Measure 34

Explanatory Statement

Current law directs the State Board of Forestry to manage state forestlands to secure the "greatest permanent value" (defined by the board) of the lands to the state. The board is given authority to protect, manage, utilize and conserve forestlands. The board may sell forest products from the lands as well as seek the protection of fish and wildlife, recreation and water supply. The statutes provide no ranking or preference for one use over another.

The measure requires management of state forests by defining "permanent value" as a balance between sustainable timber production and water, wildlife, watershed protection, recreation, and forest restoration to provide the greatest economic, social, environmental and health benefits to the people of this state.

Measure 34 requires the Board to manage the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests specifically for the purpose of restoring native old growth forests in half of those two forests. The other half would be managed for sustainable timber and revenue production in a way that is at least as protective as what is required under the current State Forest Management Plan.

An Independent Restoration Science Team is created to review and recommend necessary changes to the current forest plan to comply with the standards in the measure. Team members will be selected by the chairs of the biology departments at Oregon's three largest universities. The team must determine the areas best suited for permanent restoration of native old growth forest. The team shall submit its recommendations to the board, which may reject them after a public hearing. The measure requires the board to adopt a new forest plan for the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, with a periodic review to ensure that restoration standards are being met.

Current law distributes revenues derived from the timber harvest in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests under a formula. If the counties agree to modification of the formula, 10 percent of the revenue over 10 years will be used to pay for forest management of the restoration area and for amendment of the forest plan. If the counties do not agree, the State Forestry Department will provide management funds from other state timber revenue.

Public schools in the affected counties shall not receive less revenue than received in 2002-2003 because of any formula modification. The measure directs an additional five percent of the timber harvest revenue from the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests to the Common School Fund.

The measure requires an apprenticeship program in restorative forestry, and requires bidders for restoration forestry work to participate in such apprenticeship programs. The measure encourages the Department of Forestry to support bidding by and contracts awarded to local contractors. Restoration work and timber harvesting on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests will be considered a public work requiring payment of prevailing wages.

Any challenge to passage or implementation of the measure shall be given expedited attention by the courts with appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

Committee Members / Appointed by
Mari Anne Gest / Chief Petitioners
Lyndon Ruhnke / Chief Petitioners
Commissioner Tim Josi * / Secretary of State
Ray Wilkeson * / Secretary of State
Kathleen Beaufait / Members of the Committee

*Member dissents (does not concur with explanatory statement)

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.215.)