Letter: Expand revenue sources on fed lands
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Reading the Oct. 23 story “National forest branches out,” I can’t believe that $1 million from special forest products rivals 789 million board feet of timber sold. That’s what I first thought when I read “Sales of those products … bring in about $1 million annually, rivaling the $2.5 million to $3 million generated by timber” — 789 million board feet should have generated $80 million.
Another thing happening in Gifford Pinchot is that the early successional state vegetation is being lost. Before logging, fire created this habitat. There are a number of species that depend on early successional state vegetation and they are being lost. Fire or logging should be used more to make more succession vegetation.
And federal land doesn’t pay property tax to the states. So another way must be found to pay for local schools and roads and other county functions. In the past, timber and grazing revenue share from federal lands was paid to the counties. When timber and grazing stopped, other revenue needed to be found from federal lands. Congress has made up some of the slack but can’t be counted on so revenue from berries and branches being sold may help compensate the counties because the feds don’t pay property taxes.