July 17, 2017 10:45 a.m.
County commissioners representing the Association of O&C Counties met with Congressman Greg Walden and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during his visit to southern Oregon on Sunday.
Douglas County Commissioner and AOCC President Tim Freeman said that “board members shared their situations relative to the loss of O&C timber revenue and the resulting impacts on their ability to keep basic services at acceptable levels”. Freeman said that “the inclusion of over 40,000 acres of O&C lands in an expansion to the Cascade Siskiyou monument was also discussed in some detail”.
Freeman told Walden and Zinke that prior to the designation by President Obama, the counties were left out of discussions that were taking place with both of Oregon’s U.S. Senators and with the Governor. Freeman said that “impacts at the local level were ignored”.
Attending the meeting along with Freeman were Josephine County Commissioner and AOCC Vice President Simon Hare, Polk County Commissioner and AOCC Secretary/Treasurer Craig Pope, Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris and Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts.
According to Commissioner Freeman, Secretary Zinke said his recommendations regarding all 27 monuments under consideration will be announced on August 24th.