BLM/Public Domain

A federal appeals court Friday threw out a lower court ruling that required the Bureau of Land Management to increase timber sales in Southern Oregon.


The basic science is deceptively simple: streams with trees around them tend to be cooler because of the shade.

Streams with no trees warm up and become less hospitable to fish.

But getting people to agree on where to leave trees, and how many, takes a lot of work.

The Oregon Department of Forestry monitors logging on private lands in Oregon, and ODF is under pressure to change its rules on stream protection.

BLM/Public Domain

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. 

Inside The Embattled Forest Service

Apr 13, 2015
OSU Press

Did anybody LIKE the U.S. Forest Service around 1990? 

It was constantly in the middle of battles over proper forest management, the timber industry demanding more logs on one hand and conservationists urging more protection on the other. 

Jim Furnish was more than halfway through a long career with the Forest Service then. 

In Toward a Natural Forest, he details the pressures and pleasures of life within one of the most visible and controversial government agencies. 

Clearcuts To Court In Lane County

Jan 20, 2015
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Members of Congress from Oregon continue their efforts to increase timber cutting on the BLM lands that share half of timber income with Western Oregon counties. 

But the prospect of returning to old logging methods leaves conservation groups cold. 

Witness the recent filing of a lawsuit against the "Second Show" timber sale proposed for BLM land in Lane County. 

Cascadia Wildlands opposes on the basis of clearcutting. 

Ending Old-Growth Logging

Jul 7, 2014

The most contentious portion of the debate over forest management concerns old-growth timber. 

Can the timber industry be healthy without cutting down ancient trees? 

Scientists, including Dominick DellaSala at Ashland's Geos Institute, say yes. 

Geos and other organizations just teamed up on a study showing that old-growth logging could be phased out in Alaska's Tongass National Forest in just six years. 

Agreement Leads To New Timber Mill Activity

Jun 10, 2014
Public Domain

It's a rare thing when a timber mill adds another shift. 

It's far rarer that an environmental group applauds the addition. 

But Malheur Lumber is adding a shift at its mill in the eastern Oregon town of John Day, and an agreement with environmental groups played a part in the move.


Removing trees can reduce fire danger, but the process presents its own issues. 

Like what happens to the land when the trees are removed. 

That was the central issue in a lawsuit filed years ago against the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project, meant to reduce the threat of wildfire in the city of Ashland's watershed. 

Backlash To Wyden Timber Plan

Feb 11, 2014
M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons

It has been said many times that journalists and legislators know they've probably done their jobs well when many people are angry with them. 

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden can probably relate. 

Arguing Timber And Terminology

Feb 3, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management calls the plan for the White Castle timber sale "variable retention harvest."

Environmental groups prefer "clearcut."  Welcome back to the frequent battles over logging in Western Oregon. 

Bureau of Land Management

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is introducing his long-awaited bill to promote logging on national forests in Eastern Oregon

The Oregon Democrat's Senate Natural Resources Committee is to take up the bill today.

VENTSday: O & C Timber Bill + Phones On Planes

Dec 4, 2013

There's already a wealth of opinion being offered on Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden's timber bill, and you can add to it on this week's VENTSday segment on The Exchange.

Every Wednesday at 8:30, we throw a pair of topics on the table--in theory, unrelated--and open up the phone lines and the email box to gather your take on either or both of the issues.  It's VENTSday on The Jefferson Exchange, and you participate by calling 1-800-838-3760 or 541-552-6782 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The other shoe just dropped in the plan to reorganize some of Western Oregon's federal forests. 

The so-called O & C lands were already the focus of a bill passed in the U.S. House earlier this year. 

Now Sen. Ron Wyden has released his plan--different from the House version--for giving greater protection to a portion of the lands, while managing the remainder more intensively for timber production. 

Conversations On The (Public) Forest

Nov 18, 2013

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

Did anybody think in the early 90s that we would still be talking about the appropriate uses of public forests two decades later? 


The U.S. Forest Service has confirmed it is shutting down logging operations on national forests across the country due to the partial government shutdown.

The agency plans to notify 450 timber purchasers across the county early this week that timber sales and stewardship contracts will be suspended.

Logging is being shut down on 150 national forest nationwide.

A bill to boost logging on national forests, including a provision aimed at producing more money for Oregon timber counties, is facing a possible White House veto.

The Statement of Administrative Policy issued yesterday says if the bill were presented to President Obama, his senior advisors would recommend a veto.

It says the measure would harm national forests and the government's obligations to manage them by sidestepping environmental laws, which would lead to more conflict and delay.

Oregon Wild Campaigns Against Clearcuts

Sep 6, 2013
Tim Giraudier / Oregon Wild

Congress returns to business today, and a key item of business for the region is up for consideration.  Members of Congress from both parties in Oregon support a plan to divide the former O & C lands managed by the federal government, with a portion managed intensively for timber (and county revenue).  Opponents are mounting a campaign against the measure, under the banner "Oregon Home of the Clearcut."