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Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Mt. Hood Land Exchange Bill

January 30, 2017 --

Congressman Greg Walden,

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Representatives Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., this week introduced legislation to protect and enhance Oregon’s land conservation priorities on Mt. Hood.

Wyden and Merkley introduced the Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act in the Senate to help resolve a decades-long dispute over proposed land development on the northeast side of Mt. Hood. Walden and Blumenauer introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.

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Death Tax repeal introduced

January 27, 2017 --

By NFIB,

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) thanked Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) for introducing a bill to repeal the federal estate tax.

“Tax reform starts with small business and repealing the estate tax has been a top priority for small business owners. We are grateful to Senator Thune and Representative Noem, and we hope that their legislation becomes part of the larger reform effort,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “When the owner of a business passes away, the surviving family members should not have to worry about the federal government scooping up their assets.”

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Farm Bureau: Legislative challenges ahead

January 25, 2017 --

Oregon-Farm-BureauBy Oregon Farm Bureau,

Falling commodity prices, labor shortages, new workforce mandates — 2016 was challenging for many Oregon farm and ranch families.

But Farm Bureau members ended the year with important accomplishments to be proud of: Hundreds participated in the I Farm I Vote grassroots effort this November; the Measure 97 tax on gross receipts was handily defeated; and an impressive 86 percent of Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB)-endorsed candidates were elected.

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Oregon readies for Ag census

January 23, 2017 --

Oregon Department of Agriculture,

Heads up, Oregon farmers and ranchers. What happens as part of your operation this year will provide the data for the next Census of Agriculture. The nation’s most ambitious and important agricultural survey of all will be going out to farm operators in December 2017. Between now and then, a lot of effort will go into identifying everyone who should receive that survey.

“Right now, we are building our lists,” says Dave Losh, Oregon’s state statistician with the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS). “We know that list is incomplete because people are coming into agriculture and leaving it all the time. That’s why we are currently doing what we can to make our list the most complete it can be prior to mailing out the census survey at the end of the year.”

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Obama locks up thousands of acres of Oregon land

January 18, 2017 --

Oregon-Farm-BureauBy Oregon Farm Bureau,

With a simple stroke of a pen President Obama expanded the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by just under 50,000 acres. Along with this expansion, a monument in California was expanded and three new designations were declared. Unfortunately this process was unilateral and did not get the debate it deserved in Congress. It also ignored the concerns of the natural resource community and local officials.

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Obama’s late land taking riles Oregon

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By American Forest Research Council,

AFRC Responds to Controversial Cascade Siskiyou National Monument Expansion

AFRC President, Travis Joseph, issued the following statement after the Obama Administration’s controversial decision to administratively increase the size of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon, despite major local opposition (list below):

“Let’s be clear. This decision was not about conservation. It was not about collaboration or public involvement. It was not about doing the right thing for the next generation. This top-down, last-minute decision was about serving special interests over the objections of hard-working Oregonians who have cared for these lands for generations.”

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OSU study clocks low time for cattle stream use

January 16, 2017 --

By Oregon State University Extension Office,

Using precise tracking technology, Oregon State University researchers have determined that cattle spend less time in streams than most people think—the average is between 1 and 2.5 percent of their time on the range.

In a five-year study recently published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, John Williams and his colleagues placed GPS collars on cows and sent them out to graze with their herds across large acreages of rangeland in eastern Oregon.

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Cheers for Monument Designation Act abuse fix

January 13, 2017 --

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the introduction of the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, championed by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The bill, which has 25 co-sponsors, would require congressional and state approval for the designation of any new monument.

“Executive branch abuse of the Antiquities Act has moved far beyond its original intent, with devastating effects for local economies – particularly in rural areas of the West,” said Tracy Brunner, NCBA president. “It’s unacceptable for any President to have this much unilateral authority over land management decision-making; impacted local communities and the American people deserve a seat at the table as well.”

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Small business needs Clatsop to remain in timber lawsuit

January 11, 2017 --

Oregon Small Business fins Linn County timber lawsuit vital to community
By Oregon Small Business Association

Clatsop County has every reason to remain a class member in Linn County’s Class Action lawsuit against the state. The state is contractually obligated to manage state forests and return revenues to the counties, but they’re not doing that and as a result the counties are not getting the benefit of their bargain and rural communities are paying the price. As representatives of the small businesses community burdened by tax increases, surcharges and fees, we strongly urge our elected officials not to walk away from potentially hundreds of millions of dollars that could prevent future tax increases to fund critical services like education, public safety, and family services in rural Oregon.   This Linn County lawsuit is very important to small business and our local community.

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NW wood fiber price fall 11%

January 9, 2017 --

Wood Resources International LLC,

Prices for wood fiber consumed by the pulp industry in North America have fallen over the past year in all regions of the continent with the exception of the US South, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). The biggest declines have been in the northwestern and northeastern US where prices have fallen between 10-15% from the 3Q/15 to the 3Q/16.

In the US Northwest, where a majority of the fiber furnish is sawmills residuals, prices have fallen 11% in one year but are still higher than the 25-year average price. Current price levels for softwood chips in Washington and Oregon are the second highest in North America, behind the Lake States region. The lowest cost regions for chips are the US South, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

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