Timber counties struggle as federal support dries up

Federal dollars have kept counties afloat without logging

In this April 7, 2017, photo, patrons walk into the main Josephine County library branch in Grants Pass, Ore., as it opens its doors in the morning. The library system in Josephine County has been operating as a nonprofit on donations and volunteer hours since it lost public funding, but a measure on the May 16, 2017, ballot could restore limited tax dollars by creating a special library tax district. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) – Nearly 30 years after environmental protections slashed logging, the rural Oregon counties that thrived on federal timber revenues are struggling to provide basic services to residents.

In this April 7, 2017, photo, a large display stands in the lawn of the main Josephine County library branch in Grants Pass, Ore. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Federal dollars that have kept these counties afloat without logging have expired after years.

Now, tax measures on the ballot in the upcoming May 16 election in some of these counties illustrate their financial plight. Libraries are in danger of closing down and voters are being asked to approve extra taxes to keep sheriff’s deputies on the streets.

Yet anti-tax sentiment is strong here, where President Donald Trump dominated in November.

Many residents feel county leaders are quick to come to voters and must do more to bring back timber dollars.