Federal Lands Within Josephine County

I will work with various State and Federal agencies and encourage them to accept and recognize the mutual responsibility of an active, constructive coordination program that already exists in our laws. This will give a stronger voice over management of  Federal lands within Josephine County. Working with nature, we can restore a healthy forest, greener and cleaner water sheds, manage the forest to reduce catastrophic wildfires, so that our forest supports habitat for wildlife, clean air, clean water, and provide for a stronger economy.

Coordination between the federal government agencies and county government is required by law and we must demand a seat at the planning table. Our county is sixty-nine percent controlled by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. For our own good and future economic prosperity we must be allowed to be part of the planning process. I will work tirelessly to make this happen!

Roads on Federal Land

Roads on the National Forest and BLM lands in Josephine county are very important for access and use of our lands. Necessary for use in fighting forest fire, recreation and producing any resources for the good of the people.

2015 ORS 368.016¹ County authority over roads

(1) Except as provided in this section or as otherwise specifically provided by law, the exercise of governmental powers relating to a road within a county is a matter of county concern.

RS 2477 It granted to counties and states a right-of-way across federal land

Revised Statute 2477 (commonly known as “RS 2477”) was enacted by the United States Congress in 1866 to encourage the settlement of the Western United States by the development of a system of highways. Its entire text is one sentence: “the right-of-way for the construction of highways across public lands not otherwise reserved for public purposes is hereby granted.”

O&C Receipts vs County Taxes

History of the O & C Lands

The O & C Lands have a history unlike any other lands in the United States. The saga stretches back 150 years and encompasses the time of westward expansion and settlement, complete with railroad barons, a land grant of millions of acres, land fraud on a massive scale, and ultimately the reversal of the land grant. Peace and prosperity within the 18 O & C Counties has been periodically interrupted by economic strife and legal controversies at every level including more than one trip to the United States Supreme Court and multiple acts of Congress to solve problems traceable to the lands being returned to the federal government in 1916 after 40 years of private ownership.

More than fifty years of stability was achieved starting in 1937 with passage of the O & C Act, but that stability unraveled starting in the early 1990s. The courts and Congress have been unable to restore order to management of the O & C Lands over the last 25 years, but the legal issues are back in court and ripe for resolution as the O & C Lands enter the second half of their second century.