Note: This article, published Dec. 21st, comes from OPB, Oregon Public Broadcasting. If the press offers a feather in the wind showing which way the wind is blowing, then it would seem that SRS may have breathed its final breath.
For 15 years, Congress wrote more than $3 billion in subsidy checks to Oregon counties that had experienced big drops in federal timber harvests.
That program stopped earlier this year.
But many county officials are actually not so sad the federal help expired.
Timber once drove the Oregon economy. In the 70s, the industry employed as many as 80,000 workers. In many western Oregon timber communities, local government operated largely on their share of the revenue from logging federal lands.
Then came one shock after another that slashed at jobs. A deep recession in the early 80s. More efficient mills. And in 1990, federal authorities listed the northern spotted owl as a threatened species. That led to dramatic reductions of timber harvests on public lands.