Are the Josephine County Commissioners suing the state after this fire season?

Grants Pass, Ore.- Josephine County Head Commissioner Simon Hare today told NBC5 News that the county hasn’t taken legal action yet, but it’s something that the commissioners are looking into because they’re fed up with how forest lands have been managed and the damage they feel has resulted from what they feel is inadequate management.

“It’s not okay anymore,” Commissioner Hare says, “I don’t like the idea that Southern Oregon’s new norm in the summertime is catastrophic wildfire.”

Hare feels the 2017 fire season is the result of years of mismanagement that dates back to the Biscuit Fire in 2002.

An effect made worse by what Hare calls improper forest management practices.

“You’ve got all these dead dry fuel loads that are there that haven’t been managed and mother nature is gunna do it,” Hare says.

Commissioner Simon Hare told NBC5 News that he feels the U.S. Forest Service approach to forest land management isn’t making the cut anymore.

“It’s not how they respond to the fire at hand. It’s how they manage the forest long term.”

Hare and the other commissioners are considering a lawsuit against the state to force a change with forest management plans.

And Commissioner Hare says that if the Josephine County Commissioners choose to take legal action he’s drawing from past litigation. Specifically the class action lawsuit that was field by Linn County last year. A lawsuit which Josephine County elected be to join the other 15 eligible counties in. that suit alleges the state put conservation goals ahead of sustainable harvest on state managed lands.

The Josephine County Commissioners have not chosen to take legal action against the state at this time.

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