Merkley, Wyden Announce $35 Million to Restore and Maintain Forest Roads, Watersheds, and Floodplains

Washington D.C. –
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden
announced Tuesday $35 million in funding to put people to work in Oregon
maintaining forest roads, and restoring vital watersheds and floodplains as
part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“There’s no question that Oregon is still facing massive
economic challenges, but the Recovery Act is making a difference,” said
Merkley.  “The funding Senator Wyden and I are announcing today will put
Oregonians to work while supporting the natural resources that make our state
such a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  Each job we save or
create is an opportunity for a family to regain their footing.”

economic recovery funding is about jobs, jobs, jobs,” Wyden said.
“Here we are creating much-needed jobs in some of Oregon’s hardest-hit
counties, jobs that will result in healthier forests and improved
water quality.”  

Twenty-five million dollars will go towards road maintenance
projects that will create jobs in 26 Oregon counties, including Baker,
Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Crook, Harney, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Hood River,
Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Morrow,
Multnomah, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler Counties.

Seven million dollars will go towards watershed restoration
projects including restoration of the Oregon Sand Dunes and improvement of Coho
Salmon habitat in Lane County, restoration of forest fisheries in Douglas
County, restoration of the Lower Snake River Watershed in Baker County, and
watershed restoration on the Upper Grande Ronde River in Union County. 

Over $3 million will go to protect against flooding in
Marion and Yamhill counties.  The funding will help return areas that are
susceptible to frequent flooding back to their natural state, protecting
property and preserving natural areas.

Besides creating much-needed jobs, these projects will
improve safety, reduce erosion, and protect ecosystems.   Funding for
the road maintenance and watershed restoration projects will come through the
United States Forest Service while funding for the floodplain easement projects
will come through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Full details on the forest road maintenance and watershed
restoration projects can be found at the U.S. Forest Service website: