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The Latest: Oregon counties win timber lawsuit against state

ALBANY, Ore. — The Latest on a lawsuit by counties over Oregon timber revenue (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Jurors in Oregon have found in favour of 14 counties and their $1 billion lawsuit against the state over revenue from logging on state lands.

Leah Olson, who works with the Linn County court in Albany, confirmed the verdict delivered Wednesday was in favour of the counties. The counties had claimed breach of contract, saying the state did not harvest enough timber over two decades, depriving the counties of revenue.

There was no immediate reaction from the state, whose attorneys had said the counties wanted to allow clear-cutting of forests and don’t care about endangered species.

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10:40 a.m.

Fourteen counties in Oregon claim in a lawsuit that the state deprived them of revenue for decades by limiting logging in state forests.

Attorneys for the state counter that the counties wanted to allow clear-cutting of forests and don’t care about endangered species.

The dispute has boiled over into the $1 billion lawsuit that is in its fourth week of trial in Albany, where timber once brought jobs and prosperity.

It’s focused on three words — “greatest permanent value” — and what they meant when they were written into law 80 years ago.

Lawyers for the counties argue the phrase is meant to maximize revenue from logging.

Attorneys for the state argue that it includes other factors such as recreation and habitat.

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The Associated Press