PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Commissioners will hold two meetings next week, to gather public input on the latest draft of a county Natural Resources Plan. The plan has become a controversial topic for some residents, but County Judge Seth Crawford says it simply lays out guidelines for working with the federal government to manage forestland. "The Forest Service and BLM are not policy organizations. They’re there to do a job that they get rules from Washington, DC that they’re asked to follow. The county, though, it’s our job to look out for the best interest of the citizens. What I see is us working with the Forest Service to show them what the best use of our forest is, for our citizens, and come together and come up with a plan."
A previous version of the plan was rejected in August 2016. Then-Commissioner Crawford was the only member of the County Court to vote for it. The other two who opposed the draft are no longer on the Court. Crawford tells KBND News, "My conversations with people from the Forest Service is, they’re not going to say it publicly, but they’re not happy with the way things are being managed. I mean, look at all the smoke we had in our communities all across our state and the western United States, this year. There clearly needs to be a different way to manage our forests." Click HERE
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The first public hearing starts Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the County building on Court Street; the second takes place during the regular County Court Meeting, Wednesday at 9 a.m.