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Another year of fun filled snarky news commentary and analysis is almost over and this December marks the second consecutive month that MGx has reached over 20,000 global visitors. Most visitors are from the US and 1% are classified as "addicts" and 35% as "regulars" by Quantcast. Almost 450 regulars are Oregon residents from Portland to Salem to Ashland to Brookings.
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"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013
Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden released the O&C TRUST, CONSERVATION, AND JOBS ACT this afternoon. The bill proposes to convert 1.5 million acres of O&C lands to a committee managed “public trust” to provide some revenue to cash strapped counties. What is immediately notable about the bill is the proposed handling of the Coos Bay Wagon Road lands which proposes giving management of stands less than 125 years old not to the Coquille Tribe but rather to the county. The county may choose to contract with the tribe or any other public or private timber management but may opt to use its own forester. Evidently, Parry’s lobbying didn’t benefit the tribe at all.
The bill is not well received by environmental groups.
Title III- Coos Bay Wagon Road Lands
Sec.301. Transfer of management authority over certain Coos Bay Wagon Road lands to I Coos County,Oregon
Transfers management authority of timber stands on the Coos Bay Wagon Road lands under 125 I years old to Coos County excluding all federal lands within the National Landscape Conservation System, Areas of Critical Environmental Concem, National Wildemess
Preservation System, National Wild a¡d Scenic Rivers System, national monument, paxk, or other developed recreation areas.
Transfers management authority oftimber sta¡ds older than 125 years, and all excluded lands above, found on the Coos Bay Wagon Road lands to the United States Forest Service.
Requires Coos County to abide by all management restrictions described in Section 214 of this title.
Directs Coos County to assume all management and administrative costs of the lands transfened
to the county.
Authorizes Coos County to contract the management and administration of the transferred lands to a public, private, or tribal entity substantially based in Coos or Douglas counties and requires the contract to be competitively bid.
Authorizes revenues generated from the transfer¡ed Coos Bay Wagon Road lands to be deposited in the general fund ofCoos County.
Requires Coos County to make eight annual payments of$400,000 to the United States Treasury beginning in year three.
Requires Coos County to make annual payments to Douglas County beginning the first fiscal year for which management of the transferred lands generate net positive revenues and requires that the annual payment to Douglas County be based on the proportion of Coos Bay Wagon Road lands in Douglas County bears to all Coos Bay Wagon Road lands in the State.
Sec.302. Transfer of Certain Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands to US Forest Service
Transfers administrative jurisdiction of all timber stands on the Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant lands over 125 years and excluded in Section 301 to the United States Forest Service.
Sec. 303. Land exchange authority
Provides authority for Coos County to recommend changes to the Forest Service to improve management efficiencies and for conservation purposes.
Sec.304. Continued treatment of Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant lands as Federal land for certain purposes.
Exempts the Coos Bay ‘Wagon Road Grant lands from State and local property taxes and severance taxes in the same manner as other federal lands.