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OIA plan: Use state to condemn and liberate Federal land

April 30, 2010 --

From Dave Hunnicutt
Oregonians In Action

Last month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert approved House Bill 143, a bill that gives the State of Utah  the authority to use eminent domain to condemn federal lands within Utah’s borders.  At a ceremony for the bill signing, Governor Herbert urged the legislatures of all western states to follow Utah’s lead.

On April 15, we accepted Governor Herbert’s challenge.  In the upcoming session of the Oregon legislature, Oregonians In Action will work with the Oregon legislature to pass similar legislation in Oregon. This legislation would provide the biggest economic boost for rural Oregon communities in decades.   Faced with skyrocketing unemployment rates, the loss of natural resource industries, and a huge budget deficit, Utah leaders are taking every step possible to revitalize their economy and create family wage jobs for Utah residents.  House Bill 143 is a prime example of Utah’s strategy.

Read the full article and discuss it »

What Congress Can Do for Mother Nature

April 29, 2010 --

By Lynne Finnerty
American Farm Bureau Federation,

Another Earth Day has come and gone. The observance each year on April 22 is an opportunity to recognize our environmental achievements and discuss what more we should do. The “doing more” discussion usually centers on things like intricate carbon trading schemes and federal permitting processes. Meanwhile, a simple and non-punitive means of environmental protection is staring us in the face. When farmers and ranchers die, they typically want their children to be able to continue the farming business they have worked hard to establish. These surviving family members have grown up doing farm chores, essentially apprenticing to carry on farming and good stewardship of the land when they start their solo careers. The tradition of passing farms from one generation to the next keeps the farm in the family and sustains agricultural production.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Save your company from a media backlash

April 28, 2010 --

By Ken Ozda,
Stoel Rives LLP, Attorneys at Law

I’ll be moderating and speaking on a panel at the upcoming ACI’s Advanced Summit on Food Safety Regulatory Compliance in Chicago, June 28-29. Scott Rickman from Del Monte, public relations professionals and I will be presenting on  “Effectively Responding to Negative Media Coverage: How to Avoid the Backlash” (If you plan to attend, register soon and contact me for a conference discount). In my practice, I abide by two principles when involved with a case that has potential for negative media coverage:

1. Preservation of the Brand May Trump the Litigation: Even the most serious food-borne illness or consumer fraud claims may not be as significant as preservation of the client’s brand. And what may seem like a smart litigation strategy may not be in the best interest of the brand.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Timber increase plan, Gov. warning, gas tax repeal

April 27, 2010 --

Forest Policy Briefs
by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

Proposal to Increase State Forest Harvest: at its April meeting, the County Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee heard an industry proposal that illustrated how state forests could be managed for greater timber harvest volume and state revenues.  The Hampton Affiliates-prepared analysis allocated 30% of forest acreage to habitat protections, while still increasing harvest by 100 million bdft/year and generating almost $30 million/year more in revenue to the state and counties.  The analysis was presented as part of a Board of Forestry effort to revise the regulatory purpose of state forests, referred to as the “greatest permanent value” administrative rule.

Governor Warns of State Budget Peril:
Governor Kulongoski in his recent ‘State of the State’ speech warned that Oregon is “speeding toward a budgetary cliff,” where spending outpaces tax & fee revenue collection.  On the eve of the Governor’s last months in office, he now finally acknowledges the dire fiscal dilemma, which Republican legislators have warned of for years.  The $18.3 billion state budget is rapidly overspending the $16 billion in current projected revenues— a projected deficit of $2.3 billion.  This debacle is on the heels of the Democrat’s largest tax increase in Oregon history.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Oregon Petition 50 changes political redistricting

April 26, 2010 --

Oregon Initiative Petition 50 regarding redistricting
By Oregonians For Food and Sheleter,

We must make sure that the 2011 redistricting in Oregon is done fairly. The next reapportionment will be based on the 2010 Census. The last reapportionment was done by Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and it was drawn to favor Democrats. We should not have reapportionment done to favor either Democrats or Republicans.

Initiative Petition 50 is a Constitutional Amendment that would call for the appointment of an independent, non-partisan commission to carry out reapportionment of legislative districts rather than having either the legislature or the Secretary of State do the job.

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Clean Water Bill Threatens Property Rights

April 25, 2010 --

Oberstar “Clean Water” Bill Threatens Private Property Rights
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (April 21, 2010) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) are strongly opposing the so-called “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act,” introduced earlier today by Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.). The Act would remove the word “navigable” from the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, granting the federal government unprecedented regulatory authority over all waters regardless of whether or not they have any environmental significance.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Top NW Green Collar jobs are in…Agriculture

April 24, 2010 --

By Alex Moore,
Cascade Harvest Coalition

Former White House advisor, Van Jones, popularized the phrase ‘green collar jobs’. His vision is to bring job training and employment opportunities to urban America through a national focus on energy retrofits. While Van’s message is spot on, many of my colleagues have lamented that agriculture doesn’t get enough recognition for the green collar jobs it creates.

Read the full article and discuss it »

State launches Carbon Calculator

April 23, 2010 --

DEQ Launches Oregon Carbon Calculator in Honor of Earth Day
Department of Environmental Quality

On the eve of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has launched a new interactive tool on its website, allowing Oregon residents to measure their total carbon footprint and discover ways to improve it. The Oregon Carbon Calculator, which can be accessed by visiting www.oregon.gov/DEQ/ , calculates all direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from personal transportation, household energy use and consumption of food, goods and services.

The interactive tool allows users to compare their household’s carbon footprint to households of similar size and income. After asking for numbers from one’s transportation patterns, energy use and shopping habits, the application provides a carbon footprint summary and rating with a total estimated number of annual metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The Web application then provides specific “Take Action” ideas and strategies for making lifestyle changes to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Farmers blast comic strip for errors

April 22, 2010 --

AFBF responds to error-filled Sunday comic
From The Dairy Herd

Dairy farmers across the nation are upset about an error-filled and rhetorically loaded Sunday comic strip aimed at providing facts to kids, and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman is helping them set the record straight. The comic strip “You Can with Beakman and Jax,” carried in syndication and printed in newspapers across the nation, focused on a dairy theme this past Sunday. The strip was rife with blatant misrepresentations about America’s dairies and leaned heavily on the use of overheated rhetorical terms such as “factory” rather than farms.

In a letter to cartoonist Jok Church, copied to the president of the strip’s distributor, Universal Press Syndicate, Stallman informed Church that the strip printed nationwide on April 18 was “filled with errors, inaccuracies and outright lies. You have done a great disservice to America’s hard-working dairy farm families and to consumers who purchase dairy products.” Stallman pointed out that few of the “facts” provided in the strip were correct.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Vote: Online forest values survey

April 21, 2010 --

OFRI and ODF launch Forest Values and Beliefs survey.
Oregon Forest Resource Institute

Values and beliefs about Oregon’s forests and forest practices is the subject of research now under way by OFRI and the Oregon Department of Forestry. Every four years, OFRI conducts similar research as a means of gauging public knowledge and attitudes about forests and forestry and to help OFRI develop more effective programs. The research also helps OFRI measure the effectiveness of its existing landowner, K-12 and public outreach programs. We want to know what you think.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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