Industrial logging is wiping out forests at an unsustainable pace for economy AND ecology. We can’t afford to leave our future in the hands of corporate timber barons. Over 50% of timber harvested in the northwest is shipped across the ocean to maximize corporate profits, instead of keeping the processing and manufacturing jobs in the local areas where timber is harvested.
In this time of growing economic and ecological crisis, the security of our communities is in the land. Local hunting, fishing and selective logging has been a way of life for thousands of years, but corporate clear cutting is wiping out this way of life. There is only 3% of native forests left in the entire country; most of them here in Oregon. It’s time to take back the land we live on and demand local control of the economy.
Oregon’s ancient native forests are the oldest and best classrooms. If these natural ecosystems and the animals that depend on them are lost to industrial logging, then these educational opportunities are lost and no amount of school board money can buy them back. If endangered animals that live in these forests disappear from extinction, they will be gone forever…
Don’t let Roseburg Forest Product steal our children’s future.
For those of you don’t know the Oregon Timber Harvest “privilege” tax was repealed for property owners who own more than 5,000 acres starting in 1999 and fully implemented in 2004.
I have a data sheet from the Oregon Department of Revenue which states that State School Funds to public schools from timber harvest taxes dropped from $22.1 million in 2000-01 to $168,000 in 2006-07.
For Community Colleges it started at $1.66 million dropping to $11,650 in the same period.
Timber harvest taxes to local governments (county) to schools in 2000-01 was $22.734 million dropping to 0 in 2002-07.
For other local government purposes harvest taxes started at 6.07 million in 2000-01 dropping to 290,177 in 2006-07.
So, while the timber barons get a big fat tax break the state forests like the Elliott have to be hammered to make up the difference for schools.
Who benefits all the way to the bank (Umpqua Bank if you will)? Allyn Ford, Giustina, Phillippi, Seneca and their buddies.
Roy Keene and others foresters (not industrial deforesters) wrote an initiative to repeal the Oregon Timber harvest tax exemption as well as to tax clear-cutting of young forests on private lands out of existence back in 2001.
How you may ask?
Every board foot of fiber would be taxed 1 cent per board foot multiplied times every year it was clear-cut below say 80 years old.
So, if one clear-cut a stand of trees at 40 years old one would be assessed a 1 cent multiplied by 40 or 40 cents per board foot. 1000 board feet sells for about $300. So the tax would be about $400 thus the tax would higher the the value of the fiber. Partial harvest would be exempt from the full brunt of the tax (as defined in the initiative).
Sure it’s not perfect but it would curtail clear-cutting and take the pressure of state and other public lands to support the schools and counties.