To the naked eye, it’s always just been a play on words.


The settlers who came to Josephine County 150 years ago were going out of their way to be different — to start something new. Such a heritage is behind the abundance of businesses, schools, and public spaces with “Rogue” in their title.


But now, in a sleepy valley along the California border (also called Rogue) people are figuring out what it means to be different in 2014.


Rogue Territory, for better or for worse, is the story of a past not forgotten, a present contested, and a future unknown.


  • 1937

    The Oregon and California Lands Act was created, which provided for permanent forest production and protection for watersheds, as well as contributed to the economic stability of local communities. It also created provisions to reimburse O&C counties for loss of tax revenue.

  • 1953

    O&C counties proposed returning one-third of their share of timber receipts to the US government for the development of O&C lands.

  • 1955

    Money was used mainly for road construction to give access for federal and private timber. O&C counties wanted to secure future timber sales.

  • 1982

    Congress directed 50 percent of timber receipts to the Department of the Treasury to reimburse all or part of the O&C appropriation.

  • 1991

    Language included to provide a "floor" payment to O&C counties that would be the equivalent of the average payments between 1986 and 1990.

  • 1993

    President Bill Clinton sets 10-year plan for extended O&C payments

  • 2000

    Congress passes Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act to extend O&C payments

  • 2003

    O&C payment extensions expire.

  • 2007

    Libraries in Josephine County are closed due to lack of funding.



  • 2012

    Josephine County Sherff's Office lays off two-thirds of personnel; patrol deputies are greatest affected.

  • 2013

    Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden fight to restore budgets for once timber-dependent counties, receive backlash from conservation groups.

  • 2014

    Property tax-funded law enforcement levy to be revisited.


Creative Commons Photo by flickr user Magnera


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