Hot topics include damaging State Forest Division budget reductions for FY 2017

O&C Forest Lands Sign

 

Contributed by: Gil Riddell, AOC Policy Director, Public Lands & Natural Resources Policy Manager

July 8, 2016

The Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee (FTLAC), the group of county commissioners created by statute to advise the Board of Forestry (BOF), State Forester, and Department of Forestry (ODF) on matters related to the State Forests/County Forest Trust Lands, met today to receive a briefing from ODF and to prepare comments for the BOF meeting July 20th. Topics on the FTLAC agenda drew Senator Betsy Johnson and the Governor’s Natural Resources Adviser Brett Brownscombe. FTLAC members are Commissioners Tim Josi, Craig Pope, Bill Baertlein, Lianne Thompson, Tony Hyde, Will Tucker, and Faye Stewart.

The FTLAC members are the Board of Directors of the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties (CFTLC), a committee within AOC consisting of commissioners of counties that transferred lands to the state largely under the Forest Acquisition Act to be managed as forestlands for growing and harvesting wood products to produce jobs, revenues, and environmentally sound forests. Revenues from production are shared with the trust land counties, the largest share of which goes to local schools.

Two topics of particular interest at the FTLAC meeting included:

Budget reductions to the State Forest Division of ODF for FY 2017. The Division is the manager of state forests, and with proper production is designed to be self-supporting. However, since the implementation of the current forest management plan the Division has been losing $2 million annually of revenues causing the projection that the Division will be operating in the red by about 2020. Liz Dent, Division Administrator, stated three goals of the planned $1 million reduction of the divisio