The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

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Defunding forest planning, Roads lawsuit & Does litigation cause wildfires?

September 20, 2012 --

by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

Congress Attempts to Defund USFS Planning: When the US House Interior Appropriations Committee passed its FY2013 budget for the US Forest Service in June, it eliminated all funding for national forest planning and implementing its horrible new Planning Rule. The Committee said the Forest Service blatantly ignored Congressional direction stated in the National Forest Management Act, and the agency ignored local government & stakeholder input during rulemaking. The new Rule places unworkable requirements on future forest plans, and would increase litigation. Stay tuned.

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Oregon minimum wage rises again! – 2nd highest

September 19, 2012 --

By Kurt Kipp,
Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has announced that the state minimum wage will rise by 15 cents to $8.95 per hour, effective January 1, 2013. The annual wage hike is mandated by Chapter 653 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, which states that when the Consumer Price Index for urban areas goes up, the minimum wage must increase by a like percentage, rounded to the nearest 5 cents. In this case, the wage is going up 1.7 percent. The requirement was put in place by Ballot Measure 25, which Oregon voters approved in 2002.

The increase will keep Oregon’s minimum wage the second-highest in the country, behind the $9.03 rate in the state of Washington. It will exceed the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) by $1.70.

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Oregon coal exports press ahead before Senate panel

September 18, 2012 --

Business and Labor leaders to testify in support of shipping terminals and coal exports and a new radio ad featuring the Democratic co-speaker of Oregon House is released touting the benefits of coal export terminals to rural communities
Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports

Touting the job creation and tax revenue benefits of for Oregon communities, business and labor leaders testified in support of new shipping terminals and coal exports before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee Thursday.

“Each coal export proposal should undergo careful environmental review by professional regulators to ensure compliance with existing laws,” said union leader John Mohlis, with the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council. “But the legislature in a state with unemployment consistently above the national average and that is routinely forced to cut funding for schools shouldn’t put up new road blocks to the hundreds of middle class jobs and millions in tax revenues that coal exports can bring to Oregon.”

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Building permits pass critical 2008 benchmark

September 17, 2012 --

By Rick Sohn,
Umpqua Coquille LLC

Strong product prices and a Building Permits record high for this recovery are positive, while interest rates have hit bottom, and average home price gains are deceptive. Four-year market trends of lumber, logs, housing, and mortgage statistics are shown below.

Interpretation.

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Brentano wins Oregon Agriculture Board spot

September 16, 2012 --

By Curt Kipp
Daily Digger
Oregon Association of  Nurseries

Pete Brentano, co-owner of Brentano’s Tree Farm LLC in St. Paul, Ore., has been appointed to the 10-member Oregon Board of Agriculture. Brentano has a long record of nursery industry involvement, including serving one year as president of the Oregon Association of Nurseries in 2006.

The board advises the Oregon Department of Agriculture on policy issues and development of rules. The 10-member board meets in person four times a year. Board members serve four-year terms, with a maximum of two terms.

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Read the Ethanol letter rescinded by the Wall Street Journal

September 15, 2012 --

As promised, the Renewable Fuels Association submitted an opinion piece for publication in the Wall Street Journal. After all, in a recent editorial, the Journal editorial staff said they were more than happy to give RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen space to voice his opinion.Not surprisingly, the Journal rejected Dinneen’s submission. Apparently, their willingness to include divergent views applies only when they can have enough time to criticize it on the same day it appears.Nevertheless, here is Dinneen’s op ed in full as submitted to the Wall Street Journal.

Beyond the Biofuel-bashing Editorials:
Ethanol Really Reduces Prices at the Pump
By Bob Dinneen
Renewable Fuels Association

When I was growing up, I learned to watch out for guys who pat you on the back with one hand and then sucker-punch you with the other.

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Corn harvest at unprecedented levels

September 14, 2012 --

by Cindy
Corn Commentary
National Association of Wheat Growers

The corn harvest this drought-damaged year is running three times ahead of normal pace right now at 15% nationwide.

On the state level, some numbers are simply unprecedented, like Missouri where 53% of the crop is harvested compared to 15% on average. In Kansas, 41% of the corn is harvested compared to 13% normal and Illinois is showing 21% compared to 6%. In those states and several others, the condition of the corn crop is also unprecedented, with 40-60% rated very poor.

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California Governor signs Timber Reform

September 13, 2012 --

California Governor signs Timber Reform
By California Farm Bureau

Rural regions that rely on forests and timber sales will benefit from a bill signed by Governor Brown Tuesday. The new law gives forest landowners a longer window in which they can harvest timber under state-approved plans, and makes other reforms to forestry regulations. The California Farm Bureau says the new law will benefit jobs by giving California-grown timber a chance to compete fairly against out-of-state lumber.

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Oregon sawmill saved at last minute

September 12, 2012 --

By Oregon Forest Resource Institute

The Malheur Lumber Company in John Day has been granted a reprieve from the closure that parent company Ochoco Lumber announced last month. The promise of private landowners to supply the mill with enough timber supply for a month or two to keep it open is but a temporary solution.

I have participated for three years on the state’s Federal Forest Advisory Committee’s Implementation Working Group, collaborating to reach consensus on ways to restore eastside forests. Recently, $2.5 million in federal funds was extended to support the Blue Mountain Forest Partners collaborative for this purpose. But the federal help may be too little, too late.

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Alert: River buffer rule wipes out crop production

September 11, 2012 --

EQC Considers Implementing 1000 ft. Pesticide Buffers
By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

August 9th, Nina Bell, on behalf of Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA), submitted a petition to the Environmental Quality Council (EQC) asking them to put pesticide buffers into rule. The petition would implement the terribly flawed National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) pesticide biological opinions (BiOps), and put into place pesticide buffers of up to 1000 ft around salmon bearing waterways. These flawed BiOps are embroiled in litigation right now, yet NWEA wants the state of Oregon to implement unscientific, unnecessary buffers immediately. The EQC has 90-days to consider the petition, and they need to hear from you.

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