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Brand inspection fee increase now in effect

September 16, 2008 --

[Oregon Department of Agriculture]The Oregon Department of Agriculture has adopted a per-head fee of $1.00 for the livestock industry’s Brand Inspection Program effective immediately. The 15 cent increase in the per-head fee is expected to maintain the program at its current level of service. Because expenses for 2008 were higher than anticipated, the program needed additional revenue to cover future expenses. Without additional revenue this year, the program was likely to face a negative cash balance by 2009-2010. A negative cash balance could trigger legislative action that might seriously compromise the program.

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DEQ Announces Penalties Totaling $389,972 in August 2008

September 15, 2008 --

{OR Dept. of Environmental Quality Release}  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced today 17 penalties totaling $389,972 for August 2008. So far in 2008, DEQ has issued 153 penalties totaling $1,408,785. That compares to 145 penalties totaling $1.76 million for the same period a year ago. A complete list of penalties issued throughout Oregon in August 2008 is attached in a table on the following pages of this news release.

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OSU Extension to teach new organic gardening course

September 12, 2008 --

[OSU Extension Press Release] CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Extension Service and Oregon Tilth will launch a nine-week course in organic gardening in the Portland area in October, marking the training’s debut in the state.The two organizations developed the curriculum with help from Portland State University; East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Staff from Extension and Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit that certifies organic farmers and offers gardening education, will teach most of the classes.

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Dealing with freight fright

September 11, 2008 --

By Don Anslow, Digger Magazine, Association of Oregon Nurseries.

Oregon nurseries enjoy climate, soils, and a favorable growing season that is the envy of growers across the continent. Less than enviable, however, is the long distance between Oregon and several of its important markets.  In 2006, 75 percent of Oregon nursery sales — adding up to more than $1 billion — were to out-of-state buyers, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The estimated cost of shipping these goods exceeded $100 million.

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Ag Dept. to sell neglected horses

September 10, 2008 --

[OR Dept. of Agriculture Release 09/05/08] — The Oregon Department of Agriculture, working with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, is responding to the abandonment of 11 horses that show signs of neglect and starvation. The horses were found abandoned in a rural area of the county earlier this week. ODA is holding the animals in a secure area in advance of a public sale scheduled for next week.  Meanwhile, ODA and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) are conducting an investigation to determine the previous owner of the horses.

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Big Look Land-Use Task Force Issues Report, Seeks Comment

September 9, 2008 --

From Oregonians In Action Education Center,

Looking Forward May-June 08.

The Big Look Task Force on Oregon land use planning recently issued a preliminary report with recommendations on changes to Oregon’s land use regulations.  If adopted, the recommendations would make significant changes to the current laws. The Task Force recommendations cover five specific areas – resource lands and rural areas, growth management, governance, economic prosperity, and climate change.

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Oregon Forest Resources Institute names new executive director

September 8, 2008 --

OFIC Press Release.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) today announced that Paul Barnum will be its new executive director effective August 21. OFRI is a semi-independent state organization dedicated to forestry education.  Barnum replaces Leslie Lehmann who is retiring after serving nearly 16 years as OFRI’s founding executive director.

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The Oakes family Full Spectrum Forestry Field Tour

September 5, 2008 --

Announcement from Oregon Small Woodlands Association,
The Oakes family Full Spectrum Forestry Field Tour
Sat., 9/6,  9am to 1pm, Open to the Public, Free and Fun for the entire family!!!

The Oakes family would like to invite you to join them at their 240 acre tree farm in South Benton County near Monroe, and an opportunity to participate in a wide ranging discussion of forestry issues. We hope and believe that your day will be the most rewarding forestry program you will have attended. Cheers! Donald and Donna Oakes, Christine Johnson, Dennis Oakes, Marsha Carr, Duane Oakes, Darrell Oakes and Darwin Oakes.

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Oregon Supreme Court Rules Against Irrigator

September 4, 2008 --

By Water for Life, RETURN FLOWS Newsletter, 8/08

Fort Vannoy Irrigation District v. Water Resources Commission was a stunning decision because the Oregon Supreme Court held that irrigation districts are the holders and owners of water rights beneficially applied by its members but certificated in the name of the district. The Court held that water rights, like legal title to other property, vests in the irrigation district and are held by it in trust, are dedicated and set apart for, the uses and purposes set forth in the Irrigation District law. The Court also held that the Board of Directors for the irrigation district is authorized and empowered to hold, use, acquire, manage and dispose of a water right as provided in the Irrigation District law.

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Inheritance tax problems persist

September 3, 2008 --

By Jim Welsh, as featured in the Grange Bulletin

The Department of Revenue (DOR) has been in the process of developing rules to the 2008 Legislative amendments to Oregon’s inheritance tax legislation that provided the farmers, ranchers, foresters and commercial fishermen a special tax status for estate transfers upon death of a family member.  The DOR, it seems, is once again complicating the legislative intent within their rule making.  Numerous agriculture industry members, accountants and attorneys are discouraged with this process and DOR’s inability to get it right.  There will be more on this saga as it unfolds.

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