The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

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Capitol update: Hemp, Wolf, Taxes, Carbon

February 21, 2018 --


By Oregon Small Business Association,

Oregon’s Legislature continues to grind away during its short “off-year” Session, and the State’s agricultural interests received some attention in mid-February. The House Agriculture Committee passed three bills of interest to Oregon farmers, ranchers and foresters, sending them along to the Joint Ways and Means Committee which must also approve since they have a budget impact.

SB 1528Small business tax.  SB 1528 is a tax only on Oregon Small businesses which will impact many small Oregon family farmers. Last year Congress passed the heralded Tax Reform package which provided small businesses a 20% reduction in taxable income. SB 1528 simply steals away the benefit from Oregon taxes. Sb 1528 only eliminates the tax deduction for small businesses in the 2017 Tax Reform and does not eliminate or touch the tax reductions offered to large corporations.

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Senator, Firefighter, Farmer

February 20, 2018 --


By Oregon Family Farm Association,

Flanking the eastside of the Hood River Valley, and just to the south of Whiskey Creek Road, a fair stretch of Eastside Road winds along miles of winter pear orchards, dotted with vintage farm homes. A modest but dignified, crisp, white, salt-block home has stood as a Thomsen family residence for the better part of a century.

Ask Senator Chuck Thomsen, third generation pear farmer in the Hood River’s fruit valley, why he stayed on the family farm – a farm on which he is still only a tenant – and you’ll hear a thing or two about legacy. “It’s how you treat people, how you treat your kids, how you treat your workers down through the generations that makes it work. It’s about honesty and a good work ethic.” says Chuck. “The decisions we make about our communities…all of it matters.”

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Oregon ranks 5th place nationally in vegetable production

February 19, 2018 --

Oregon among national leaders in vegetable production

Oregon Department of Agriculture

When you were growing up, your mom probably told you to eat your vegetables. If those vegetables were grown in Oregon, she likely was doing you a favor. Oregon is well known for high quality vegetable crops, but new statistics confirm that the state’s growers also produce variety and quantity.

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Senator Merkley called out for remarks on Greater Sage-Grouse

February 14, 2018 --

Cattlemen: Senator Merkley Sage Grouse Statements “Regrettable” and “Out of Touch”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, issued the following statement in response to Senator Jeff Merkley’s statements on the 2015 Land Use Plan Amendments for the Greater-Sage Grouse :

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HB 4001 and SB 1507 could deliver significant pollution reductions

February 12, 2018 --

Testimony on HB 4001/SB 1507 Regarding Energy Rationing for Environmental Quality

Testimony of John A. Charles, Jr.

President & CEO, Cascade Policy Institute

Regarding HB 4001/SB 1507

Members of the Committee: I have spent the last 45 years of my life promoting environmental quality. I began my career working for the Environmental Defense Fund, a group that was an early innovator in market-based mechanisms. From 1980 through 1996 I was CEO of Oregon Environmental Council, where I helped pass dozens of environmental laws. Since 1997 I have worked for Cascade Policy Institute, promoting concepts such as congestion pricing of roads.

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Biofuels can reduce carbon emissions 43%

February 9, 2018 --


Jake Gibson
University of Oregon Student

Biofuels made here in the U.S. provide Americans with many benefits outside of the cost savings we enjoy at the pump. However, thanks to the spread of misinformation by petroleum companies, most of the general public is unaware of the positive impact biofuels have on rural economies, our health and the environment. The prospect of continued success for biofuels relies on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a government mandate which sets yearly volume requirements for biofuel production.

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HB 4109: Carbon Sequestration Bill

February 7, 2018 --


Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) has long been an advocate for rural Oregon communities and their residents. As a former School Board Member for the Port Orford-Langlois School District; which is the 8th most impoverished School District in the Nation, Curry County Commissioner, Association of Oregon Counties and Association of O&C Counties Board Member, he has worked on natural resource and economic development issues that impact rural Oregon for well over a decade. As southwest Oregon still struggles to recover from the recession; with unemployment around 6% below mean 0 pre-recession, in the wake of the Chetco Bar Fire and in the face of a California modeled carbon tax that would economically hurt rural Oregonians the hardest, Rep. Brock Smith has introduced a bipartisan bicameral bill that will protect the health of our most vulnerable, grow family wage jobs in our rural Oregon communities, build healthier forests and sequester carbon emissions for generations.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Walden: bridging the “digital divide”

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Greg Walden leads hearing on connecting rural America with broadband

Congressman Greg Walden

Stresses importance of bridging the “digital divide” and improving broadband connectivity in Oregon

Continuing his efforts to improve broadband connectivity in rural Oregon, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today led a hearing to examine legislation aimed at bridging the “digital divide” for rural communities across the country. Today’s hearing, entitled “Closing the Digital Divide: Broadband Infrastructure Solutions,” focused on bipartisan proposals to expand broadband infrastructure to underserved areas.

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NW bipartisan group to Secretary Zinke: Hands Off Our Coast

February 5, 2018 --

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio, Schrader, Bonamici, Blumenauer to Secretary Zinke: Hands Off Our Coast

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

Bipartisan group of lawmakers strongly opposes oil and gas production off the coast of the Pacific Northwest

Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer today joined a bicameral, bipartisan group of 16 Pacific Northwest lawmakers in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calling for the Oregon and Washington coasts to be removed from Interior’s offshore drilling plan.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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