Ruling sets up timber lawsuit by Oregon counties

The class-action lawsuit seeks $1.4 billion over logging harvests

Timber logs, file. (Flickr Creative Commons)
Timber logs, file. (Flickr Creative Commons)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A Linn County Circuit Court judge’s ruling clears the way for 15 Oregon counties and dozens of taxing districts to move ahead with a class-action lawsuit seeking $1.4 billion over logging harvests on state-managed lands.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( ) that Judge Daniel Murphy’s decision certifying a class consisting of the counties and some 130 districts means a lawsuit filed in March can proceed to trial early next year.

The suit alleges the state has for decades placed conservation goals ahead of sustainable harvest levels on state-managed timberlands. The counties allege that the state’s own figures show they have been deprived of at least $1.4 billion needed to fund basic services.

The counties and taxing districts involved all rely on logging money derived from harvests on state lands.