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NOAA expands turtle habitat designations on West Coast

January 31, 2012 --

NOAA rule designates add’l critical habitat for leatherbacks on U.S. west coast
By Pacific Fishery Management Council

NOAA announced the designation of additional critical habitat to provide protection for endangered leatherback sea turtles along the U.S. West Coast. NOAA is designating 41,914 square miles of marine habitat in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. This regulation is currently on file with the Federal Register and is available at the link below. The regulation will formally publish on January 26th, and will become effective on February 25, 2012.

link

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New Director hired for Oregonians for Food and Shelter

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New Director hired for Oregonians for Food and Shelter
BY Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Please join us in welcoming Scott Dahlman as OFS’s new Executive Director! Scott is the former public policy analyst and national affairs coordinator for the Washington Farm Bureau, Scott will be a great addition to the OFS team and we look forward to working with him! Scott grew up in Oregon and is a graduate of Western Oregon University in Monmouth, where he obtained a B.S. in political science. Before his employment at the Washington Farm Bureau, Scott worked in both the Oregon and Washington legislatures and for the Washington State Grange. Scott, his wife Megan, and their young son will be relocating to Oregon soon.

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Yahoo backlash over declaring Ag degrees useless

January 30, 2012 --

Community Mobilizes After Yahoo Declares Ag Degrees Useless
By National Assoc. Wheat Growers

Those who believe agriculture isn’t a serious academic subject and farmers are an uneducated lot may be enticed to expand their views based on the farm community’s reaction to a Jan. 19 article declaring agriculture degrees “useless.”

Yahoo Education, a news division of the search engine giant, published the piece by writer Terence Loose, listing agriculture, animal science and horticulture as three of the five “most useless” degrees available to college students.

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Oregon Ag Education scholarships now available

January 28, 2012 --

Scholarships available through Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation
By Oregon Farm Bureau

The Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation (OAEF) is pleased to announce that applications are available for two scholarship programs for the upcoming 2012-2013 academic year.

Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarships (OFBMS) with 10-12 awards annually are open to any Oregon high school graduate preparing for an agriculture or forestry-related career. Students attending institutions outside of Oregon are also eligible. The goal of the OFB Memorial Scholarship program is to “Support students that will have a positive impact on production agriculture and other agriculture-related fields.” The deadline for applications is March 15, 2012.

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Oregon sets spring chinook, sturgeon seasons

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States set spring chinook, sturgeon seasons
By Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife

Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring chinook salmon and sturgeon retention fishing seasons for the Columbia River today during a joint state hearing.

The Columbia River spring chinook seasons are based on a forecast of 314,000 returning upriver spring chinook, which compares to a 2011 actual return of just over 221,000 fish. Based on the 2012 harvest guideline, 12,700 upriver fish (a combination of kept fish and release mortalities) will be available for the sport fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam.

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Ag rates Obama’s State of the Union speech

January 27, 2012 --

American Farm Bureau Federation
NewsLine

The president set out his 2012 agenda in his State of the Union address. American Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy explains where agriculture fit into that agenda in this report from AFBF’s Johnna Miller

Miller: American Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn says it was good to hear the president talk extensively about an issue really important to farmers…renewable energy.

Maslyn: Particularly ethanol and biodiesel are issues of concern to agriculture. We’ve seen in just a few years the political sentiment on the Hill has changed quite dramatically and we feel that they’re somewhat under attack right now. So those words and the importance that his administration puts on those issues were reassuring. It would have been nice if he had specifically mentioned ethanol and biodiesel, but I think the message was clear.

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Timber industry files lawsuit against murrelet designation

January 26, 2012 --

Timber industry challenges marbled murrelet habitat designation
Claims Fish and Wildlife Service violating Endangered Species Act
By American Forest Resource Council

The American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) brought suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) claiming the agency violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it designated millions of acres of forest land in Washington, Oregon and California as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet.

“There is nothing straight forward in how the FWS requires federal forest managers to deal with this bird,” said Tom Partin, President of AFRC. “Because humans almost never see the bird, the FWS seems to think it can throw a net over millions of acres of federal timber land that not only aren’t being used by the bird, but don’t even have the characteristics it is looking for when it flies inland to lay its eggs. Someone has to speak up about this violation of the limits of the ESA.”

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USDA to close 260 offices, many in Oregon

January 25, 2012 --

Oregon Farm Bureau

The U.S. Agriculture Department announced it will close nearly 260 offices nationwide in an effort to save dollars. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to save $150 million a year in the agency’s $145 billion budget. About $90 million had already been saved by reducing travel and supplies and the closures were expected to save another $60 million.

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A gold rush in Eastern Oregon?

January 24, 2012 --

By Oregon Small Business Association

The Corvallis Gazette Times reports that  three miles north of Nevada in Eastern Oregon lies fabulous wealth, in the form of an estimated 425,000 ounces of gold. Close to the gold deposit is another of uranium, which Oregon Energy Corp. hopes to mine over the next twenty years.

Environmentalists are critical of the plan. Heavy metals such as uranium are mined with a process that involves sulfuric acid being used to eat the metal out of raw ore. The leftover tailings are contained and disposed of in accordance with a preconceived plan approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But environmentalists worry that the sulfuric acid and the waste rock will continue to interact in harmful ways over the coming years. Oregon Energy says Oregonians have nothing to worry about, due to the law passed by the state legislature in 1991. That act requires all mining companies to post huge bonds that ensure the company will stick around to clean up its mess.

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BLM issues final payments to 18 counties

January 23, 2012 --

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it has issued payment to 18 counties in western Oregon eligible under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act extension, (Public Law 110-343). The amount paid to the Oregon & California (O&C) counties was $ 40,037,160.

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