Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

John J. Pitney, Jr.

Reader 2

Lily Geismer

Rights Information

© 2014 Jennifer Sitton


This senior thesis is a study of federal forestry policy in Oregon and its effects on rural communities and the urban-rural division in the state. Looking specifically at the “Timber Wars” of the early 1990s, it delves deeper into the controversy over the protection of the northern spotted owl, the Northwest Forest Plan, and President Clinton’s efforts to solve the conflict between grassroots environmental activists and those with a vested interest in the timber industry. It also analyzes the federal timber payment system created by Congress to solve the problems for rural communities caused by forestry regulations. Lastly, it looks at the divisions between urban Oregonians and rural Oregonians on all issues, including environmental policy, in order to understand why Oregon is so divided and how this issue and conflict can be used as an example of a greater national conflict and recent trends of urban rural division across the country.