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September 13, 2013
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Letter: Douglas County compromise should protect clean water supplies while increasing timber harvest

Sustain harvest, protect water

As a member of Governor Kitzhaber’s panel on O&C lands and as executive director of Pacific Rivers Council, I was disappointed to read the editorial on Western Oregon Timber, “Conservation groups allow no room for compromise.” The fact is, several conservation organizations have spent the last year working toward a compromise that would protect vital resources such as clean water, while also increasing timber harvest.

It is also unquestionable that the bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio will impact clean drinking water, recreation and important fisheries. Among other things, DeFazio’s bill would allow logging on steep slopes and unstable soils, logging closer to streams, increased road building, and the use of toxic herbicides, all of which will impact water quality. DeFazio crafted his bill with predominantly timber and county government interests at the table. This does not represent a compromise, but rather a “take it or leave it” approach that sacrifices clean water and other values for timber.

We will continue to work toward a true balance, but have seen virtually no evidence that the timber industry or counties are willing to negotiate in earnest. We recently produced a video that details what will happen if Rep. DeFazio’s bill passes Congress: I would encourage people to look a bit more closely at what will happen to their rivers and clean water before concluding that this “compromise” is worth the cost.

We believe timber harvest on our public lands is an important resource and we support sustainable harvest on O&C lands — but not at the expense of clean water.

John Kober


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The News-Review Updated Sep 13, 2013 01:00PM Published Sep 13, 2013 01:00PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.