Timber Counties Fear Bankruptcy

, Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Thu, January 26 2012 at 6:15 PM, Updated: Thu, January 26 2012 at 6:38 PM

What does Oregon do for money?
 As rural counties teeter on bankruptcy, politicians have two ideas: Open up forests for timber cutting *and* ask the feds for more money until they can do it.
It's all in the wake of timber payments that have run out..

   The timber payments started about thirty years ago to tide Oregon over when federal restrictions limited logging. Now lawmakers say they want that money to continue until logging starts again. Commissioners from Curry, Coos, Klamath, and Lane County could run out of money by the end of the year, they claim that would result in severe cuts to public safety. Republican congressman Greg Walden joined by democrats Peter Defazio and Kurt Schrader met in grants pass to help find a solution.They're trying to create legislation that would free up public timber lands to help those counties who rely on timber revenue. A long term fix could take years and these four counties need money now. They're hoping to fill the gap by getting temporary funding from washington and by getting lumber mills operating again.

About the Author

Travis Koch

News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.

Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.

Catch Travis co-anchoring with Jennifer Elliott weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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