Wyden O&C bill: 'It doesn't go nearly far enough'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Senator Ron Wyden's O&C timberlands bill was presented last week in Washington DC, but it has left Douglas County commissioners with some questions.

Commissioner Doug Robertson says the bill leaves too many questions. "While some of his principles are included, it doesn't go nearly far enough," Robertson said.

In his testimony last week in DC, Robertson admitted he wasn't happy that county revenues weren't factored into Wyden's O&C bill.

Wyden says that wasn't the point of the bill. "This legislation that we heard on Thursday is a jobs bill, Wyden said. "It's a bill to get folks back to work in the woods."

According to Wyden, his bill would double the harvest on average over the next 20 years.

But commissioner Robertson says that estimate is based on assumptions. "For us, certainty, the amount of volume that's going to come off the lands and the amount of revenue going to the counties are the three components of any piece of legislation that we're concerned about and involved in," he said.

As county commissioner and president of the O&C counties, Robertson is hoping to blend O&C bills drafted by Wyden and congressman Peter DeFazio.

But for that to happen, Wyden's bill will need approval from his committee.