In February, the Oregon Department of Forestry dropped a bomb on my community. They announced their draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for state forests would result in a 34% reduction in harvests beginning next year—a reduction that would likely last for the next 70 years. On March 7th I left home before the sun came up to travel to Corvallis to make sure the Board of Forestry understood just how bad the proposed HCP would be for me, my family, and our business.
My name is Harold Kottre. I am an employee of a small, family-owned logging company in Tillamook. Kottre Tree Farms was founded over 30 years ago by my father and uncle. Today, these two men along with me, my brother, a cousin, and twenty others work side-by-side to move wood safety and sustainably from the forest to local mills. Our annual payroll exceeds $1.4 million and we provide paid sick leave, vacation and full family heath benefits. The average age of our employees is 34. I mention this because these are truly family wage jobs. Most of our employees support kids who attend local schools. We also subcontract with around 15 other small businesses in the community. Last year these businesses received $2 million from Kottre Tree Farms alone—work we were able to provide because of state forest timber harvests.
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