The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Kalamath deal falls through

December 30, 2015 --

California Farm Bureau

After more than a decade of negotiations with a variety of stakeholders, the end-of-year deadline for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation approving and funding the Klamath Basin settlement agreements is expected to come and go without final action, leaving the future of the basin’s water supply uncertain.

“The agreements as we know them will expire,” said Greg Addington, a consultant to the Klamath Water Users Association and its former executive director, who noted the agreements had been agreed upon by Klamath Water Project farmers, environmental groups, local tribes and other parties.

“There will be a willingness from us and other parties to sit down and see if we can do anything as a plan B,” Addington said.

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Obama’s natural resource memorandum

December 28, 2015 --

Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

On November 3, 2015, President Obama issued a memorandum to the Secretaries of Defense, Interior and Agriculture, and the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration directing them to revise their existing policies to incorporate a new “net benefit goal” for mitigating impacts from natural resource use. More specifically, the new policy sets a “no net loss” goal for the land, water, wildlife and other natural resources that agencies manage; signaling a new approach to regulating land and water-impacting activities within federal jurisdiction.

In the memo, the White House has instructed federal agencies to develop individual policies incorporating this new “net benefit” standard to avoid, minimize and compensate for natural resource losses. Accordingly, the agencies are to “adopt a clear and consistent approach” for incorporating the mitigation hierarchy (e.g., avoid, minimize, and compensate).

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Farmland concerns at Oregon hits $4 million milestone

December 25, 2015 --

By Oregon Department of Agriculture

Protecting ag land important as Oregon hits 4 million mark

Oregon’s population now tops 4 million people. Whether the continued population increase negatively impacts agriculture remains to be seen, but the state’s land use protections are more important than ever, according to officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

“Two must-haves for Oregon agriculture are land and water,” says ODA Director Katy Coba. “As more people come to live in Oregon, there is likely to be more competition for those natural resources. We simply need to continue protecting our agricultural production base to keep farming viable.”

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Big budget deal has key wins for Cattlemen

December 23, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

With bipartisan support, Congress passed the $1.15 trillion Omnibus Appropriations Bill today, which funds much of the government through fiscal year 2016. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis said the bill contained several victories for cattlemen and women.

Coming within days of facing retaliation from two of our largest trading partners, the bill repeals mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling for beef; a significant victory for America’s cattle producers.

“COOL has plagued our industry for many years now, costing us millions and driving us to the brink of retaliation from two of our largest trading partners,” said Ellis. “Cattle producers have had to bear the cost of this failed program for far too long, and we commend the leadership of Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Representative Jim Costa (D-Cali.) for ensuring the United States is brought back into compliance with our trade obligations.”

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Ranchers awarded for sage-grouse recovery

December 21, 2015 --

Mark and Patti Bennett

By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Mark and Patti Bennett of Unity were recognized with the 2015 Riley Freeman Award during the Oregon Cattlemen Association conference in Bend.

In giving the award, ODFW Director Curt Melcher praised the Bennetts for being model stewards on their working cattle ranch in Unity, Ore. Melcher spotlighted their ranch’s role in the conservation and recovery of Greater sage-grouse.

“The Bennetts recently signed a Candidate Conservation Agreement related to sage-grouse and are enhancing habitat for these birds,” said Melcher.

Chip Dale, ODFW watershed manager for southeast Oregon, praised Mark Bennett’s participation on the sage-grouse rule advisory committees (both DLCD and ODFWs), “Mark was a strong advocate not only for Baker County, but also for ensuring the persistence of sage-grouse,” Dale said.

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What Ag thinks of federal budget deal

December 18, 2015 --

Wheat-Growers-National-AssociationBy National Association of Wheat Growers

FY 2016 Omnibus, Tax Agreement Reached, Congressional Action This Week

Yesterday Congressional negotiators released the text of an agreement to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2016 and to make permanent a number of important tax provisions. The House of Representatives has taken the first step by approving the tax package, and consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill is expected Friday morning. Following House action, the Senate is expected to take up both bills, as early as Friday.

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Minimum wage, labor costs put Ore. Ag at risk

December 16, 2015 --

By Jeff Stone, Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries

If the price of labor in Oregon continues to escalate well beyond other states, the nursery industry will be at a disadvantage.

Oregon’s nursery and greenhouse industry is proud of its rich heritage of growing outstanding plants — and employing a strong, mostly year-round workforce to do it.

Our largely family-owned businesses have made a significant investment in training and employing a skilled workforce. These workers have likewise invested their time and skill in us, becoming a cornerstone of our success.

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Ore. Farm Bureau saves Christmas

December 14, 2015 --

pic5By Oregon Farm Bureau,

…Well, at least the business of Christmas tree farmers in Marion and Polk Counties that use helicopters for harvest.

At issue is a recently changed airspace designation around Salem Airport/Independence. On Aug. 20, the Federal Aviation Administration increased the designation of Class D airspace around the Salem Tower from approximately 5 nautical miles to 16 nautical miles. The rulemaking was a result of a biannual review that FAA undertook to address safety and topography concerns.

This change could have an enormous impact on the ability of pilots to operate anywhere within the enlarged Class D airspace if the weather was poor. This is because Class D airspace is designed to be controlled, and there must be full accountability of where aircraft are.

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House passes Open Book on Equal Access to Justice

December 11, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

House Passes Bill to Address Abuse of EAJA

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the House passage of H.R. 3279 Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), requires oversight and transparency of funds awarded under EAJA. Philip Ellis, NCBA president and Wyoming rancher, said the bill is critical to leveling the playing field between private citizens, for which the law was intended, and the vast resources of groups who repeatedly abuse the system.

“The lack of oversight and accountability has led to rampant abuse by well-funded radical environmental groups who use EAJA to advance their agendas,” said Ellis. “The simple fact that millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have been awarded, with virtually no accounting of who received the payments is unacceptable.”

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Oregon has millions of zombie trees

December 9, 2015 --

By Oregon Forest Research Institute,

By Mike Cloughesy, Director of Forestry, Oregon Forest Resources Institute

Meet the standing dead. Millions upon millions of gray ghosts blackened by fire, ravaged by insects and disease, or dead from lack of water. These are Oregon’s “zombie” trees. And according to an analysis commissioned by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, more than 350 million individual trees are standing dead in the 14 million acres of national forestland in Oregon. The bad news? The number of dead trees is expected to increase, providing more fuel for catastrophic wildfires. Halloween is a great time to tell scary stories. The story I’m about to tell you is about the frightening number of dead trees in our national forests. It is based on data from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis program that was collected in 2010 and 2013 across all forestlands in Oregon. This story could have a happy ending, but it may not.


The story starts by looking at who owns Oregon’s forests.

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