Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

Western Oregon BLM Federal Public Forestlands:

Follow the Money

As the O&C and CBWR lands were on the property tax rolls of the 18 O&C counties (all Oregon counties west of the Cascade Crest (save for Clatsop County) and Klamath County and the two CBWR counties (Douglas and Coos), Congress provided mechanisms to compensate the counties for the now-again federal public forestlands no longer paying taxes to the counties.

For the O&C counties, 75% of gross timber receipts from federal timber sales would go to the counties. In contrast, 25% of such receipts from National Forest System lands goes to the counties and is limited, by Oregon law, to roads and schools.

For the CBWR lands, Congress specified that the federal government would pay the counties the same amount of what they would have received had the lands still been private timberlands (or up to 75% of gross federal timber sale receipts, whichever was lower). In practice, between 1960 and 1994 (after which special congressional funding mechanisms took over), the two CBWR counites received an average of 14% of the revenues from the sale of CBWR timber (see a spreadsheet).

In contrast, for PD lands, 5% of federal timber sale gross receipts goes to the State of Oregon, which keeps 20% and passes on 80% to the county in which the timber was sold. The net result to the county is 4% of federal timber sale gross receipts.