Appeal request denied in $1 billion timber revenue lawsuit

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A class action lawsuit that alleges insufficient logging of Oregon’s forests can go to trial without first being reviewed the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The Capital Press reports that Linn County Circuit Judge Daniel Murphy has rejected a motion by the State of Oregon to allow for an “interlocutory appeal” on legal questions before the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The complaint seeks more than $1 billion in damages on behalf of 14 counties and numerous taxing districts, which claim they’ve received inadequate logging revenues from forestland they’d donated to the state government in the early 20th century.

Contractual agreements require those forests to be managed for maximum timber revenue, but for the past 20 years, the plaintiffs say Oregon has instead focused on environmental and recreational values.