in the right direction in finding a balanced solution. We appreciate the leadership you have undertaken regarding this issue. With some important adjustments – such as clarifications and modifications to sections of the bill related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – this bill would protect some of the most unique landscapes and river resources in western Oregon while at the same time providing a more certain source of timber production than the status quo. In fact, it doubles the current timber production on these lands.” Read complete testimony.
Matz praised the bill's conservation protections for key areas in the O&C landscape, including Wild Rogue and Devil's Staircase, the Rogue and Molalla National Recreation Acres, and for Wild and Scenic River protections and legacy old-growth forest protection, but urged similar protection for Mt. Hebo, McKenzie River headwaters, Kalmiopsis backcountry, and North Umpqua River wilderness.