A proposal in the U-S House of Representatives to change the management of federal lands in Oregon could mean many new long term jobs.
Congressman Greg Walden says the struggling economy, coupled with restrictions on forest management has devastated Oregonians.
"Of the 14 forested counties I represent, 10 currently face double digit unemployment. 8 of these counties over the last 5 years have had an average poverty level of 14% or greater. How can we let this happen to our rural forested communities? There appears to be a direct connection between the loss of mills and jobs and a substantial increase in poverty."
Walden, along with Oregon Representatives Kurt Schrader and Peter DeFazio testified at a House Subcommittee hearing Thursday about how the lack of logging has affected the state.
They have a plan that would turnover forest management of federal lands to a public board that would use federal laws as they apply to private and state forests.