PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The state Department of Forestry says Oregon's landmark laws protecting water and wildlife habitat on private forests may have to become voluntary guidelines if its enforcement staff is cut further.
The dean of Oregon State's College of Forestry says that would be as radical a change as it was in 1971 when the state adopted the Forest Practices Act.
Many states modeled their forest laws after Oregon's.
The Legislature has asked agencies what they'd do if their budgets are cut next year after a vote on taxes on corporations and high-income Oregonians.
The forestry department says it would have to fire more than half the foresters now enforcing the law and that it would ask that the rules be made voluntary.