Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon was named to the Oregon and California (O&C) Solutions Task Force by Gov. John Kitzhaber, his office reported. O&C lands are federally-owned timberlands to be managed for permanent forest production, environmental protection, recreational facilities and economic stability of local communities.
Damon was named to the group of 13 other county officials, forest products industry representatives and conservation leaders to address challenges facing O&C counties in Oregon.
The Governor asked the group to build on existing proposals and develop recommendations that help Oregon’s O&C counties improve financial stability, ensure adequate sources of timber that support local mills and jobs, and meet Oregon’s water and land conservation goals. The group will craft a proposal to take to the Oregon delegation and Congress in early 2013.
“What an honor to be appointed to a task force of such regional significance,” said Damon. “This appointment correctly identifies that this is more than just a rural county issue. Even as a metro area county, over half of Clackamas County's 1.2 million acres are in federal forest ownership, supporting many diverse interests and jobs connected to conservation and environmental stewardship, wood and forest products manufacturing as well as recreation and tourism. This task force will seek to create solutions that will restore funding for critical county services such as roads, schools and public safety; create jobs and protect the environment. I am grateful for the Governor's appointment and look forward to contributing to this essential work."
The O&C Act of 1937 set aside about 2.4 million acres of federally-owned forest lands in 18 western Oregon counties for the economic benefit of those counties. Approximately 75,000 acres of O&C forest land is in Clackamas County that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management for the O&C counties.
These lands were originally granted to the Oregon and California Railroad Co. by the federal government in the 1860s to encourage development in western Oregon.
For more information, please contact Gary Schmidt at 503-742-5908.