ALBANY, Ore. (AP) – A trial in a $1.4 billion breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against the state of Oregon over forestry management is scheduled to begin today. Linn County and 150 other counties and taxing districts sued four years ago, claiming the state has not managed forests for the most long-term, sustainable income as required in a decades-old contract.
A management plan enacted by the Oregon Board of Forestry in 2001 was based on a definition of greatest forest value that includes factors such as recreation, wildlife enhancement and water quality. The plaintiffs say their share of forestry revenues have decrease by $35 million per year. The state claims it has an obligation to amend forest management when those changes affect the environment and wildlife.