The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


OSU fixes Fracking study error

July 27, 2016 --

osu-homeBy Oregon State University Extension Office

NOTE: The original news story published at this site has been removed because the study on which it was based was retracted by the authors after they discovered a calculation error. The authors subsequently republished their study with the error corrected. The story below references the corrected version.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 2015 Oregon State University study that linked natural-gas fracking to increased air pollution and heightened health risks has been corrected by its authors.

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Ag Dept hosts summer Crop Up Dinners

July 25, 2016 --

Summer pop up events to feature Oregon specialty cropsOregon Department of Agriculture

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are teaming up this summer to offer five dinner events in five different communities. What do these dinners all have in common? They will all feature Oregon grown specialty crops. The “Crop Up Dinner Series and Market Showcase”, which runs in July, August, and September, is designed to bring together local growers, food buyers, chefs, and the general public.

“We are hoping to educate attendees about Oregon specialty crops,” says Julia Turner, an ODA international trade manager who, along with OSU Research Chef Jason Ball, has been planning and organizing the dinner series. “Oregon produces more than 200 different crops and most of them are specialty crops. That’s pretty impressive. We hope to promote these crops, teach people where they are grown, how you can cook with them, and how they can be enjoyed in various recipes.”

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Cattlemen on Organic rule

July 22, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association,

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association submitted comments on the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service’s National Organic Program; Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices proposed rule. NCBA President Tracy Brunner, said that voluntary agency marketing programs are not the place to codify animal production practices.

“Organic programs are marketing programs and therefore not the place to prescribe animal welfare practices,” said Brunner. “America’s cattle producers are the best stewards of their herds and they take pride in the welfare of their animals. That is why, over the past thirty years, cattlemen and women have worked to develop and improve animal care and handling standards through the Beef Quality Assurance Program. Rather than set rigid political standards in statute, the Beef Quality Assurance program is driven by experts in animal care, using industry-accepted and peer reviewed science to set the program guidelines. Instead of attempting to address continuously changing animal care and handling practices in this rule, we recommend the USDA suggest that organic producers become BQA certified.”

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What to Know about California’s Cap and Trade’s Proposed Revisions

July 21, 2016 --

Stoel-Rivesby Allison Smith
Stoel Rives LLP – Renewalable & Law

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released draft amendments to California’s cap and trade regulation, including revisions to the current program in place through 2020, an extension of the program through 2030, and setting the stage for continued emissions reductions under the program through 2050. ARB’s proposed amendments come in the middle of a recent milieu of uncertainty:  pending litigation challenging the legality of the existing program, an opinion from the state Office of Legislative Counsel that ARB lacks authority under AB 32 to continue cap and trade past 2020, unprecedented weak demand at the most recent allowance auction, and legislation proposed in the California Senate to establish a statutory emissions reductions mandate for 2030 still in process this session.  With all of these balls in the air, ARB has doubled down and drafted regulations dropping the program’s emissions cap from 334.2 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2e in 2020 to 200.5 MMT in 2030, with major elements of the cap and trade regulation continuing in effect past 2020 to achieve the emissions reductions.
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How Oregon voted on GMO Bill

July 20, 2016 --

ofs-foodshelterBy Oregonians for Food and Shelter

The House passed the compromise GMO food disclosure bill, that passed the Senate last week. This means that the legislation now goes to the President who is expected to sign it. More details can be found in the first story below.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their Representative and Senators urging support. Two members of Oregon’s congressional delegation, Rep. Greg Walden and Rep Kurt Schrader, supported the bill. Please reach out to both of them with a “Thank You” for supporting agriculture.

Rep. Schrader made remarks in favor of the bill which you can watch by clicking the video below.

As a reminder, the compromise bill would require GMO food disclosure, but that disclosure would be provided through digital codes, web addresses or other means instead of language appearing directly on the label. And most importantly, the bill would preempt states from enacting GMO labeling measures of their own. This means that we will no longer face the threat of local regulations on the labeling GMOs in Oregon.

While we continue to believe that GMO labeling is uneccessary, the compromise bill offers a national solution that will prevent state by state labeling laws without requiring labeling in a way that would stigmatize GMO foods.

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School boards should sue Land Board

July 18, 2016 --

Cascade-PolicyBy John A. Charles Jr.
Cascade Policy Institute

In his recent guest column, Director of the Oregon Department of State Lands Jim Paul summarizes the history of the Elliott State Forest. He correctly notes that the Common School Trust lands within the Elliott must be managed as an endowment asset for public schools.

Since the Elliott is now a net liability instead of an asset due to environmental litigation, the State Land Board has appropriately concluded that the trust lands should be sold.

Unfortunately, the sale will not take place through competitive bidding, because this is not an auction. On July 27, the Land Board will announce the results of an appraisal and set the sale price as the appraised price. If you dare to offer even one dollar more, your bid will be set aside by state lawyers as “nonresponsive.”

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GMO Bill heads to Obama

July 15, 2016 --

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

The House passed the GMO labeling agreement designed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, by a vote of 306 to 117. The Senate passed the bill last Thursday by a vote of 63 to 30, advancing the agreement on to the House this week, and now the bill will be on the President’s desk to sign into law.

In 2014, President Obama wrote to Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and notable wheat researcher Norman Borlaug, publicly stating his support for biotechnology and his belief, shared with Norman Borlaug, that biotech will be part of a solution to the planet’s agricultural programs. NAWG encourages President Obama to stand by the statement by signing this important bill into law and creating real progress in achieving public acceptance of biotechnology.

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Documentary: Firefighters on Climate Change front lines

July 13, 2016 --

By Healthy Forest, Healthy Communities

This excellent document, from The Story Group, tells the stories of Colorado firefighters confronting the growing trend of larger and more severe wildfires. It is another reminder that we can mitigate the impacts of climate change and catestrophic wildfire through active forest management.

Unacceptable Risk – Firefighters on the Front Lines of Climate Change from The Story Group on Vimeo.

From the producers:

“On a day-to-day basis, we’re being surprised. And in this business, surprise is what kills people.” So says Don Whittemore, a career firefighter who has battled many of Colorado’s epic fires over the past two decades. The Story Group recorded the experiences of Whittemore and other firefighters who are repeatedly responding to record-breaking wildfires. Human-caused climate changes are transforming Colorado’s fire environment, bringing higher temperatures, drier fuels, and diseases to forest. These climate impacts mix with other human pressures to create a volatile situation for firefighters and communities. If current trends continue, we can expect more frequent, larger, and more devastating wildfires in Colorado and across the country.”

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Senate hearings on sage grouse

July 11, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining held an oversight hearing on the Federal sage grouse plans and their impact to successful ongoing state management of the species. Brenda Richards, Owyhee County Idaho rancher and president of the Public Lands Council, testified on behalf of the PLC and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Richards said that any Federal management plan must first recognize the essential contribution of grazing to conservation.

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Senate votes on GMO bill

July 8, 2016 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

The Senate did the right thing by voting to move toward a full debate on the merits of the GMO labeling bill. The legislation is not perfect, but it does take critical steps to prevent a confusing 50-state patchwork of laws disclosing the presence of entirely harmless ingredients. It is time for the Senate to pass this legislation so the House can do likewise at its first opportunity.”

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