Two senators aim to boost funding to the state’s firefighting efforts, one funded by the public, the other by timber companies

ALEX BAUMHARDT Oregon Capital Chronicle, January 7th 2024

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Forestry needs more and consistent funding to fight wildfires. That much was clear following the 2020 Labor Day fires that burned nearly 850,000 acres of forests and became the state’s most expensive disaster in history.

But lawmakers are split on how to pay for it. Two Democratic senators recently unveiled competing proposals to address long-term wildfire funding. Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland, wants a tax on the value of industrial timber harvests to pay for protection that he says disproportionately benefits private forest owners.

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