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Coalition backs wildfire fix

June 29, 2016 --

Wildlife Groups Support Senate Action on Fire Borrowing, Forest Management Reformshealthy-forests-healthy-communities
By Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,

The American Wildlife Conservation Partners, a coalition of over 30 hunting and outdoors organizations, recently sent a letter to key leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In light of the committee’s recent draft legislation, the groups urged the Senators to pass meaningful, bipartisan legislation to fix federal wildfire suppression funding and approve needed forestry reforms. Here’s an excerpt from their letter:

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Billboard: Who’s your farmer?

June 27, 2016 --

By Oregon Farm Bureau,

semorrisonbillboard

If you’re driving around Portland this summer, you may encounter one of these colorful billboards by Multnomah County Farm Bureau asking an important question: Who’s your farmer?

Many people don’t realize that 98 percent of Oregon farms and ranches are family owned and operated. Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership is comprised of 7,000 of these families actively engaged in agriculture. These are people who care deeply about the quality and safety of their products, and who are proud to share what they’ve raised with consumers.

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Timber groups build Habitat Home

June 25, 2016 --

By American Forest Research Council,

Local Forest Products Industry Builds Habitat Home in Springfield for Navarrete Bravo Family

The Navarrete Bravo family will be joined by Springfield Mayor Lundberg, partners from the forest products industry, and Habitat supporters in celebrating the groundbreaking of the family’s Habitat home on Saturday, June 25, at 11:00 AM, at 4869 A Street in Springfield.

The Navarrete Bravo Family home will be sponsored by the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC), a non-profit trade association based out of Portland. AFRC represents lumber manufacturers and forest landowners in five western states, with a major presence in Lane County and the Eugene/Springfield area. AFRC and its members will provide locally-manufactured lumber, volunteer hours, and cash donations to build the home.

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Ranchers send message to Congress

June 24, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Tracy Brunner testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Brunner, a fourth generation rancher and cattle feeder from the Flint Hills area of Kansas, stressed to the subcommittee that over-regulation poses the greatest threat to the profitability of cattle producers.

“Today we ask for no direct action from our government in our cattle marketing systems and forums,” said Brunner. “The cattle industry relies on the transparency of price discovery to send clear signals up and down the beef supply chain. We have recognized the volatility in the cattle futures market and we are working directly with the CME Group to find ways to address it. Our joint NCBA/CME working group is analyzing potential changes to ensure the markets work for producers who are using these tools to manage their market risks. Without futures contract integrity, our industry will abandon the use of these markets as a risk management tool.”

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Possible Anti-Forestry Ballot Initiatives:

June 22, 2016 --

by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

Possible Anti-Forestry Ballot Initiatives:

November’s general election might include three state-wide anti-forestry ballot initiatives—only if each petition clears two very tough hurdles by late July to qualify for the ballot. Although the petitions received the requisite sponsorship signatures, each must secure an approved title from the Attorney General; then, each must quickly obtain nearly 100,000 voter signatures. Petition #78 would ban forestry aerial spraying near water & homes; #79 would ban spraying & steep-slope harvest; and #80 would ban spraying, steep-harvest and clearcuts.

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Overtime threshold doubled

June 20, 2016 --

Oregon Association of Nurseries

The White House announced  that it will essentially double the threshold at which salaried employees performing certain executive, professional or administrative duties are exempt from overtime pay. The current threshold is $23,660 and will roughly double to $47,476.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told reporters the exemption was originally intended for high-paid executives, but instead has denied overtime to low-level retail supervisors and entry-level office workers who often toil 50 to 70 hours a week.

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Farmers testify to bring down trade barriers

June 17, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

Kevin Paap, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau and board member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, described a litany of trade barriers faced by farmers and ranchers in a hearing of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

In response, Paap asked Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement while supporting ongoing negotiations toward a successful Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

AFBF estimates U.S. farmers and ranchers will gain $4.4 billion in yearly profits from passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership alone – profits that have taken on special importance during the ongoing farm downturn.

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Countering extremism on Public Lands

June 15, 2016 --

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

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee’s ranking member, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., is holding a forum on the “growing anti-government extremism on public lands.” Grijalva says the forum will discuss the emergence of this movement and the government’s efforts to confront these dangers, and has invited the public to send comments on the issue. Skamania County Commissioner Chris Brong submitted the following response, which we’re publishing with his permission:

To: The Honorable Democrat Representatives on the House Natural Resources and Homeland Security Committees.

Subject: Forum – Countering Extremism on America’s Public Lands.

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Land-use & Property Rights Forum June 15th

June 14, 2016 --

Natural Resource Report,

Oregonians In Action Education Center is hosting their annual Land-Use Forum in Eugene on Wednesday June 15th.  They will be discussing important landowner topics such as Oregon Board of Forestry’s New Streamside setbacks, Alert on new Floodplain Rules on Oregon Land-Use Laws, Rural/Urban Development in Oregon, Marijuana & Land Use and the 2016 Legislature and Affordable Housing changes.  Read the flyer below or go here for full details.

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Ag testifies against Owyee monument

June 13, 2016 --

Oregon-Farm-Bureau

By Oregon Farm Bureau,

One thing all parties could agree on at a May 23 hearing about the Owyhee Canyonlands is that it is spectacularly beautiful.

But who’s to thank for that?

“Today we’ve heard the words ‘iconic’ and ‘awesome’ to describe the Owyhee Canyonlands,” said Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue before the House Rural Communities Committee at the state capitol. “I say to you that this is exactly because of the people I’m here representing today, the ranchers, the farmers, the local communities, and the businesses that have worked 150 years to make this land what it is.”

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