Oregon Democrat Wyden: Time to boost logging to help timber country

Oregon Democrat Wyden: Time to boost logging to help timber country
FILE - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, answers constituents' questions during one of his town halls in Portland, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. After two years of requesting but not receiving the Obama administration's legal justification for targeting and killing Americans suspected of terrorism, the president ordered its release to lawmakers Wednesday. (Steve Benham/KATU.com File Photo)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden is zeroing in on his plan for boosting logging on federal lands in Western Oregon to help rural counties beset by money problems.

The Oregon Democrat announced Thursday a more specific framework for legislation to address complaints that the so-called O&C lands have not been turning out the level of money for timber counties they did before logging was cut back to protect the northern spotted owl and salmon from extinction.

One key difference between Wyden's vision from the Senate side of the Capitol and a legislative proposal in the House is that timber counties that refuse to raise below-average property tax rates would not get as much help from the federal government as counties that are willing to help themselves.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press