Oregon board holds off auction on logging boost

SALEM — The Oregon Board of Forestry has affirmed its desire to increase timber revenues shared with counties from logging on the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests.

But the board decided Friday that it wants more information on just what fish and wildlife need from the forest before taking formal action.

The Clatsop and Tillamook state forests are made up of lands taken over by the state after a series of massive forest fires in the early 20th century.

As the forests matured, the Oregon Department of Forestry had set ambitious goals for fish and wildlife habitat, as well as timber revenues shared with counties.

Department of Forestry spokesman Dan Postrel says everyone is going to have to lower their expectations of what the forest can provide.

Though the board had wanted to increase timber revenues by 30 percent or more over the next 10 years, computer models suggest only an 8 percent to 10 percent increase can be achieved while trying to meet fish and wildlife habitat goals, Postrel said.

Increasing revenues is made more difficult because log prices have fallen steeply since the housing bubble burst, he added.

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