The Cannon Beach City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to adopt a resolution that encourages the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners to opt out of a $1.4 billion lawsuit against the state over timber revenue.
“This resolution that was drafted reaffirms the opinion that our forest has a lot of value outside of monetary, but is also cognizant that our neighbors such as the school district and Clatsop County are dependent on our forest revenue at the same time,” City Manager Brant Kucera said.
The resolution was drafted by former Cannon Beach Mayor Mike Morgan, who cited environmental concerns and the city’s relationship with the Oregon Department of Forestry as reasons to take a stand against the lawsuit.
The class action suit, filed by Linn County on behalf of 15 counties, including Clatsop, claims the state has not maximized revenue from timber harvests on more than 640,000 acres of state-managed forest lands.
Unless Clatsop County commissioners send notice that the county and the taxing districts it represents want to opt out, they will continue to be a part of the suit. The county has until Jan. 25 to make a decision and will accept written comments until Jan. 6.
The Cannon Beach resolution supports the Northwest Oregon State Forest Management Plan. The plan is based on structure-based management, which is designed to “produce and maintain an array of forest stand structures across the landscape” that provide social, economic and environmental benefits.
Councilor George Vetter voted against approving the resolution.
“My sense was that we had not decided to make that recommendation but rather state our perceived value of the forest land,” he said. “This is not what I sensed came out of our work session.”
Vetter said he would like the city to “set an example rather than telling people what they should be doing.”