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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Union County commissioner slated to testify for forest access bill

Union County commissioner slated to testify for forest access bill

The Union County Board of Commissioners today joined commissioners from Wallowa County in voicing support for HR 4272, the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Greg Walden, is scheduled to be discussed in a House Natural Resources Subcommitteee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation hearing Tuesday and is intended halt the travel management rule on national forests in the West. Union County Commissioner Steve McClure is slated to testify on the matter.

"The hearing is the first step in passing my common-sense bill to stop the misguided travel management rule on national forests in the West and promot local control over future proposals that could restrict forest access. I'm pleased that my friend Steve McClure will be there to give his support to the bil and perspective as a county commissioner," Walden said in a statement. "Federal agencies need to heed the input and wish of local citizens before closing roads and restricting access. My bill will bring management decision about public lands back to rural communities and force the Forest Service to listen to Oregonians."

Union County commissioners today said passage of the bill would give counties a voice and local control to bring traditions of forest activity back to communities. McClure said that the Forest Service essentially ignored input from local forest users when developing its plan.

The proposed bill prohibits the implementation or enforcement of the Forest Service's Travel Management Rule and place restrictions on the Forest Service before implemented a proposed road closure, decommissioning or change in road densities in forests. To do so, the USFS would have to consult the affected counties during the planning process and get concurrence from the counties before the plan goes into effect.

 
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