The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

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Media mistakes, FEMA reneges, Judges rules for timber damamges

February 29, 2012 --

Forest Policy Briefs
by Rex Storm
Associated Oregon Loggers

False Media Reports of Rule Change: Early January’s news media reports erroneously stated that, “…the Oregon Board of Forestry decided to strengthen the state’s logging regulations to better protect water quality in streams. The board voted to revise the state Forest Practices Act to make sure streams on private timberland have enough tree cover to stay cold for fish.” More accurately, the board approved beginning an analysis to determine whether or not rule updates may be needed—rather than authorizing any specific rule change. Reporters naively parroted environmentalist lies.

Murrelet Lawsuit Threatens State Forest: Three environmental groups filed notice of intent to sue the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, for proposed harvest in coastal state forests. The groups wrongly allege that logging is killing or displacing marbled murrelets, a robin-sized seabird listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Even though the murrelet spends 90% of its life over the ocean, it has become a forest protection icon, similar to the n. spotted owl and salmon, which is abused by anti-forestry groups trying to obstruct coastal logging though lawsuits.

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Legislature: Water Bill, Wolf Bill & Farm Tax Credit

February 28, 2012 --

Legislative Update: Water Bill, Wolf Bill & Farm Tax Credit
By Oregon Farm Bureau

Water is for fighting……..Oregon Farm Bureau entered the February session with one mission: to promote policies that directly relate to economic growth in the natural resources sector. We are disappointed with inability to agree on policies to increase water supplies for agriculture and economic development.

While water is a limited resource, it’s use can be extended by efficiency improvements and application of innovative technologies to capture, store, and distribute water, based on need and timing (winter capture, summer distribute). This balanced approach is what HB 4101 intended to implement.

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Bill increases timber harvest 60% to 85%

February 27, 2012 --

Create jobs by increasing state timber harvests
Rep. Sal Esquivel Press Release

Oregon’s most abundant resource, timber, is being underutilized. This lack of productivity has hurt Oregon’s economy and our rural communities. The federal government owns 60 percent of Oregon’s forest land, and many in Southern Oregon understand that Washington DC does a very poor job managing our forests. Timber harvest on federal lands has declined, leading to high unemployment in rural communities.

As Co-Chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee, I have been working to advance measures that allow Oregonians to responsibly utilize our natural resources to improve our economy. While the Oregon Legislature can do little to affect federal timber policies, we can act to properly manage our state forests and put rural Oregonians back to work.

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Bill Gates: Digital revolution to change food, farming & cure hunger

February 26, 2012 --

Corn Commentary
National Corn Growers Association

Bill Gates, respected for his visionary work as founder of both Microsoft and the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, called for a new digital revolution . This time, instead of promoting software to improve office productivity, he passionately advocated for application of the advanced technology to help end world hunger.

Many stop reading the story here, assuming that through massive donations Gates will provide the cash needed to revolutionize farming in the developing world. A closer look turns up a more interesting, nuanced viewpoint, one which requires public recognition of the amazing technologies American farmers use today.

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Demand grows for Farm Bill this year

February 25, 2012 --

Ahead of Senate Hearing, Groups Call for Farm Bill This Year
By National Association of Wheat Growers

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee held the first farm bill hearing of the year this week, focusing on energy and rural development issues.

The hearing included testimony from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as well as rural development leaders and small business people. Much of the hearing focused on how to ensure rural development spending helps to create jobs and develop the growing renewable fuels and biobased products industries.

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Cattlemen vindicated over EPA court ruling

February 24, 2012 --

Federal Court Validates Cattlemen’s Concerns on EPA’s Scientifically Shoddy Approach
by NCBA
— Court Rules Components of EPA Criteria for Florida Nutrient Standards Arbitrary and Capricious
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 

The Florida Cattlemen’s Association (FCA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on April 28, 2011, challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) determination letter and final rule establishing numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) for Florida’s lakes, rivers, streams and springs. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, resulted in a mixed ruling on Feb. 18, 2012. Judge Robert L. Hinkle invalidated the criteria for streams as well as certain aspects of the downstream protection values for lakes ruling them “arbitrary and capricious.” This action ultimately prevents EPA from implementing its proposed criteria for these water bodies in the state of Florida. While the Court upheld several of EPA’s arguments, FCA and NCBA are encouraged by the outcome.

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Wolf bill closely watched in Capitol

February 22, 2012 --

HB 4158 A-Engrossed – Uphold Oregon’s current wolf plan.
By Oregonians For Food and Shelter

The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, agreed to and adopted in the 2005 Session and reaffirmed in 2010, allows the taking of wolves causing chronic livestock depredation. Unfortunately, recent litigation has placed a stay order on ODFW for the taking of problem wolves. HB 4158-A does not change the current Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, but states clearly that on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has the authority to continue to implement the plan as they have for the last six years, including the taking of problem wolves.

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Timber group blasts Interior Sec. Salazar Oregon visit

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Secretary Salazar’s Failed Timber Policies Bad for Rural Oregon
By American Forest Resource Council

Ken Salazar, President Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, was in Medford, Oregon this week to tour the “Pilot Joe” demonstration project and hold a Town Hall meeting where he sought to downplay the impact of a new Northern Spotted Owl critical habitat designation and announced yet another lengthy administrative forest planning process for 2.5 million acres of western Oregon forests managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Oregon & California (O&C) Grant lands. This latest announcement comes nearly 2 ½ years after Secretary Salazar illegally withdrew the 2008 Western Oregon Plan Revisions. Ever since, Oregonians have heard a host of unfulfilled promises.

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Farmers & Fish working together

February 21, 2012 --

Farmers & Fish working together
By Guest Opinion

Farmers near Bend, Ore., need water. And when the Crooked River is high, water flows to them by gravity through an intricately engineered system of canals. But those canals have a problem: the fractured volcanic ground under them drains water very effectively. In fact, half of what leaves the river never makes it to farmers.

The Statesman Journal details the problem, farmers don’t like this situation. Environmental groups like it even less, because to replace the liquid lost in transit, farmers are forced to draw even more heavily, pumping extra Crooked River water. But the pumps create high summertime water temperatures, effectively boiling any fish that try to get past the pumps and head upstream. Plus, the electricity the pumps require costs farmers plenty.

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Interior Sec. Salazar to visit Oregon Forestry Pilot Project

February 20, 2012 --

Secretary Salazar to Visit Forestry Pilot Project in Southwest Oregon, Hold Town Hall to Discuss Next Steps in Forest Restoration
– Medford Pilot Project Demonstrates Opportunities for Ecological Forestry
By Bureau of Land Management

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be in southwest Oregon to view progress underway on the Medford Pilot Project, one of three ecological forestry pilot projects in the state.

In December 2010, Secretary Salazar set in motion a plan to apply the principles of active forest management, as suggested by Professors Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin, on BLM lands within the Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts in Oregon. Drs. Franklin and Johnson believe that an active management program is needed on public lands in the Pacific Northwest to sustain local economies and restore ecological values.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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