Gov. John Kitzhaber has given members of Congress a menu of options for increasing logging on the so-called O&C timberlands in western Oregon to help rural counties shore up cash-strapped budgets and produce logs for local mills.
The governor said Thursday he hopes Oregon's congressional delegation will use the options to produce legislation resolving the funding problem for Oregon timber counties. They have struggled nearly two decades since logging cutbacks were adopted on federal lands to protect the northern spotted owl and salmon.
The governor says he thinks options from the report can be put together that respect conservation values and still produce more than $70 million for the O&C counties - about double their last payment under a safety net that is expiring.