The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Farmers Union dislikes Farm Bill Extension

November 30, 2012 --

By National Farmers Union

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement amid reports that Congress may consider an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30:

“With the current legislative session quickly coming to a close, it is imperative now, more than ever, that Congress act during their lame duck session before substantial harm is done to our farmers, ranchers and all Americans, who depend on a stable farm economy, a healthy environment and access to affordable nutrition programs.

“Merely extending the current law may well be more difficult than passing a new five-year bill. A short-term extension would reveal a litany of problems that will not be easily fixed when a new farm bill eventually is signed into law.

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OSU: Training for urban farmers

November 29, 2012 --
Weston Miller and Willow Aevery, BUFA 2011 (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)
By Oregon State Univeristy

Oregon State University is accepting applications for its eight-month training program in the Portland area for aspiring urban farmers.

Now in its third year, the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA) program was developed by the OSU Extension Service and Multnomah County for people with little to no farming experience.

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 13. Classes start April 3. To apply, go to the BUFA 2013 Application website. Applicants do not need to be residents of Multnomah County.

Participants can enroll in two tracks: one consisting of about 550 hours of instruction and another that’s about 120 hours but doesn’t have in-field training. Space is limited to 20 students for track 1 and 10 for track 2.

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Lawsuit: Oregon waters too hot for fish

November 28, 2012 --

Lawsuit challenges Oregon’s water clean-up plans
By Natural Resource News Note

The Northwest Environmental Advocates filed a complaint in federal court challenging Oregon’s Clean Water Act clean-up plans.

The NWEA believes that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s plans allow water temperatures that are too high for cold-water fish and other wildlife, resulting in widespread temperature pollution. According to the NWEA, standards approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency allow temperatures up to 64 degrees F, but Oregon’s clean-up plans allow temperatures as high as 90 degrees F.

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Timber Industry Reviewing New Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat

November 27, 2012 --

American Forest Reserach Council

The American Forest Resource Council is reviewing the critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hoping that substantial changes have been made since the draft was published in the Federal Register last March. Over the past two years, the proposal and the process employed in its development have been criticized by Members of Congress and the public. County governments in Washington, Oregon and California have raised a number of concerns about its likely economic impact.

In comments filed July 6, AFRC noted the proposed habitat designation would include large amounts of acreage not suitable for the bird. This resulted from the use of complex, flawed computer models not verified with on-the-ground review. AFRC had provided the Service with extensive scientific documentation that the models are not accurate or precise enough to truly identify those areas that are critical to the owl or comply with the Endangered Species Act.

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Good news for Oregon timber

November 26, 2012 --

Good news for Oregon timber
By Oregon Small Business Association

 The Portland Tribune reports that a three-member panel at the Portland Business Alliance’s monthly breakfast agreed that Oregon’s timber industry can expect to see growth in global demand for wood fiber. However, they warned the increase will be slow and irregular.

Oregon’s timber industry, which dwindled during the Great Recession, is going to face challenges as it tries to meet the growing demand.

Panelist Andrew Miller, president and chief executive officer of Portland’s Stimson Lumber, said that Stimson has had trouble getting logging contractors for the past three years. “The whole supply chain shrunk. It will take years in some cases to rebuild capacities.”

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Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

November 25, 2012 --

By Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

The opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from Point Arena, Calif., north will be delayed at least through Dec. 15 to allow crab quality to improve.

The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast normally opens on Dec. 1, but can be delayed to ensure a high-quality product to consumers and avoid wastage of the resource. Crab quality testing in early November showed the majority of test areas coast wide did not meet minimum preseason test criteria. Fishery managers in Oregon, Washington and California met and decided to delay the opening.

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Farmers only get 12 cents of every food dollar

November 24, 2012 --

Contrary to what many believe, higher food prices do not equal more money for farmers.
National Corn Growers Association

As the Northeast continues to deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, other parts of the United States are still dealing with the most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years. And that drought has spurred some talk about whether consumers will pay more for food at the grocery store.

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Farmers Union on AMT, Estate & Bush Tax Cuts

November 23, 2012 --

NFU to Congress: There Are Two Sides to a Balance Sheet
By National Farmers Union,

As Congress prepares legislation related to the fiscal cliff, National Farmers Union (NFU) urges Congress to take action on tax reform in addition to spending reductions.

“There has been a lot of discussion recently about the impending cuts that could occur during sequestration. However, that’s only half of the matter,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The best way to deal with the deficit is to sensibly raise revenues and to reduce expenditures – not just one or the other.”

NFU supports continuing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for those who earn less than $200,000 per year, or $250,000 for married couples, while allowing the reductions for those who earn more than that to expire. Allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to end for the top two percent of earners will raise $849 billion over the next ten years to put towards deficit reduction.

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Holiday Turkey Threat? Call OSU food safety hotline

November 21, 2012 --

By Oregon State University Extension Office

How do you quickly thaw a big turkey? Should you stuff it or not? How do you make turkey giblet gravy like your grandma’s?

As Thanksgiving approaches, you can get answers to questions like these by calling the Oregon State University Extension Service’s holiday food safety hotline at 1-800-354-7319.

The statewide hotline runs from Nov. 13-16 and 19-21 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It’s staffed by Extension-trained Master Food Preserver volunteers.

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Lawsuit expands to lock-up 90 million bd-ft of timber


by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

BLM Timber Lawsuit Impacts:  Previously reported environmental lawsuits attempting to stop Bureau of Land Management timber sales in Southern Oregon now appear to impact an even larger timber volume.  Environmental plaintiffs filed suit in US District Court to stop up to 25 BLM timber sales, and over 90 million board feet of timber harvest.  For every million board feet of timber harvested, 38 jobs/year are generated in Oregon’s economy.  If the lawsuits are not overturned, some 1,100 Oregonians would be threatened with under-employment during a three-year period.

Oregon Forest Sector Report:  A new 200-page report, The 2012 Forest Report – An Economic Assessment of Oregon’s Forest & Wood Products Manufacturing Sector, affirms that the sector is poised to grow creating thousands of new rural jobs—given improved markets and needed reforms to increase the public timber supply.  The report is published by Oregon Forest Resources Institute, which was created by Oregon’s Legislature to provide reliable public forestry information, and is funded by a portion of the timber harvest tax.  More information at:

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