Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after reports that the amendment to extend county payments he and Senator Wyden shepherded through the Senate will be included in the conference agreement on the transportation bill:
"This news is a huge relief for Oregon's struggling timber counties. These funds are desperately needed to keep teachers in our schools, first responders on the job, and cops on the beat. But this funding is just a short-term reprieve. We need to figure out a long-term solution that establishes a sustainable timber harvest, creating jobs in the woods and jobs in the mills, while improving healthy forest ecosystems."