The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Brothers regain giant Oregon Onion business

September 30, 2013 --

Brothers Regain Control of Oregon Onion Company
By Oregon Family Farm Association

Bob and Rick Hale, leading a group of investors in an eight-figure deal, have regained control of the largest onion-growing and processing company in the U.S.. Based in Hermiston, Oregon, River Point Farms has about 520 full-time employees and grows 450 million pounds of onions, 85 percent by the company’s own farmers and 15 percent by other growers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California.

The family has been in the onion business for thirty-seven years. Hale Farms was their original company. Subsequently, they started American Onion, then purchased a customer, Rivergate Farms. In 2007 they sold controlling interest of the combined River Point Farms to CIC Partners, a private equity firm which remains part of the new investor group. The Hales continued to be closely involved with operations at River Point, with Bob Hales serving as president since 2007 and recently adding CEO to that title.

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Back off the Renewable Fuels Standard

September 27, 2013 --

National Corn Growers Association

Corn Commentary features a post authored by Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag that originally ran on

Corn Views: Back off the Renewable Fuels Standard, it’s working

If I told you there was a piece of legislation that has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil by 20 percent, supports 400,000 jobs, adds $43 billion to our gross domestic product, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 percent and saves the typical motorist $1,200 per year, would you call for that legislation to be scaled back or repealed?

It sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? Why would anyone want to repeal a piece of legislation that is doing all of those things?

But that’s exactly what Big Oil companies and their highly paid executives, lobbyists and public relations teams are trying to do to a piece of legislation called the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

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Oregon’s famous wolf retiring?

September 26, 2013 --

wolf-or10Roaming Wolf Settling Down?
Natural Resource News Note:

The gray wolf, dubbed “OR-7” by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, may have finally chosen a home. His travels have been tracked thanks to a GPS collar. In September, 2011 he left the Imnaha pack in Northeast Oregon and crossed the Cascades to become the first confirmed wolf sighted west of the mountains since 1937. OR-7 has wandered thousands of miles, from eastern Oregon to Southern Oregon to Northern California, becoming the first confirmed wolf in that state since 1924. He returned to Oregon in March and spent the summer of 2013 in Southeast Jackson County and Southwest Klamath County.

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Bend Bulletin: Ag can’t handle tax hike

September 25, 2013 --

Excerpts from Bend Bulletin Op-Ed…

Rural Oregon faces problems that go far beyond a collapse in the housing market, however. Ranching, the mainstay of places like Mitchell and Condon, is becoming an old man’s business — the average age of the American farmer is over 57 — and young people are increasingly moving to Portland and other metropolitan areas for work. If enough people leave, there’s the real possibility that even if a business was interested in moving to a rural area, no one would be left to work for it.That’s bad enough. But in the push to find more money for the state, there’s at least one potential ballot measure that could make it far worse. That’s the one that would require the state to tax corporations, no matter how large or how small, at the same rate as the personal income tax.

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Fire case tossed, Judge slams BLM, more…

September 23, 2013 --

by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

BLM Ordered to Increase Timber Sale: On June 26, the DC federal district court ordered the BLM to sell the volume amount specified in its 1995 forest plans, and stop using a flawed computer model to predict exaggerated owl use in its forests. Although the ruling orders the BLM Medford and Roseburg Districts to increase annual timber sale by 54 million bdft, another 2011 case before the same judge was filed by the forest industry, and AFRC (AOL is a Member), which seeks to require the BLM to sell more timber in compliance with the O&C Act on all western Oregon districts.

Judge Tosses Fire Case: In July, a Plumas County Judge dismissed the state of California’s lawsuit seeking $8 million in state firefighting damages from timber sale purchaser Sierra Pacific Industries, sought for the 2007 Moonlight Fire. Cal. Dept. of Forestry failed to prove that SPI caused the fire. This ruling contrasted with an earlier case brought by the US Forest Service against SPI for the same fire, where a federal judge ordered SPI in 2012 to pay the government an outlandish $150 million (approx.) for resource damages and firefighting—about 40 times the damaged land appraised value.

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Environmentalist block Freedom of Information Act

September 20, 2013 --

By American Farm Bureau Federationfarm-bureua-usa

AFBF reacts to inflammatory attacks in privacy lawsuit. AFBF’s Tracy Grondine reports.

Grondine: The American Farm Bureau Federation recently responded to the inflammatory tactics of several environmental activist groups who have asked to intervene in AFBF’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. These same groups have already sought privacy information of farmers and ranchers, which AFBF is trying to protect.
Quist: Many of the groups are requesting the information because they don’t believe that EPA is properly regulating agriculture, particularly livestock and poultry farms. They want to seek this information so they can sample water, harass farmers and build their case that EPA is not properly enforcing the Clean Water Act.
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DeFazio, Walden & Schrader on Obama O&C veto threat

September 19, 2013 --

Defazio, Walden & Schrader on Obama O&C veto threat
Natural Resource News Note:

The White House announced this week a veto threat of the pending O&C timber bill that is expected soon.  Below are three statements from three Oregon Congressmen working together to pass county help in Oregon.

Congressman Peter DeFazio Statement:

“I have negotiated in good faith, from the minority, the best possible O & C solution that can pass the Republican-controlled House. My goal is to move this bipartisan O & C solution forward to the Senate where I expect Chairman Ron Wyden will make changes so the bill can pass the Democratically controlled Senate and be signed by the president,”

Congressman Greg Walden quote in The Oregonian

“Disappointing.They’re living in the ’90s. They don’t realize what’s happened in the West…You’ve got counties literally going broke…and you’ve got these raging fires.

Kurt Schrader’s Chief of Staff statement:

“We realize this bill isn’t perfect. But we also know how crucial it is for our counties back home. Our goal is to get this thing to conference and work with Sen. Wyden to find a solution.”

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Coho Salmon Delisting not Warranted

September 18, 2013 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

NOAA Fisheries reviewed a petition to delist the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of coho salmon under the Endangered Species Act and found that delisting was not warranted.

Click here to go to the Federal Register to read more.


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Environmentalists attack biking

September 17, 2013 --


by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

Environmentalists Attack Biking:

A plan prepared by the Mount Hood National Forest to build 17 miles of mountain bike trails on the slopes surrounding Timberline Lodge has been litigated by four environmental groups that filed suit in federal court over the alpine meadows. Just as proposed timber sales and forest roads routinely are found to have no significant environmental impact, Forest Service managers determined that the new bike trails would render only minor impacts, while helping keep recreational uses vibrant. Environmental litigants claim a litany of alleged violations.

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60s rock icon promotes homegrown fuel

September 13, 2013 --

National Corn Growers Association

Homegrown’s all right with me.
Homegrown is the way it should be.
Homegrown is a good thing.

Neil Young – Homegrown

Grammy-winning recording artist Neil Young rocked the free world and showed he has a “heart of gold” for ethanol during a press event in Washington D.C. Monday with the National Farmers Union focused on passage of a farm bill and support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“I love ethanol. I love how it smells, I love the way it makes my car go, everything about it is great, it’s clean,” said Young. “It’s a beautiful fuel.”

Young, who was one of the original founders of Farm Aid in 1985, definitely won some new farmer fans with his passionate support for homegrown fuel and criticism of the oil industry.

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