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Bill proposed to ban clear-cutting in Oregon watersheds

SALEM, Oregon — Forests around Oregon’s drinking water sources would get more protection under a bill in the legislature.

However, some worry it will hurt the timber industry.

“Oregonians felt the consequences of warmer and polluted drinking water last summer when toxic algal blooms caused an emergency right here in Salem,” said Rep. Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego, who supports a bill that would restrict clear-cutting, logging roads and pesticide use in watersheds for drinking water.

Peter Sikora, CEO of Giustina Resources in Springfield said the bill is flawed.

“The bill creates serious unintended consequences.  Among them, increased rise of wildfires,” Sikora said.

Sikora said the restrictions would have the same effect on private forests that similar rules had on federal forests which now suffer massive wildfires.

Counties are concerned about the effect reduced harvesting will have on county revenues.

 

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