Bentz: Timber gridlock annoys

By Pat Caldwell/Baker City Herald July 07, 2014 03:18 pm

The state legislator who represents Baker County says Baker City has advantages in the effort to create jobs 

By Pat Caldwell

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Oregon Rep. Cliff Bentz said last week that the path to success in the future for small towns that dot the high desert steppes of Eastern Oregon really boils down to two key concepts: Patience and hard work.

Bentz, a Republican from Ontario, represents Malheur, Baker and Harney counties and portions of Grant County in the Oregon Legislature.

He said the relationship between local governments and state and federal agencies and general economic development continue to be the key themes expressed by voters when he tours his district. 

“So I’ve been doing a lot of work trying to figure out how to improve the means of strengthening the amount of say folks up there (in Baker County) have,” Bentz said. “Or, at least, clearing up misconceptions that may exist about how much a county can really do when negotiating with the federal government.”

Bentz said easy answers to such complex problems as land-use and federal and state regulations simply do not exist. The critical element, he said, is developing a sturdy line of communication between state and federal agencies and local governments.

“I believe it is a question of how we more effectively communicate with the folks that are charged with managing the land, the Forest Service and the BLM. How do we do a better job of making our position clearer,” he said.

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald.