The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


OSU: $6 Million Program To Test Newest Nuclear Energy

January 31, 2009 --

By Oregon State University,

It’s really hot, but also energy efficient, very safe and produces no greenhouse gases. And potentially it could provide hydrogen at low cost to fuel the automobiles of the future.  Those are the driving forces behind research on a new “super hot” type of nuclear reactor that has begun at Oregon State University, with a five-year, $6 million grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The project may herald another major step forward for the nuclear power industry.

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Sea Lions Still Pose Threat to Salmon

January 30, 2009 --

Guest Submission

PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge Thursday denied a request by the Humane Society of the United States for a stay of his order allowing three Western states to resume capturing or killing sea lions that feed on salmon at the base of Bonneville Dam.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled in November against the Humane Society, which is trying to prevent Oregon, Washington and Idaho from killing or transporting up to 425 California sea lions over five years to relieve pressure on the spring chinook salmon run.

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Oregon Rural Congress lists guiding principles

January 29, 2009 --

The Oregon Rural Congress recently met in Cascade Locks to advance the voice of rural Oregon.   Here are the eight “Guiding Rural Principles” of the Oregon Rural Congress:

1.“Rural communities in Oregon, regardless of size and location, have a right to exist. Rural residents of these communities have a right to pursue their well-being.  State and federal government policies and programs must recognize local decision-making authority in pursuing the best interest of Eastern Oregon communities, their economic foundation and surrounding natural environment.

2. Community Leaders need to take the lead in identifying local needs and issues and defining the appropriate means of resolving these needs and issues.

3. Geographic, political and programmatic boundaries should not impede the ability of the leadership of Oregon’s rural communities to exercise their authority to accomplish locally-identified goals, objectives and strategies.

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Timber Industry Report 1/28

January 28, 2009 --

By Rick Sohn,
Umpqua Coquille LLC

This is the second report in a series on the state of the economic health of southern Oregon’s Douglas County timber industry.  Last month, prices for Studs and Logs, which affect the timber industry directly, were described in detail.  This information is updated below.

In this column, statistics are added which indicate the future trends of demand and price in the southern Oregon’s Douglas County timber industry.  Nationwide statistics have been selected because the diverse wood products produced in Douglas County, Oregon are sold throughout the nation, and nationwide demand for wood products affects Douglas County manufacturers.  While reporting on factors affecting Douglas County, these trends are generally applicable to commodity wood producers in the Pacific Northwest’s Douglas-fir region, which includes western Oregon.

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Card check fight heads to airwaves

January 27, 2009 --

From Curt Kipp,
Oregon Association of Nurseries,

With a new Congress now in session, pro-union advocates are taking to the airwaves with a campaign promoting the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This proposal, often called the “card-check bill,” would allow union organizers to represent workplaces in which they can get 50 percent plus one of the employees to sign a card favoring union representation. There is no shortage of coverage to be found on the matter, including this article that explains some of the concerns small businesses have. Expect to hear further debate on the proposal this year.

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Permitting Guidelines in Place for Wind Farming

January 26, 2009 --

Guest Submission

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Salem, Ore.— New guidelines to address wildlife concerns in the face of rapidly increasing wind energy facilities in the Columbia Basin are now available. The siting and permitting guidelines were created by a multi-stakeholder task force to assist wind developers and permitting agencies in avoiding and/or minimizing negative wind energy facility impacts on wildlife and habitats.

“If wind projects are not properly sited, there is the potential for unacceptable loss of or disturbance to wildlife, especially birds and bats,” said Rose Owens, ODFW Habitat Special Projects Coordinator. “Renewable energy is very important to Oregon’s future, but we want to make sure that we are putting facilities in places that minimize environmental and wildlife impacts.”

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BLM Seeks Renewable Energy Plans for 12 Western States

January 23, 2009 --

Guest Submission

U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management

In a move aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy on public lands, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today issued a Secretarial Order that authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to establish coordination offices that will expedite the permitting of wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal projects, along with needed electrical transmission facilities, on BLM-managed lands.

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Biodiesel renewable fuel standard on the Oregon horizon

January 22, 2009 --

Oregon Department of Agriculture,

Oregon’s foray into renewable fuels takes another step this year with an approaching requirement for diesel sold in the state to contain two percent biodiesel. The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Energy are giving diesel motorists a heads up that the renewable fuel standard for biodiesel could take effect by September 2009. The notice is more of a reassurance for those who drive vehicles that use petroleum diesel.

“The most important thing for motorists to know is that they shouldn’t see any change to their fuel economy or their vehicle’s performance when using a two percent biodiesel blend,” says Stephanie Page, ODA’s renewable energy specialist.

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Oust herbicide under threat of new regulations

January 21, 2009 --

Oregonians for Food and Shelter has provided this letter to the EPA by certified forester, Bruce Alber on the relabeling of Oust and the effect on Oregon.

By Bruce Alber
January 8, 2009

I am a professional forester with 34 years of experience with forest vegetation management.  I have tested, applied, recommended, prescribed the use, and seen the effects of Sulfometuron methyl (SMM) since its registration in the early 1980s.  It has been used in over hundreds of thousands of acres in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho during that time period.

I have attended EPA seminars on spray drift mitigation and observed some of the Spray Drift Task Force research projects at New Mexico State University.

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Oregon Cattlemen forecast 2009 Legislative Session issues

January 20, 2009 --

By Jim Welsh
Government Affairs Report
Oregon Cattlemen Association

The Governor’s agenda for 2009 includes his, yet to be final, “Headwaters To Ocean (H2O) ” Initiative, and final, “Jobs and Transportation Act.”  The agriculture stakeholder advisory group has continued to keep us, in the Natural Resource Coalition not included in the Stakeholder Group, updated on the H2O Initiative.

There are five major components to H2O which include: (1) A formal water supply plan; (2) Data for planning, assessment, and monitoring; (3) Response to short term and long term challenges; (4) Build on momentum of recent water initiatives (SB 1069 and SB 737); and (5) Long term investment for a sustainable water supply, water quality, and maintaining balance of beneficial uses.  The advisory group is supporting the long-term component (Planning and Data Collection) and short-term needs (Water Supply & Conservation, Measurement of Water Use, and Ecosystem Services).

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