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Loggers look to state

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A House committee backed measures that would provide relief to the state's struggling timber industry.

The bill, authored by Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, allows for timber permits issued by the state to be terminated. Under the legislation, those permits could be repurchased at substantially lower prices as a means to revitalize the industry in Minnesota, which proponents of the bill said is on shaky ground due to a slipping housing market.

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Despite concerns over the bill's long-term gains from Rep. Frank Moe, DFL-Bemidji, the bill passed through a House outdoors committee and was referred to a finance panel. Moe said timber leaders in his area said the measure "picks winners and losers" and another solution to the industry's financial problems is needed.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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