The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Defense bill has ESA rules on Sage Grouse, Prairie Chicken

May 29, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Defense Bill Passes with ESA Provisions on Sage Grouse and Prairie Chicken

Language to block the listing of the greater sage grouse passed the House as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association applaud the House for working to prevent an arbitrary listing that would have significant negative impacts on the West.

“Livestock grazing and wildlife habitat conservation go hand-in-hand, and ranchers have historically proven themselves to be the best stewards of the land,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president and NCBA member. “If sage grouse are designated for protection under the ESA, many ranchers may no longer be permitted to allow livestock to graze on or near sage grouse habitat, habitat which spans across 11 western states and encompasses 186 million acres of both federal and private land. This decision would not only destroy the ranching industry in the west, which is the backbone of many rural communities, it would also halt the conservation efforts currently underway by ranchers.”

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Benton County rejects GMO bill by 70%

May 27, 2015 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Benton County GMO Ban Defeated

May elections can sometimes seem like minor events as the ballot usually consists entirely of local offices and levies, but for voters in Benton County, much more was on the line this week.

Benton County measure 2-89 would have banned the use of all genetically engineered organisms in the county. Framed as a “local food” ordinance, the poorly crafted measure would not only have effected crops, but medical and agricultural research as well.

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Disappointing trend in log & stud prices, housing starts

May 25, 2015 --

Timber Industry Report May 1, 2015
By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umqua Coquille LLC
With disappointing stud prices, log prices, and housing starts, spring is weaker than expected, more like a premature summer. Low unsold home inventory and mortgage rates do offer promise. Trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2006.


Interpretation and Looking Ahead.

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House panel votes to repeal COOL labeling rule

May 22, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation that would repeal Country of Origin Labeling (H.R. 2393) by a bi-partisan vote of 38 to 6. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyoming, cattleman Philip Ellis applauded the action.

“I thank Chairman Conaway (R-Texas), Rep. Costa (D-Cali.), and their colleagues for the swift introduction of this legislation and today’s passage,” said Ellis. “Following the WTO’s ruling Monday, the next step for Canada and Mexico is retaliation, which could take place as early as this summer. The time to negotiate and consider alternatives is long past; COOL has been around in one form or another for over a decade without benefit, and now is time to act to repeal this broken legislation. We ask the full House to take up this legislation as soon as possible, as it is the only way to avoid retaliation.” – See more at:

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Extraordinary combustion- Oregon Forests in Peril

May 20, 2015 --

healthy-forests-healthy-communitiesHealthy Forest, Healthy Communities

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”“We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities … Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured.– Lyndon B. Johnson

Forests are essential for life on earth, and they cover a third of our planets land. They provide raw materials, maintain biodiversity, spiritual well-being, protect land and water resources, and play a role in climate change mitigation.

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Legislature ramps up Ag bills

May 18, 2015 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Bills of Interest Scheduled for Hearings

The Legislative Session is ramping back up next week with a couple of OFS priority bills up for hearings.

HB 2443 – On Monday, the Natural Resources Ways & Means Subcommittee will hold a hearing on HB 2443. This is the ODA fertilizer fee bill. The Department worked with stakeholders throughout the interim to craft this measure and OFS supports the bill.

As a reminder, HB 2443 will:

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EPA Court case on farmer privacy

May 15, 2015 --


The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) urged the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to uphold federal privacy laws and prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing sensitive data on farmers and ranchers to environmental activist organizations.

“The idea that the EPA has the legal authority to collect the private information of a farmer and then release it to private organizations – to advance their institutional purposes – is ludicrous,” NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned said. “The EPA is setting these farmers up to be harassed and threatened with lawsuits. Not to mention several of the people affected share business and home addresses and phone numbers.”

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Should wolves be delisted?

May 13, 2015 --

wolf-or10Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission 

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission  decided to direct ODFW staff to develop two options for delisting wolves from the state Endangered Species Act: one that would delist wolves in eastern Oregon (boundary Hwys 97-20-395) and one that would delist wolves statewide.

The state’s Wolf Plan calls for initiating a process to delist wolves from the state Endangered Species Act when Oregon reaches the conservation objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This objective was met in early 2015.

The Commission heard ODFW staff’s Biological Status Review of wolves and also heard public testimony from 38 people.

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Newspapers tout timber reform on Obama visit

May 11, 2015 --

Oregon’s top two newspapers, The Oregonian & Statesman Journal gave strong editorials on behalf of Oregon timber during Obama’s visit.  See excerpts below:

From Statesman Journal Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes:

“But there’s an even more important issue that cries for your help: increasing timber harvests on federal lands.Trees are a renewable resource. Timber jobs are good-paying jobs. For generations, they were the glue that held Oregon communities together. People could make enough money in the woods or in the mills to feed their families and also to support community organizations. Not so today.In beautiful Oregon, tourism was touted as the economic salve after many of those jobs were lost to environmental protests, automation and changing markets. But tourism doesn’t pay like logging and mill work do…You can promise all the federal help you want, but we Oregonians are skeptical of such promises as well. Since the early 1900s, timber money was to flow to Western Oregon counties from the federally managed O&C Lands. But in recent decades, the federal government has reneged on much of its commitment — not just on O&C lands but on other federal forests throughout the West.”

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Polling results on renewable fuel

May 8, 2015 --

Renewable Fuels Association

Morning Consult released the results of a national survey conducted on behalf of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Morning Consult contacted 2,047 registered voters on April 5–7. The results show that Americans overwhelmingly support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as 62% came out in support of the RFS while only 18% opposed the successful policy. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ± 2%. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, commented on the new poll, stating, “This poll clearly shows that the oil industry’s misinformation, hyperbole, and manufactured angst against the RFS is not resonating with an American public that wants competition for the pump, relief for their wallet, and lower carbon fuels for the planet.

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