Tillamook Burn to become a Park?

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Sat Nov 20 15:19:55 EST 1999



>From The Oregonian, Nov. 19, 1999, p C4

CONSERVATIONISTS MAY DELAY INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP PARK
- Hal Bernton

	Conservationists are reconsidering plans to mount an initiative
campaign to turn the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests into the
state's largest park.
	A coalition of conservation groups, including Oregon trout, the
Sierra Club and the Pacific Rivers Council, had planned to file the
initiative in mid-October and try to get enough signatures to put it on
the ballot.
	The groups might still make a push for an election in 2000, but they
also have discussed postponing the initiative until 2001, said Geoff
Pampush of Oregon Trout.
	The initiative would cover 518,000 acres of Coast Range forests
managed by the state Department of Forestry, much of which burned
earlier this century. The proposed initiative would allow some logging
to help thin the stands so they can mature into old-growth forests.
	The logging measure proved controversial among the groups developing
the initiative, Pampush said.
	The coalition is hoping for Gov. John Kitzhaber's support, although
he opposed the initiative as it was detailed in the first draft, Pampush
said.
	State forests generate substantial revenue that is shared with
counties. The proposal has drawn sharp criticism from county officials,
who fear that it would put at risk millions of dollars in timber
revenue.

COMMENT BY POSTER: According to The Oregon Book, Information A to Z by
Connie Hopkins Battaile (c. 1998) Clatsop County is 873 square miles,
and Tillamook County is 1,125 sq. miles. Most of the affected timber
land was created by the Tillamook Burn, which had major forest fires in
1933, 1939 1945, and 1951. A total of 355,000 acres burnt, killing an
estimated 13 billion board feet of timber; of which 7.5 billion board
feet was salvaged. Battaile notes "In 1948 Oregon voters authorized a
$13 million bond issue to pay for reforestation" with most of the
replanting done by prison laborers, contract laborers and 25,000
volunteers. After the great Tillamook fires, ownership of 255,000 acres
reverted to the state previous owners stopped paying taxes on the land.

By Oregon State statute, 2/3 of the revenue of timber cut on Tillamook
State Forest (roughly the former Tillamook Burn) is returned to
Tillamook and Washington counties for local governments and school
districts. That accounts, in part for why that portion of the state is
booming. Prior to 1970, the majority of jobs were forest-related.
However, most people now are employed in computer and high-tech jobs,
renaming the area the Silicon Forest. These high-tech industries are in
turn dependant on abundant relatively cheap water.

Posted as a courtesy by:
Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com


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