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Senate vote hurts Western States

April 29, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Votes for permanent reauthorization of controversial federal land acquisition fund

WASHINGTON– As part of the Energy Security and Research Bill (S.2012) passed  by the U.S Senate, the Senate inappropriately included a provision permanently reauthorizing the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund with a requirement that not less than 40 percent of LWCF money be spent on federal acquisitions. In the process, the Senators voted down even common-sense reform amendments like that of Sen. Lankford (R-Okla.) which would have required a maintenance component to any new federal acquisition.

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Good news on Spotted Frog

April 27, 2016 --

test_edited-1By Oregon Farm Bureau,

Central Oregon farmers and irrigation mired in the spotted frog issue twice had reason to celebrate in recent weeks.

On March 22, the Federal Judge Ann Aiken denied WaterWatch of Oregon and the Center for Biological Diversity’s preliminary motion to restrict irrigation flows in their Endangered Species Act (ESA) case regarding the spotted frog.

And on April 7, Judge Aiken denied the environmental groups’ request to delay issuing a formal opinion on her March 22 ruling. The parties have now been directed to schedule settlement discussions with Magistrate Judge Coffin.

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BLM plan to cost jobs, lose revenue, create wildfires

April 25, 2016 --

healthy-forests-healthy-communitiesBy Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,

Advocates for rural Oregon say the Bureau of Land Management’s final proposed Resource Management Plan for Western Oregon will cost rural jobs, threaten public services and leave forests more vulnerable to wildfire, insects and disease.

In seeking to adopt a new management plan before President Obama leaves office, they say the agency ignored pleas by county leaders, Oregon’s business and labor communities, and newspapers across the state to produce a plan that better serves our rural communities.

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Farmers excluded from dam removal plan

April 20, 2016 --

Oregon-Farm-BureauFarmers excluded from dam removal plan

Statement from Oregon Farm Bureau

April 7, 2016 statement from Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue on the dam removal plan: “Despite asking the Governor’s office to be involved in the dam removal discussions, Farm Bureau was excluded. It’s not clear if there were any representatives from the agriculture community at the table. The crux of the issue is water certainty for farmers in the Klamath basin. A long-term reliable water supply for farmers should be the primary consideration of any agreement regarding the Klamath River basin, not just an afterthought as it seems to be in this plan.”

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17 counties sue over timber plan

April 18, 2016 --

Counties Will Sue BLM Over New Management Plan
Association of O&C Counties

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its latest proposed management plan for 2.5 million acres of timberland in western Oregon. Today, 17 Counties in western Oregon announced they would challenge the plan in federal court.

“We have no choice but to litigate, and we are on firm legal ground in doing so,” said Commissioner Tony Hyde of Columbia County. Commissioner Hyde is the President of the Association of O&C Counties (AOCC), which will lead the lawsuit. “The BLM refused to even consider revenues for Counties as an objective in developing its plan. There are many ways the BLM could have balanced jobs and revenues for vital County services while creating habitat for endangered species, providing clean water, recreational opportunities, and improving fire resiliency,” said Commissioner Hyde. “Once again, the federal government has failed the communities where these lands are located.”

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EPA year of trouble for NW farmers

April 13, 2016 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

epabllbrd

It appears that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting more active in the waning days of the current administration. From suing an Oregon farmer for stabilizing a stream bank to potentially placing major restrictions on important pesticide tools to funding billboards in Washington State that target agriculture,  the EPA is clearly ramping up their activities around pesticides and farming practices.

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Oregon’s vital water level forecast

April 11, 2016 --

By Oregon Department of Ag,

What a difference a wet winter makes. All areas of Oregon appear to be in much better shape for the upcoming growing season than one year ago when many farmers and ranchers wondered if there would even be enough water to carry into the summer. It’s only April, so conditions can always change. But talk of drought in Oregon, for now, seems to be relatively muted.

“Most of the state is doing better,” says Margaret Matter, water resource specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “We need to still keep an eye on parts of southeast Oregon, but everything is certainly improved over last year.”

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Personal story behind farm labor shortage

April 7, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

People are needed to keep a farm running. From repair tasks to driving machinery and checking crops–there’s no shortage of work to be done. Seems simple right? But farm work is real labor. It’s not easy. The job doesn’t include an ergonomic chair, cubicle, scheduled vacation or sick days. Farm work requires long days in often undesirable weather conditions and comes with an unpredictable schedule. It requires ongoing training, knowledge of crops and how they grow, plus many hours of twisting, turning, bending, climbing, shoveling and heavy lifting. There’s no way around it: It is labor and most Americans do not want to do it.

Our farm has run into a worker shortage for the past 13 years. We advertise in local papers and spread the word through our neighbors. We have offered bonuses and additional benefits, but get minimal response. We have been unable to hire any of the people who respond, and we are left each year looking to hire qualified foreign seasonal labor through the H2A, ag worker visa program, and the H2B visa program.

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Cattlemen on the lethal action on wolf pack

April 6, 2016 --


By Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife made the difficult decision to enact lethal take on the Imnaha pack after the pack committed five depredations on livestock within the month of March.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association is fully supportive of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s decision which was made in accordance with the Oregon Wolf Plan. The Association is also aware that this decision was difficult and not made without careful consideration of the impact of all parties involved.

In this specific case, one producer lost four yearling cattle within a month’s span. Those losses represent a reoccurring problem that needed addressed.

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Oregon mills closing, cutting production

April 4, 2016 --

By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umqua Coquille LLC

Housing starts, home values, and lumber are climbing only slowly, mortgage interest rates are the lowest in 3 years, and log prices peaked in January, so far this year. One southern Oregon mill closed, another cut production, and forest health management is stalled. Recent trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2009 and 2005.

chart-sohn-april16

Interpretation and Looking Ahead.

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