Oregon Counties To Face Even More Timber Cuts

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Fri, August 23 2013 at 6:07 PM, Updated: Fri, August 23 2013 at 6:27 PM

Oregon is the hardest hit state in the nation, when it comes to the loss of promised federal timber funds.

Three and a half million dollars will not be coming to the state and it's because of sequestration.

According to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's office, a portion of timber payments that Oregon counties were counting on next year will not be coming after all.

"This is where we create jobs, this is where we tackle the forest service problem, this is where we provide the funding for essential services, including law enforcement. There's desperate need of that in some of our counties," said Rep. Greg Walden told NBC 5 Skype Friday.

Next year, Oregon's timber payments will be cut by nearly 5%, this comes as a result of the federal sequestration.

"We have to get a better handle on how we manage these forests. We have to get more local control involved," Walden said. 

The US forest service says that Oregon plans to lose about 3.5 million dollars.

The amount how much each county will currently lose is still under review.

In a letter to Governor John Kitzhaber, the US Department of Agriculture says that the Forest Service will take money out of next year's secure rural schools fund in order to make up for the difference.

"That's not it's intended purpose to backfill the Forest Service, it's intended to go to the schools, roads, county, the state to make up for the loss of timber harvest."

However, Walden is hoping it won't get to that point.

"We need to act, we need to act now, we'll have this legislation on the floor of both the house and senate in September

But only time will tell how the latest loss will take it's toll on Oregon's already struggling counties, one thing is certain it's not going to help.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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