Letter: The rest of the story

Senators Wyden and Merkley were recently quoted as saying federal harvest levels would need to rise by 400% in order to make up the difference lost through Secure Rural Schools. SRS is a safety net program enacted to help make up for the loss in federal timber receipts due to reductions in Federal Harvest levels caused by environmental regulations when the Spotted Owl was listed as an Endangered Species. Our two Senators maintain a rise of this level is “disconnected from reality.”
Their statement bears scrutiny.
• In 1991 BLM & USFS harvested 2,554 million board feet
• In 2015 BLM & USFS harvested 561 million board feet
• A 400% increase of 510 is 2,244 million board feet, which is still 310 less than what was harvested sustainably in 1991.
They also went on to say that Oregon’s rural communities need to “diversify their economy”, in part, by “increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.” The average salary for people working within the Leisure and Hospitality Sector for Tillamook County is $17,846.

Tim Josi, Tillamook County Commissioner