Jury awards $1.1Billion to Counties for not maximizing harvests on State forestlands, impact on timber supply not clear

A jury found in favor of a group of Oregon counties suing the State of Oregon for under harvesting on State forestlands, in breach of a 1941 agreement when the State of Oregon assumed control of foreclosed timberlands from the counties. The jury awarded $674 million for past damages and $392 for future losses. The state has indicated they plan to appeal. Negotiations are likely during the lengthy appeal process and could include changes to State forest management policy to increase timber harvest, but the likelihood of that occurring is unclear. Over the past five years, timber harvests on state lands have averaged 286 million board feet, or about 7% of Oregon’s total timber harvest.

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