Category Archives: SOS Meetings & Events

Timber and Public Safety

logs

It’s nearly impossible to talk about public safety in Josephine County without mentioning timber. For decades, our public safety services were funded largely by timber receipts from the sale of timber on federally owned land. Now that those federal dollars have mostly dried up, Josephine County has scraped by on federal Secure Rural Schools payments meant to temporarily replace those lost revenues until our county can stand on its own.

Each year, our public safety officials spend a nail-biting few months waiting to hear whether the county will receive another federal payment through the Secure Rural Schools Act. The most recent SRS payment to Josephine County was for nearly $4.9 million. No SRS funding has been authorized for the coming fiscal year.

On Thursday, Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley urged the Senate to pass legislation reauthorizing SRS. But the senators said Congressional leaders blocked their efforts, arguing that more effective timber management could replace the lost revenue. According to Wyden and Merkley, logging on public lands would have to increase by 400 percent to match what counties have been receiving in SRS payments.

Unless there is a last-minute shift by the Senate, the SRS payments that Josephine County received last spring will be our last.

With the failure of the public safety levy on Nov. 8, this leaves us with few options for funding law enforcement in our county.

Securing Our Safety (SOS) is working to get the community more involved in conversations about our county’s future. Please join SOS for our next meeting this Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Newman United Methodist Church at Sixth and B streets in Grants Pass.

To join our email list, send us a message via Facebook, or email media@securingoursafety.org

Photo of the Day

riverside

Autumn explosion of color in Riverside Park.

By posting a Photo of the Day, we’re looking to capture “the good, the bad, the ugly and the unique” of Josephine County.

Do you have a photo you think we should feature? Email it to media@securingoursafety.org

We’re looking for shots that illustrate:

• The beauty of Josephine County
• The crime-related challenges we’re facing
• The essence of what we love about living here
• Aspects of our county we’d like to see improved
• The quirky: Unique stuff you’d only find here

Check out our past photos of the day below:

SAVE THE DATE: SOS Art Auction – Jan. 27

art-auction-retouched

Join us for Securing Our Safety’s annual Art Auction at the Bear Hotel on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017!

This will be a memorable evening showcasing local artists, and a chance to have some fun and get to know our fellow community members.

Admission is $25.

Proceeds will go toward supporting SOS’ mission of ensuring a safe, stable and sustainable Josephine County.