Oregon private forestland owners seek state financial aid to replant forest destroyed in severe 2013 fire season, say benefits of replanting include reduced erosion, improved wildlife habitat, added recreational areas, and jobs

LOS ANGELES , January 23, 2014 () – Private forestland owners in Oregon are asking the state legislature to create a permanent state fund that would provide financial aid for the replanting of forests destroyed by wildfires last year, the Statesman Journal reported on Jan. 16.

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry will request US$40 million from the legislature next month, although the total cost of the plan is not yet known.

In 2013, 1,139 fires in the state burned land totaling more than 100,000 acres, with firefighting efforts costing about $122 million.

Some private landowners complain of the high cost of replanting. Roseburg Forest Products, among the largest privately owned wood products companies in the U.S., plans to spend $6 million in the next three years to replant 8,000 acres of burned forestland.

State Sen. Herman Baertschiger told a legislative committee about the plan on Jan. 15 and the Senate Interim Committee on Rural Communities and Economic Development has approved introducing the bill next month, according to the Statesman Journal.

Forestland owners say the plan would benefit the general public, as replacing forest prevents land erosion, provides recreational areas and jobs, and hosts wildlife.

They also want the state to revive an expired tax credit for reforestation.

The primary source of this article is the Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon, on Jan. 16, 2014.

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