Merkley Statement on Salazar Announcement on Western Oregon Plan Revision and the Spotted Owl Recovery Plan

Washington, DC
– Today, Interior Department Secretary Ken
Salazar withdrew the Western Oregon Plan Revision and the Spotted Owl Recovery
Plan based on findings that the Bush Administration ignored the law and
disregarded science, and a judgment that the WOPR could not stand up in
court.  Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley made the following statement about
the announcement:

“Secretary Salazar’s finding closes the chapter on the Bush
Administration’s forest strategy that manipulated science and flouted the
law.  That strategy wasted a lot of time while our timber communities were
in desperate need of jobs.  I’m pleased that Secretary Salazar and
President Obama are committed to harvesting timber sustainably, restoring
forest health and putting together the types of stewardship agreements that
will result in less litigation and more jobs.   I look forward to
working with them to develop a sustainable long-term policy that creates timber
jobs, restores forest health, reduces the threat of wildfire, and harvests
biomass to make our timber communities part of our clean energy economy.

“I appreciate that officials from the Interior Department
came to Oregon and talked to folks on the ground before reaching this decision
and I encourage them to continue those conversations as they revise the