Told You So
The economy in the Northwest didn’t go into a tailspin after the feds curtailed logging in the early 1990s to protect old-growth forests and the northern spotted owl, according to a new report by three Oregon economists from ECONorthwest, an economic consulting company. Rather, the economy seems to have performed better, in part because forest protection efforts made the region a more desirable place to live, according to the study authors. Timber officials and politicians predicted the region would lose up to 150,000 jobs after timber cuts in the early 1990s, but the report contends that only about 9,300 jobs were lost because of old-growth protections. Meanwhile, the region has added tens of thousands of new jobs every year, with the annual increase in employment exceeding the total number of timber industry jobs.