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Oregon receiving 16 million in energy stimulus funds

June 30, 2009 --

The U.S. Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, announced Friday that, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia were getting more than $96 million in Recovery Act Funding.  Oregon’s share is $16.8 million and will be used to fund energy efficiency improvements, develop renewable energy resources and ensure environmental protection through the established State Energy Program.

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Hoop house bill passes House, Senate

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Oregon Association of Nurseries
Daily Digger Blog

Yesterday we told you that House Bill 2904 (HTML|PDF) passed the Oregon Senate. Today we can report that it passed the Oregon House by a 59-0 vote. The bill blocks a move by the Oregon Department of Revenue to treat hoop houses as permanent structures on property tax statements. Without the bill, nursery owners would have been exposed to an added tax burden, just as many are struggling to recover from last winter’s storms that caused many hoop houses to collapse.  The Oregon Association of Nurseries was involved in lobbying for the clarification in statute. “The OAN thanks Reps. Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) for their hard work on the bill,” OAN Director of Government Relations Jeff Stone said. “Senators Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) and Frank Morse (R-Corvallis) delivered the bill on the senate side. A good bill and a major victory for the nursery and greenhouse industry.”

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Governor Kulongoski to Sign Tractor Safety Bill into Law

June 29, 2009 --

By Oregon Farm Bureau,

In rural communities all across the state, tractors and farm equipment traveling along the roadway are a common sight, particularly during summer harvest months. It is legal for farmers to drive their equipment on public roads, and both farmers and other drivers must take proper precautions to share the roadways, for their own safety and the safety of others.

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BEPA Should Reevaluate Science of Climate Change Finding

June 28, 2009 --

WASHINGTON (June 23, 2009) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and an informal coalition of companies and trade associations representing U.S. energy and mining sectors submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today regarding a recent EPA proposal to find that human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are an endangerment to public health and welfare. The proposed finding, released by EPA in April, is the first step in a process that could require GHG regulation under the Clean Air Act (CAA)—a move that would be devastating to the agriculture sector, and the U.S. economy as a whole.

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Farm Bureau presses against Climate Change Bill

June 27, 2009 --

The American Farm Bureau Federation.  WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging all members of the House to vote “no” on a sweeping climate change bill that is scheduled for a floor vote on Friday and is asking them to vote “yes” on an amendment authored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). In a letter sent today to all 435 members of the House, AFBF President Bob Stallman said H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, will “unquestionably impose enormous costs on the American economy, including agriculture.”

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HB 2414 overturns election history

June 26, 2009 --

Highlights from an OFS Legislative Alert
Oregonians for Food and Shelter

In the 11th hour of the of Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislature has gutted-and-stuffed House Bill 2414 to overturn Oregon’s election history and sew confusion for Oregon voting on referrals. Under the new language of the bill, initiatives on Oregon’s ballots will have drastically different meanings at the ballot box. Put simply, a YES vote will mean “No,” while a NO vote will mean “Yes. This bill is a direct affront against the new Corporate Minimum tax proposal we opposed earlier this session, which will likely be overturned by Oregon voters in the next election.

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State seeking landowners help in locating beavers

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:   ROSEBURG, Ore. – For a limited time, Douglas County residents with a problem beaver on their property can contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife which will trap and relocate the animal as part of a scientific study. In the wrong place, beavers can flood roads, fields, and yards, and damage trees while in the right place, they can create habitat for juvenile salmon. Since the end of May, seven beavers have been fitted with radio-tags and released into Rock Creek and Canton Creek in the North Umpqua River basin.

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Good news for housing starts, permits, logs and studs

June 25, 2009 --

Timber Industry Report June 21
By Rick Sohn, Umpqua Coquille LLC

US housing starts and permits recovered from record lows.  Logs have stopped their 8-month slide, and studs have stabilized.  This is good news, relatively speaking.  See the 3-year price comparisons for lumber, logs, housing starts, permits, and unsold home inventories below.

What the numbers mean.

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Cattlemen Update: Water, taxes, climate change

June 24, 2009 --

Oregon Cattlemen Association
Legislative Update 06-19-09

HB 3369: Funding for Umatilla water development projects. This legislation was originally intended to provide lottery bond financing for grants for water supply projects and to establish Agriculture and Community Water Supply Grant Funds with continuous appropriations to Water Resources Department for the grant program.  The bill now includes the funding for Umatilla water development projects plus a lot of pork for a Water Development Fund, a Water Resources Investment Fund, a Water Resources Grant Fund, and a Water Conservation, Reuse and Storage Investment Fund specifically intended to fund a statewide integrated strategy for implementing the state water resources policy.

Many in the Natural Resources community including the OCA have maintained this is not necessary and have successfully opposed any efforts to pass legislation making this possible.  Very strategically the combined issues in this bill make it difficult at this late date to successfully separate and eliminate the pork provisions, but the effort is being made.

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BLM Caution: Fire Danger Will Increase in the Future

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From Bureau of Land Management,

VALE, OREGON- June 19, 2009. The Vale District, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is urging users and neighbors of public lands to be aware of increasing fire danger. Heavy spring rains have produced abundant grasses. Even though the rains have continued in recent days, it will take only a few hours of sunny weather, wind and warm temperatures to continue to cure and dry this extremely heavy fine fuel load. The BLM is asking the public to be very cautious with campfires, debris burning, controlled burning, and to choose parking areas that are clear of dry grasses and other flammables. The use of fireworks is strictly prohibited on all BLM lands.

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