- Eye on Media
Notwithstanding a resolution signed by a prior commission to support tribal management of the Coos Bay Wagon Road lands the proposal to share CBWR timber harvest proceeds between the Coquille Tribe and the county is already identical to the deal the county currently holds with the BLM. (Technically the county could receive 75% of the revenue but opted to allow 25% for replanting, etc…)
Previously, Main supported the tribal proposal claiming that the BLM is not cutting enough timber to generate any revenue for the county, however, records indicate that the BLM has met 150% of its harvest target, or ASQ, over the last few years through a program of thinning while still complying with all environmental and endangered species requirements. According to CBWR historian Don Gurney the county could earn $1 million annually and is likely owed some money. Randy Sanne has proven that the county is only $500K shy of a balanced budget before revenue from CBWR or the 3% property tax increase. So the importance of working with the tribe appears to have more to do with circumventing NEPA and ESA and ignoring the spotted owl recovery plan which the tribe has publicly admitted they will not follow to let a few operators get their hands on some old growth.
The county believed it had no chance of taking over management of these lands without partnering with the tribe but now that a bill to turn over management directly to the county has been proposed in Congress doing business with the tribe may cost the county money. According to Main, the county manages its own forests at an administrative costs of 10% so partnering with the tribe would cost the county an additional 40% of harvest revenues. Partnering with the tribe distributes almost half the revenue to a tribal population of less than 1,000 while the balance is effectively distributed to the rest of the 63,000 county residents including tribal members living in Coos County.
Sending emails, placing calls and sending letters as well as attending meetings and even holding protests would be more effective than paying up to $60K for a non-binding advisory vote. Finally, the bill as written is not likely to pass and all of this will be moot anyway.