O&C Lands

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O&C Lands Act of 1937
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O&C Lands Act of 1937

Active federal management of the Oregon O&C lands began with the passage of the O&C Lands Act of August 28, 1937. This law provides the authority for management of O&C lands along with Coos Bay Wagon Road lands.

The O&C Lands Act placed management jurisdiction of the lands under the United States Department of the Interior, and directed that timberlands be managed:

. . . for permanent forest production, and the timber thereon shall be sold, cut, and removed in conformity with the principal of sustained yield for the purpose of providing a permanent source of timber supply, protecting watersheds, regulating stream flow, and contributing to the economic stability of local communities and industries, and providing recreational facilities . . .(43 U.S.C. §1181a)

Prior to the passage of the act, no provisions for reforestation existed. The O&C Lands Act embraced the new principles of "sustained yield" requiring that harvested areas be reforested. The intent of the act was to provide a future source of timber which would contribute to local economic stability. It was assumed that providing this continuous source of timber through reforestation and regulated harvest would also protect watersheds and help regulate stream flows.

The O&C Lands Act also required that 50 percent of the revenue generated from management of the lands be returned to the 18 counties that contained revested lands. The revenues are divided annually by the percent of the assessed value of the lands in each county as they were in 1915.