Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, January 11, 2017, Page A16, Image 16

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January 11, 2017
Wallowa County Chieftain
Coalition pressures counties to Enterprise DMV
exit $1.4 billion forest lawsuit closed for repairs
East Oregonian
Class action seeks compensation
for change in forest policy
By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Bureau
Fifteen Oregon counties
must soon decide whether to
opt out of a class action law-
suit seeking $1.4 billion for
allegedly insuffi cient logging
in state forests.
As the Jan. 25 deadline
approaches, a coalition of
environmental and fi shing
groups is urging counties
and the taxing entities within
them — including school and
fi re districts — to exit the lit-
The North Coast State
Forest Coalition, which rep-
resents the seven organiza-
tion, hopes to send a message
that counties and taxing dis-
tricts see state forests as more
than just “piggy banks,” said
Chris Smith, the coalition’s
Linn County is the lead
plaintiff in the lawsuit but its
boundaries contain far few-
er acres of state forestland
than Tillamook, Clatsop and
Washington counties, he said.
“If some of the bigger
counties opt out, the merits
of the case are then suspect,”
said Smith.
John DiLorenzo, the attor-
ney representing Linn Coun-
ty, said the groups within the
coalition have nothing to lose
with their request, but coun-
ties and tax districts will suf-
fer remorse if they opt out.
“It’s a half-baked strate-
gy,” DiLorenzo said.
The lawsuit simply aims
to recoup revenues lost by
the counties when the State
of Oregon changed forest
policies in 1998 to focus on
the environment and recre-
ation instead of maximizing
logging, he said.
By making that deci-
sion, Oregon’s government
breached its contract with
counties, which turned over
their forestlands in the early
20th Century in return for a
portion of timber revenues,
DiLorenzo said.
Counties and tax district
that exclude themselves from
the lawsuit won’t impact for-
est policy because the case is
purely about fi nancial dam-
ages, he said.
“Opting out is a useless
gesture that amounts to turn-
ing down money,” DiLoren-
zo said. “They will have a lot
of explaining to do the next
time they ask voters for more
Entities that exit the litiga-
tion also won’t have any in-
fl uence if Oregon does decide
to enter settlement negotia-
tions, he said. “You have to
be at the table to have a judge
listen to you.”
Smith, of the North Coast
State Forest Coalition, coun-
tered that counties and other
entities that opt out of the
case will reduce the state’s
possible liability and thus the
pressure to settle.
“They haven’t won the
case yet and I’m not at all
sure they will,” he said.
Opting out also reinforces
Oregon’s argument that state
forests are valuable for multi-
ple purposes, including water
quality and recreation, Smith
While Tillamook County
has decided not to exit the
litigation, the coalition still
hopes to sway other entities,
he said. “We’re trying to
make the case and our sup-
porters are talking to their
(county) commissioners.”
Linn County fi led the law-
suit earlier this year on behalf
of itself and 14 other counties
that donated roughly 650,000
acres to the State of Oregon.
Since then, its complaint
has survived the state gov-
water pipe has forced the clo-
sure of the Oregon Depart-
ment of Motor Vehicles fi eld
offi ce in Enterprise.
Workers discovered the
damage Monday, and will
determine an exact reopening
date after assessing the repairs
Continued from Page A10
Fulfer had praise for play-
er Trey Wandschneider who
scored two points.
“He plays a Dennis Rod-
man type of role for us, he
really plays tough defense,”
Fulfer said.
The wins left the boys with
a 3-1 league record and 9-3
The road was a bit more
rocky for the girls, who took a
55-41 loss at the hands of Echo.
Coach Lance Homan at-
tributed the loss to a lack of
energy on his team’s part.
“Echo came out more ag-
gressive and with more ener-
gy and we didn’t match them
and restoration.
The Enterprise offi ce, lo-
cated at 200 W. North St., is
typically open from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. Tuesday through Thurs-
day. The nearest DMV offi ces
are located in La Grande and
Baker City.
For DMV services, resi-
dents can also visit www.ore-
in those departments,” Ho-
man said.
The Saturday game at Wal-
lowa saw the girls back to
form, cruising to a 52-37 vic-
tory. Homan was pleased with
the turnaround.
“I was proud of how our
girls responded the next night
against Wallowa,” he said.
“We came out very aggressive
and we made some shots ear-
ly. Wallowa plays with a lot
of heart and energy. Annette
Moeller does a great job with
them. We were able to even-
tually pull away, but it was a
pretty tight game most of the
The week left the lady Ea-
gles with a 2-2 league record
and 8-3 overall. Both teams
next play Pine Eagle at home
on Friday, Jan. 13.
Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press
Fifteen counties and roughly 130 tax districts are being
pressured by environmental and fishing groups to opt out of
a $1.4 billion lawsuit that accuses Oregon’s government of
insufficiently logging state forests.
ernment’s motion to dismiss
and has been certifi ed by
Linn County Circuit Judge
Daniel Murphy as a class
action, which means other
counties and tax districts are
included in the litigation un-
less they object.
The lawsuit claims Or-
egon breached its contract
with counties in 1998 when
it emphasized environmental
and recreational goals as the
“greatest permanent values”
of state forests, rather than
maximizing revenues.
Up to 150 local taxing
districts that receive timber
sales receipts from harvests
from the Oregon Forest Trust
Lands contract could be eli-
gible join the suit. That in-
cludes schools, libraries,
public safety agencies and
other districts.
The other counties that
benefi t from the trust are
Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop,
Columbia, Coos, Douglas,
Josephine, Klamath, Lane,
Lincoln, Marion, Polk, Tilla-
mook, and Washington.
Continued from Page A10
On the Outlaw side, Shane
Lund at 113 lbs. and Cole
Farwell at 126 lbs. thorough-
ly dominated their opponents
with Farwell winning his
championship match by fall
in short order. Dylan Staigle
just missed the championship
round but still won a decisive
victory for the third place slot
at 132 lbs.
Enterprise coach Troy Far-
well praised his team’s effort.
“Cole (Farwell) came out
real aggressive and won his
bracket, Shane (Lund) had a
great match. My whole team
wrestled well all weekend,” he
said. Farwell added the tourna-
ment afforded the opportunity
to see all the other teams and
wrestlers in their district.
Joseph coach Tim Kieseck-
er also praised his team’s per-
“With seven wrestlers we
ended up in pretty good team
shape,” he said. “They put
forth a pretty good effort. Also
the turnout with the roads the
way they were was great.”
Kiesecker also had high
praise for the meet volunteers.
“I want to thank all the
folks who make this happen,”
he said. “There’s so many vol-
unteers that most people don’t
Thank you Wallowa Count y
for an amazing 2016!
We look forward
to serving you in
with all of your
Hardware needs.
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