A deal, amid threats of battles at the ballot over Oregon’s forests and logging practices, was struck Monday between environmental groups and timber industry members.

In the agreement, announced by the Governor’s Office, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed outlining significant changes to be sought in Oregon’s forest management practices in the 2020 Legislative Session.

In a press release announcing the deal, Governor Brown commented, “Oregonians want healthy forests and fish, a vibrant forest sector, and prosperous rural communities. These are not mutually exclusive goals. The conversations that brought forth this agreement, coupled with sound science, will bring certainty for everyone involved while protecting Oregon’s environment and endangered species.”

According to the Governor’s Office, the MOU will:

“Drive a process for Oregon to update its timber practices: For the first time, Oregon will strive for the endorsement of federal wildlife agencies, signifying that the state’s forest practices are protective of threatened and endangered species, including Oregon’s iconic salmon. Through this process, the state will seek a Habitat Conservation Plan, allowing Oregonians to continue their long tradition of working in the woods while honoring natural habitats.

“Support passage of new legislation for the 2020 session on aerial spraying of pesticides: A state-of-the-art system will build confidence with forest neighbors, who will be eligible to receive real-time notification that aerial spraying will occur. This first of its kind system will expand protected spray buffers around drinking water, homes, and schools.

“Expand forest stream buffers in the Rogue-Siskiyou region: New legislation will also expand forest stream buffers along salmon, steelhead, and bull trout streams, aligning forest practices in the area with those of the rest of western Oregon.”

To view the complete MOU, click here.

Both parties agreed to drop all forest policy initiative petitions and litigation after passage of legislation in the 2020 Legislative Session directed by the MOU.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate