The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Senator remarks on Oregon soil battle

May 31, 2011 --

State Senator Larry George remarks on Oregon soil battle broken legislative process
By State Senator Larry George

Salem, OR ¬– Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood) had the following to say after the Senate resurrected a resolution making Jory soil the official state soil. House Concurrent Resolution 3 was soundly defeated on the Senate floor Thursday in a bi-partisan vote. The sponsor of HCR 3 responded in The Oregonian Thursday by saying, “For every action there is a reaction. It’s the law of physics.” The bill was brought back to life and passed Monday morning.

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$1 Million dollar fish could be in Oregon’s lakes


Oregon lakes may have ‘$1 million fish’
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Two popular Oregon fishing destinations will have an added attraction for anglers over the next two months – the possibility of landing a fish worth $1 million.

Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County and Detroit Lake in Marion County are among 65 bodies of water nationwide that have been chosen for inclusion in the “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabella’s, Outdoor Channel, and fish and wildlife agencies from approximately 20 states.

The contest starts May 14 and continues through July 14, and participants must register on-line to be eligible for prizes. Register by going to the Cabela’s website at

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Honey bee crises begisn to ebb

May 30, 2011 --

USDA Survey Report  (2010/2011) on Winter Honey Bee Losses shows easing.
By Kim Kaplan
US Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON D.C. — Total losses from managed honey bee colonies nationwide were 30 percent from all causes for the 2010/2011 winter, according to the annual survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA).

This is roughly similar to total losses reported in similar surveys done in the four previous years: 34 percent for the 2009/2010 winter, 29 percent for 2008/2009; 36 percent for 2007/2008, and 32 percent for 2006/2007.

“The lack of increase in losses is marginally encouraging in the sense that the problem does not appear to be getting worse for honey bees and beekeepers,” said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) who helped conduct the study. “But continued losses of this size put tremendous pressure on the economic sustainability of commercial beekeeping.” Pettis is the leader of the Bee Research Laboratory operated in Beltsville, Md., by ARS, the chief scientific research agency of USDA.

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Ranchers support Government Litigation Savings Act

May 29, 2011 --

Ranchers support Government Litigation Savings Act
By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (May 25, 2011) – The Public Lands Council (PLC), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) strongly support the Government Litigation Savings Act, legislation introduced today, May 25, 2011, by U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). NCBA President Bill Donald, PLC President John Falen and ASI President Margaret Soulen Hinson agree that while EAJA was intended to level the playing field between private citizens and the vast resources of the federal government, radical environmental groups have abused the system to target private citizens.

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Oregon to host wolf symposium

May 28, 2011 --

Wolf symposium in Portland on June 4
By Oregon Farm Bureau

OFB is a sponsor of the upcoming public symposium “Wolves in Oregon: An Epic Challenge.” Get the event flyer here. It will be held at the Portland Rose Quarter Memorial Coliseum in Georgia Pacific Room on Saturday, June 4, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The informative symposium and discussion will be facilitated by Bitsy Kelley, host of “Outdoor GPS,” and will include guest presenters:

• Casey Anderson, OX Ranch in Idaho Wolf/Cattle Interaction Research Cooperator
• Charles Kay, Utah State University Wolf Recovery: An Independent Analysis
• Tim Wigley – Representative of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation ESA / Wildlife Politics: How do we re-shape and re-frame the debate?
The event is open to the public; please bring a canned good as a donation to Farmers Ending Hunger.

For more information: 503-361-8941 or visit

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Farm Bureau Legislative Update

May 27, 2011 --

Stuck in the Senate
HB 3562 – Allows the taking of a gray wolf 500 feet from a home.

To remain moving forward through the legislative process, bills must be scheduled for a work session in their assigned committee. There are several bills that Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) actively supports that are sitting in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources, which unfortunately have not yet been scheduled.

These are all bills that have broad support from the natural resources community and passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. OFB members are encouraged to contact their Senators in support of the bills below and contact the Committee Chair, Senator Jackie Dingfelder ( to request scheduling of the bills of interest to you.

HB 2873 – Clarifies that small hydro projects placed in irrigation and other water projects’ canals and pipes are exempt from fish passage and/or fish screening unless the fishery would be negatively impacted.

HB 3408 – Makes reservoirs supporting agriculture a permitted use in the EFU. Important for the future of water developments throughout the state.

HB 3613 – Provides that Oregon Department of Agriculture’s water quality management plans (SB 1010) and their supporting rules and programs are the exclusive regulations and programs regarding nonpoint source pollution related to agricultural practices regulations.

HB 2337 – Allows the hunting of cougars with dogs with county approval and in conjunction with ODFW’s Cougar Management Plan.

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Sea lion-Chinook feud gets national attention

May 26, 2011 --

News of Oregon’s battle between the protected sea lions and the Chinook salmon made national headlines. Below is what the Wall Street Journal had to say….

WALL STREET JOURNAL:  Sea lions used to be rare this far inland, scientists say. Generally they prey on fish either in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean, or at the mouth of the Columbia. The number of fish taken upriver here has been rising—to nearly 8,000 last year, or almost eight times the 2002 total—out of a annual total migration of about 300,000 Chinook salmon, the main species during the months sea lions arrive….Oregon officials most recently killed a sea lion on the river in September, just prior to a federal court order staying the practice. During the hiatus, biologists working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continued to tally the number of sea lions coming to the dam, the type of sea lion—California or Steller—and data on which ones stop to feed, and how many each individually consumes.

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Plastic bag ban bill takes big turn

May 25, 2011 --

Representative Gilliam Offers Replacement Bill To ‘Plastic Bag Ban’
By State Representative Vic Gilliam

Creates ‘Oregon Plastic Bag Recycling Goals’ to increase recycling and avoid bag ban
Salem – Rep. Gilliam today offered Chair Rosenbaum amendments to SB 536, removing the immediate ban on plastic bags and proposing ‘Oregon Plastic Bag Recycling Goals.’ Gilliam asked Chair Rosenbaum to schedule an immediate public hearing and work session.

“I believe the majority of Oregonians agree with me that plastic bags are a problem. I also have heard from my constituents that the first step to addressing this problem must be recycling, not an outright ban, and especially not new taxes or fees on plastic bags,” states Gilliam.

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Bend is on cougar alert

May 24, 2011 --

Cougar still being seen in Bend neighborhood
— Residents reminded of safety precautions
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Update, May 13: Last night, at approximately 10 p.m., an adult male cougar was trapped in the Deschutes River Woods area. The cougar was euthanized a short time later. According to ODFW biologist Steven George, the cougar was in excellent condition, weighed approximately 120 pounds and was probably two to three years old. Earlier reports indicated that there were two cougars in the area. However, Wildlife Services officials investigated the area and only found tracks from one male cougar. Residents should continue to use extra safety precautions with livestock, pets, and children for the next couple of weeks.

[May 12] BEND, Ore.—ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services are working to trap a cougar that has been seen multiple times in the Deschutes River Woods neighborhood in south Bend over the past several weeks. The young cougar is considered a human safety risk because it has been seen repeatedly in a residential area during daylight hours. In keeping with ODFW policies, once trapped, the cougar will be euthanized.

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Walden asks EPA to finish gas price report

May 23, 2011 --

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden has asked the EPA to follow through on energy study
— House also passes bill to lift ban on new offshore domestic energy production

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Lisa Jackson calling on the agency to produce a long-stalled energy supply study. The letter, which is attached, was signed by 27 Representatives and 9 Senators. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has pointed to the increased use of different types of fuels in different locations as one factor in our nation’s gasoline price volatility. The proliferation of these specialty or “boutique” fuels increases the chance that localities using them will experience inventory shortages when nationwide fuel supplies are low; thus, causing gasoline prices to rise.

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