Budget cuts could kill forest law

Private lands could lose protection under the Forest Practices Act if budget problems prevail.

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Oregon’s Forest Practices Act currently enforces rules on private lands to protect water and habitats.

But the Oregon Department of Forestry warns that those rules could become voluntary guidelines if staff cuts are made. The fate of two tax measures on January’s ballot is a key factor.

Many state agencies will be going into a special session of the Legislature early next year looking to preserve programs, so the warning about the loss the forest law could be considered a gambit by the agency to ensure it retains funding.

But “we’re not crying wolf,” said Jim Paul, head of the agency’s private forest division.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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