Frustration: Will It Lead to Change?

In Eastern Oregon some have the impression that “a breath of fresh air is blowing across the landscape of forestry issues in Eastern Oregon”

Some Key Points from the Wallowa County Chieftain:

1) ““I don’t think Oregonians want their forests destroyed by runaway fires every summer and their air-sheds choked to the point that they can’t breathe,” Walden said. “I think we have real momentum to do good public policy.””

2) “Commissioners have long been frustrated when agreements reached with the U.S. Forest Service are discarded by other agencies that were not present when discussions took place.”

3) “the last few weeks have seen an abrupt change in the attitude of forest managers. Commissioners reported that in August, Penya was uninterested in their issues and let them know that conversations were over and USFS was moving forward with forest plans re-written by agencies.
Just two weeks later, commissioners reported, Penya seemed in the mood to negotiate.
“He called me and asked me about my opinion on how to do things,” said McClure. “He asked me — that’s a real change in status. He is really concerned about moving this thing forward. I brought up the issue on grazing. I was going to ask him for half a billion board feet for Boise Cascade before it was over … he was pushing hard to see that something got done.””

4) USFS Chief ““Tooke is all about getting in after these fires and all about trying make these systems work,””

5) ““It’s a different attitude now (with agencies, such as USFS, NIMS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife). It’s about how can we help. I feel like for the first time there is a new opportunity to really have an impact with these agencies.””

Only time will tell.

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