Wyden to Chair Hearing on Eastside Forest Legislation; Four Other Oregon Public Lands Bills

Panel Will Hear Testimony from Forest Service and BLM Officials on Eastside Forest Bill, Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven Among Others

Washington, D.C. – Today, Wednesday May 18, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. PDT) U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will chair a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests to discuss twenty public lands bills including five Oregon bills, among them the Eastside Forest Restoration and Old Growth Protection Act – the landmark agreement between environmental groups and the timber industry in eastern Oregon. Click here to stream the hearing.

The Eastside Forest bill is the culmination of years of negotiation between the environmental community and the timber industry that will end the bitter disputes between the two groups over harvest levels and watershed and old growth protection. The agreement will promote active management of the 8.3 million acres of public forests east of the Cascades.

Also on the docket are the Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven Wilderness Act which will allow for three land exchanges and the preservation as Wilderness of thousands of acres of public forests, the Wallowa and La Pine Land Conveyance Acts to convey BLM land to the County of Deschutes and an old Forest Service Ranger station to the City of Wallowa. Finally, the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Act will designate more than 30,000 acres of BLM and Forest Service land as Wilderness and 14.6 miles of river as Wild and Scenic.

The following officials are expected to testify:

·        Mike Pool, Deputy Director of Operations, Bureau of Land Management.
·        Mary Wagner, Associate Chief of the Forest Service.

The live streaming video will not begin until the hearing begins and may be delayed or interrupted by Senate floor activity.