Urges Governor Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon State Legislature to fund the Oregon Department of Forestry and it’s two major programs; Protection From Fire and the Oregon Forest Practices Act:

WHEREAS, the Oregon Department of Forestry is one of the most efficient and well-managed of all state agencies in Oregon,

WHEREAS, the Department of Forestry’s two major programs – Protection From Fire and Forest Practices – provide important benefits not only to the forest industry and forest landowners, but also to the broader citizenry and economy of Oregon,

WHEREAS, Oregon just experienced one of the worst fire seasons in it’s history, and unhealthy forest conditions, particularly on federal land, where there is a high probability of catastrophic fire events,

WHEREAS, Oregon Department of Forestry’s Protection From Fire Program is funded 50% from the state General Fund and 50% from landowner assessments,

WHEREAS, reducing the General Fund share of this program by $1 actually takes more than $3 out of the program because landowner assessments and Bureau of Land Management payments are also automatically reduced under current law and policy,

WHEREAS, the state of Oregon shares the financial risk of bad fire years in the future because the state is responsible for catastrophic fire suppression costs that exceed $10 million annually and because fire insurance may no longer be available or affordable,

WHEREAS, adequate funding of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Forest Practice Program is essential to ensure effective administration of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, thereby maintaining public confidence that Oregon’s forests are being properly managed,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that despite the state’s current fiscal woes, members of the Oregon Logging Conference request it be a top priority of Governor Kulongoskiand the 2003 State Legislature to provide adequate General Fund support at levels no less than the 2002 budget for the Oregon Department of Forestry.