It’s not that they didn’t foresee less timber cutting in their future. They did. But they’ve been figuring that federal subsidies would continue indefinitely based on the “boundless bounty” of the forest lands around the state.
The contradiction in terms has finally arrived on the door steps of Curry, Josephine and Douglas Counties. Federal timber and other subsidy payments are down to a trickle – no longer sufficient to run even the most vital of county services like law enforcement. In the meantime, county residents have voted down raising their lowest-in-the-state property taxes perhaps expecting the federal government to blink – and keep writing checks.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has launched a complicated plan in an effort to get some traction on the matter. And it’s laudably covered in this article in the Bend Bulletin. Click here.