An email alert from Oregon Wild tonight warns that 1.5 million acres of public lands logging might get pushed through the Farm Bill by Rep. Kurt Scrader tonight. The email is below:
Oregon Wild has just learned that tonight *Rep. Kurt Schrader will offer a stealth rider to the Farm Bill currently being debated in Congress that would open up 1.5 million acres of public lands to clear-cut logging.* The rider drops the limited Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers protections promised in previous legislation, and provides no public notice or hearings. Call Rep. Schrader right now to voice your opposition to this surprise attack on Oregon’s forests. Washington, DC office: (202) 225-5711 Salem office: (503) 588-9100. Recall that earlier this year Reps. Schrader, DeFazio, and Walden unveiled so-called “logging trust” legislation.
Their bill proposed to transfer 1.5 million acres of publicly-owned Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in western Oregon into a logging trust. These lands would be exempt from strong federal environmental rules that protect endangered species and clean water, and instead be managed under the weak Oregon Forest Practices Act. The plan would open the lands to greatly expanded clear-cut logging. Backers of the bill argued that the environmental damage it would cause would be offset by linking it to Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers designations for special places like the Wild Rogue and Molalla River.
UPDATE: Oregon Wild says that thanks to public outcry the “stealth rider” was rejected.