WHICH CUP IS THE BALL UNDER?

http://www.co.benton.or.us/boc/read_article.php?p=333&d=boc

Benton County Commissioners Annabelle Jaramillo and Jay Dixon joined other county leaders from around the state advocating for the continuation of Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act payments at a meeting with high-ranking federal officials on Friday in Portland.

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http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/wopr/oclands.php

The fact is there was an act in place to do some of what the Commissioners would like to do and it is the O&C Lands Act.

The O&C Lands Act placed management jurisdiction of the lands under the United States Department of the Interior, and directed that timberlands be managed:

. . . for permanent forest production, and the timber thereon shall be sold, cut, and removed in conformity with the principal of sustained yield for the purpose of providing a permanent source of timber supply, protecting watersheds, regulating stream flow, and contributing to the economic stability of local communities and industries, and providing recreational facilities . . .(43 U.S.C. §1181a

Our current Commissioners have been working against this act by one not being a member of the O&C Counties Association. By the way they are the only county in Oregon not a member. This organization worked diligently to bring a plan forward to allow for management of the timberlands and bringing back the money needed for schools and roads. The Commissioners just want to continue federal welfare payments that took the place of the O&C Lands Act because they can not maintain your schools and roads without the payments, but do not want to allow logging. We can not stand back and let the Commissioners talk out of both sides of their mouths.

http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/wopr/pub_comments/paper_documents/Paper_1764-1924/WOPR_PAPER_01875.10001.pdf

The rest of this article is back slapping bologna to make it seem like lowering levy fees assessed is something good. Stop the Band-Aid, welfare, ecosystem revenue, waste of tax payer funds and let’s go back to the great work many including the O&C Counties Association are doing. We need to implement the WOPR plan as soon as possible by putting pressure on the President to stop the Department of Interior’s destruction of our local economy.

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Rep. Kurt Schrader organized a roundtable discussion with United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss the topic of county forest payments. Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. David Wu and Rep. Greg Walden also were present.
“Secretary Vilsack was asked to include a long-term reauthorization of Secure Rural Schools in the President’s 2012 budget,” Commissioner Jaramillo said. “This was a timely discussion because the current act expires in September of 2011.”
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 was enacted to provide rural communities a predictable level of funding for schools, roads and other important public services. The funding was to offset decreasing revenues to counties due to declining timber harvests and other revenue-generating activities on federal lands. That law sunset in 2005, but was extended in 2007 and 2008 to continue funding services in many parts of the country, including many counties in rural Oregon. Aside from going to local schools the funding also is used for maintaining infrastructure, public safety, improving health of watersheds and ecosystems, protecting communities and strengthening local economies based on recommendations of local advisory committees.
Without continued funding many counties in rural Oregon will not be able to meet their current levels of service to their residents. Benton County was fortunate that its taxpayers voted to pass a local option levy to offset those revenue losses locally. When the federal funding was extended, the tax rate on that levy was reduced based on the amount received by the federal government.
“Oregon counties need stable and reliable funding to continue offering the services that are necessary to healthy communities and ecosystems,” Commissioner Jaramillo said. “We deeply appreciate Congressman Schrader’s efforts in bringing together all the parties.”

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