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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon County Files $1.4 Billion Lawsuit Against State

Francis Eatherington
Flickr -
File photo. Linn County has filed a $1.4 billion class-action lawsuit against the State of Oregon over forestry money.

An Oregon county is suing the state over forestry money. Commissioners from Linn County, located between Salem and Eugene, announced the $1.4 billion class-action lawsuit Wednesday at a press conference at the state Capitol.

They want the state to increase logging, since revenue from state forests is distributed among the 15 counties where the forests are located.

Portland attorney John DiLorenzo is representing Linn County. He said the state is falling short of its legal obligations to manage forest land for its greatest value.

"The state has known for quite some time that there has been a very soft underbelly to their position,” DiLorenzo said. “And I believe the Linn County Commissioners have found that soft underbelly."

The money from the lawsuit would be shared among the counties and local government agencies in those counties.

The office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.