“A Republican or a Democrat, some things we can agree on. Together, we stopped the closure of the VA center and we upgraded regional clinics for veterans. And when Private First Class Chelsea Wells was denied her enlistment bonus, we uncovered a National Guard paperwork glitch that had wrongfully rejected thousands of military bonuses. Today, I’m proud to report, those soldiers are paid, and that glitch is gone. I’m Greg Walden, and I approve this message because some things are worth fighting for, instead of over.”
Catastrophic wildfires: destroying livestock, water, and wildlife, and leaving timber in ruins. The cleanup has to be done. But that’s not enough. It’s time to prevent these catastrophic fires. To do that, we have to change federal law and allow active management that develops healthy forests and creates rural jobs. It’s time the federal government stops shutting us out of our forests, and started better managing.
This year alone, in Oregon, wildfires have consumed more than 1 million acres of rangelands and more than 150,000 acres of forests.
In Oregon, forests cover 48 percent of our state’s land area (30.4 million acres). Of that, 60% is owned and controlled by the federal government, but the federal government only produces 12% of the timber harvest in Oregon. That means 88% of timber harvest comes off of private, state, and tribal lands.
Our federal forests are unhealthy. In Oregon alone, approximately 85% (25.8 million acres) of federal forests are classified as the most unhealthy, at-risk, and fire-prone. Nineteen percent of annual growth on federal lands dies or is infected by bugs and disease each year… compared to less than four percent of annual growth on private lands.
We can do better.
- I continue to work across the aisle to build support for changing the law to allow more of the management decisions for federal forests to be made under our successful state forest law, with local community input and support.
- The heart of the problem is the need to reduce red tape and bureaucracy that drives the cost of producing timber and jobs through the roof and prevents our land managers from doing what needs to be done to improve forest health and create value from and jobs in our forests.
- This is no time to close roads and shut the public out of their forests without community input. I continue to speak out against the flawed travel management plans throughout the Second District. Communities must be able to access the forests and natural resources that surround them.
Federal agencies need to listen to and coordinate with those in our communities that are constantly impacted by their rules and actions—or lack thereof. I’ll continue to press them to do so, and to work to change federal law when they won’t.
Together, we can solve these problems—preventing wildfires and growing jobs in Oregon. I’d appreciate your support in this effort.
I wrote the new broadband jobs law to provide additional 3G and 4G capacity for wireless technologies like smart phones, tablets, and mobile devices. Experts say it can help create hundreds of thousands of American jobs in the next ten years. Even more, it brings mobile infrastructure to areas like rural Oregon. So, when business calls, it won’t be whether you can answer, but how.
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Lawmakers say threats to national cyber security happens numerous times each day…and one local congressman is hoping a local police team can help.
Congressman Greg Walden says the work that goes on at the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force is very similar to the online investigations at many other police agencies. That includes pursuing those who prey on children, but also those who target companies.
Walden says companies can lose up to 20 years of research and development because of a illegal hacking.
“A lot of it having to do with international theft of intellectual property, malware, bots, both malicious and disruptive, threats to critical infrastructure. As well as the sort of crime that we all know about that occurs on the Internet,” says Congressman Greg Walden – (R) U.S. Congress.
Congressman Walden visited the facility on Friday. He expects bi-partisan action on cyber security when congress goes back in session in a few weeks.
Rep. Greg Walden says the Grants Pass Rural Outreach Clinic will be expanded. He made the announcement Thursday. The expansion will allow the clinic to see an additional 1,000 veterans.
Rep. Greg Walden visited a VA rural outreach center in Grants Pass Thursday to show his support for a bigger clinic. The Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center in White City wants to expand the clinic.
The Daily Courier, 11/11/2011
By Jeff Duewel
U.S Rep. Greg Walden got a tour of an expanding wood products complex at Jefferson State Forest Products and Roguewood Furniture on Thursday.
That’s the large quonset-hut-looking place on Morgan Lane, occupied by Caveman Camper for many years, then Rogue Valley Sash and Door, then Bentwood Furniture.
Inside, workers were busy planing, cutting and gluing sugar pine pieces into produce stands for grocery stores.
The sugar pine comes from Rough and Ready Lumber near Cave Junction, where Link and Jennifer Phillippi attempt to keep a 75-year-old sawmill business running in tough economic times.
“I just want (Congressman Walden) to appreciate what we’re trying to do here, create jobs, and grow the local economy” said Bryan Redd, CEO of Upstream 21, parent company for Jefferson State and Roguewood. “My goal is to buy as much of our raw material supply from a 75-mile radius. ”
The metal pans in the wood-wrapped ice chests come from Brill Metal Works in Central Point. A truckload of the produce stands just left for Florida that morning, headed to a Winn Dixie grocery store.
Redd said business has increased 110 percent since arriving in Grants Pass in January from Hayfork, Calif., when it added 15 jobs. The two companies now have 44 workers.
Gary and Randy White, who started building Bentwood Furniture in 1990, still sell Bentwood furniture made by Roguewood in a retail shop in the front of the building. At one time Bentwood had 200 employees, until imported furniture started eroding the American-made market more than a decade ago, Gary White said.
“I think they’re poised to do some good things here,” White said. “A lot of people want American-made. We’re getting a resurgence with furniture.”
Jennifer Phillippi said selling locally is convenient, with easy access to the manufacturer. Link Phillippi said if more federal timber was available the mill could add another shift of 40 or 50 people.
Walden, a Republican whose 2nd District includes Grants Pass, continues to push for more logging to help solve financial woes faced by rural counties in western Oregon, who face the end of subsidies for declining timber receipts.
A bill has been introduced in the Senate to extend “county payment” subsidies. Walden and 4th District U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat who represents much rural Josephine County, are working for passage of the bill and on other legislation to promote increased timber harvests on federal land.
Rep. Greg Walden discusses the need for jobs, stopping job killing rules and regulations, and accessing our natural resources with KOBI Anchor Craig Smullin.
By Bryan Navarro
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Environmental Protection Agency is putting forward new regulations that have timber mills against the ropes.
Emission control, upgrading equipment, and reclassifying wood chips. Boise Cascade officials say if the changes go through, and they’re interpreted at their most severe, the company could be forced to shut down.
Boise and Congressman Walden say the regulations are well intentioned, but they haven’t got it right.
“Nobody’s looking at what happens when all these agencies sort of put out these rules and what that means collectively and can they afford that and can they even comply?” Congressman Walden says.
It could mean fixing Boise’s three boilers, costing more than four million dollars.
Another proposed change would reclassify wood chips.
“The part of the tree that we cant make plywood or big beams out of we burn, and it’s energy recovery. Makes it possible for us to minimize our footprint by not having to buy natural gas,” explains Bruce Cartmel, the manager for the Western Oregon region of Boise Cascade.
If those regulations go through, wood chips would be called waste products.
“That in and of itself would be so horrendously oppresive in terms of land filing, residuals, replacing with natural gas it would probably put us out of business,” Cartmel says.
Congressman Walden is co-sponsoring the EPA Relief Act, which would give the EPA 15 additional months to re-evaluate their regulations, hoping for a second look, before mills go up in smoke. That EPA relief act passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee by a bipartisan vote of 36-14. Congressman Walden says it could be voted on in the House floor in the next few weeks.
U.S. Representative Greg Walden toured CDS Publications, Boise Cascade, and Erickson Air-Crane in southern Oregon to talk about jobs.