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Oregon panel approves increased logging on Elliot State Forest
SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Land Board gave the go-ahead Tuesday to a plan that will dramatically ramp up logging in a state forest in the Oregon Coast Range. The action came amid protests.
Environmental groups bused in protesters from Portland and Eugene. Long-time activist Tre Arrow led the group in a sing-along outside the Land Board headquarters.
Tre Arrow: "The time is now for the people to rise up."
But the pleas were not enough to convince the Land Board. The panel consists of the Oregon Governor, Treasurer and Secretary of State. After the vote to approve an increased timber harvest, the room erupted in chants and jeers.
Protesters: "Kitzhaber lied, forests died."
Protester Mahogany Aulenbach came to Salem from Monroe, Oregon.
Mahogany Aulenbach : "It's a hard one to see everything being destroyed so quickly for just logging money."
Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler said the plan will boost revenue for the state school fund and provide jobs.
Ted Wheeler: "I'm convinced that there's no such thing as a perfect proposal. But this was a good attempt to balance competing interests."
Governor John Kitzhaber says the Land Board will revisit the plan next year to see if adjustments are needed.
Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network
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101111CL_forest1.jpg Protesters attend the meeting of the Oregon Land Board. Photo by Chris Lehman.
101111CL_forest2.jpg Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler speaks with protesters following a meeting of the Oregon Land Board. Photo by Chris Lehman.