Bill to boost E. Ore. logging passes committee

Associated Press Updated: December 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm • Published: December 19, 2013 0

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to boost timber production on six national forests in Eastern Oregon while also mandating restoration and thinning projects has moved out of his Senate Natural Resources Committee.

The bill was approved Thursday on a unanimous voice vote.

The bill sets benchmarks for producing timber as well as thinning to improve forest health and reduce wildfire danger over the next 15 years. It creates a panel of experts to suggest projects.

Wyden said it preserves the core principles of agreements between the timber industry and conservation groups worked out in 2009.

But representatives of the two sides are not happy with it.

A conservation group objects to provisions for cutting old-growth to pay for restoration projects.

A timber industry group says the bill doesn't produce enough logs.

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