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Obama threatens to veto bill to spur logging of Oregon's O&C timber lands

President Obama has dashed some cold water on a bipartisan House bill aimed at allowing more logging on Oregon’s “O & C” timber lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Obama administration issued a veto threat against HR 1526, a bill that includes provisions supported by Congressmen Kurt Schrader, D-Canby, Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield and Greg Walden, R-Hood River, to transfer O&C lands to a trust that would be exempted from longstanding federal environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act.

The statement notes the potential for the bill to “undermine appropriate management and stewardship” of public lands, and “compromise habitat for threatened and endangered species.”

The proposal is aimed at spurring more logging activity and easing financial pressures on timber-dependent counties in Oregon.

The president’s action puts more of the onus on U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Portland to come up with a more balanced proposal, according to Tommy Hough, spokesman for Oregon Wild.