Clackamas County’s forest dilemma – chainsaws or Uncle Sam?

If you ever doubted that governing is a lot more difficult and nuanced than campaigning, consider Clackamas County’s attempt to sell timber on county-owned forestland near Brightwood. The proposal has been somewhat controversial, and one possible resolution might come as a surprise given commissioners’ focus on employment and the strongly stated frustration of one commissioner, Tootie Smith, with the management of federally owned forestland. First, some background. The so-called Boulder sale covers about 180 acres of a 340-acre parcel the county acquired decades ago through tax foreclosure. It’s been forestland – and subject to harvest – for a long, long time, though the timber in question is well over the county’s 55-year rotation age. In all, about 6.4 million board-feet would be cut, and the revenue would be used to support county parks. The county manages a portfolio of roughly 3,000 acres of timberland for this purpose….…river


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