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Old wounds of Oregon’s timber wars take first step toward healing

Sen. Jeff Golden and Sen. Herman Baertschiger, chair and vice chair of the Senate Committee on Wildfire Response, have differing views of a new state timber deal. (Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau)

SALEM – The deal announced last week was intended to end the war in the woods that has beset Oregon forestry issues for decades.

But not everyone is cheering what Gov. Kate Brown described as a “historic” deal between timber firms and environmentalists. The critics suspect something is more at play than the pursuit of peace.

Some characterize the agreement signed by members of the Oregon Forest & Industries Council and a coalition of environmental groups as the first step in healing, but it also has bearing on a much broader discussions in the Capitol, particularly over climate change. 

“There . . .