Skamania County Commissioners have lashed out at the federal government, Congress, the President and especially the U.S. Forest Service in a three-page declaration of a state of emergency in Skamania County.
The commissioners note that 88 percent of the land in Skamania County is government-owned and thus pays no taxes and the majority of that is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They say the forest lands are in poor health due to what they call “federal mismanagement driven by ill-advised environmental policies” which have “created catastrophic health, safety, welfare and economic effects to Skamania County.”
The declaration also says that Skamania County officials have lost trust in the capability of local US Forest Service management to implement the goals of the Northwest Forest Plan, that they have been avoiding and limiting timber harvest that would provide healthy forest conditions and timber receipts to the count and that the Forest Service has not involved the commissioners in planning and management of the forest, which they say is required by laws and regulations.
Commioners are particularly incensed by what they say is a plan by the Forest Service to buy more private land and take it off the tax rolls.
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