The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Ranchers set up wildfire relief fund

July 30, 2018 --

By Oregon Cattlemen Association,

It is with heavy hearts that we continue to witness the mass destruction and devastation caused by wildfires that continue to rage across Oregon, affecting ranching families. Not only have these ranchers lost horses, feed and beef cattle, one farmer lost his life trying to prevent fire from spreading.

We ask Oregon ranchers to come together and support their fellow ranching families in this time of need.

If you would like to donate to the wildfire relief, please go to our Stewardship Fund at and click on “Donation-Stewardship Fund”. Under purpose, click “Fire Assistance Fund.” Funds raised will be given to a wildfire relief fund effort.

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Precision Ag Bill passes House

July 26, 2018 --

National Farm Bureau Federation,

The House earlier this week approved a Farm Bureau-supported measure that will help close rural America’s digital divide. The Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 (H.R. 4881) would create a task force to bring together public and private stakeholders to evaluate current programs affecting broadband internet access on cropland and ranchland; identify and measure existing gaps in coverage; and develop policy recommendations to address that gap. The task force is also responsible for developing specific steps the Federal Communications Commission, USDA and other federal agencies can take to address gaps in coverage.

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6 voices on Hammond’s Presidential pardon

July 25, 2018 --

White House Statement

“The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land. The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.At the Hammonds’ original sentencing, the judge noted that they are respected in the community and that imposing the mandatory minimum, 5-year prison sentence would “shock the conscience” and be “grossly disproportionate to the severity” of their conduct. As a result, the judge imposed significantly lesser sentences. The previous administration, however, filed an overzealous appeal that resulted in the Hammonds being sentenced to five years in prison. This was unjust.  Dwight Hammond is now 76 years old and has served approximately three years in prison. Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison. They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit. The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West”

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AOCC applauds ESA reform

July 23, 2018 --

The Association of O&C Counties,

The Association of O&C Counties (AOCC)  expressed support for several regulatory changes proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that would improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by those agencies. The agencies released information about the proposed changes today in a press release as well as on a public conference call.

“This is a good first step,” said Douglas County Commissioner and AOCC President Tim Freeman. “The ESA performs a very important function, but like most any aging government program, the regulations surrounding it need updating and streamlining. The major social and economic impacts from decisions made under the ESA justify a thorough examination of every process and regulation.”

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1 in 6 work in Oregon big food’s economy

July 18, 2018 --

Nearly 1 in 6 work in Oregon’s food industry
Josh Lehner
Office of Economic Analysis

When our office discusses Oregon’s world class strengths, we tend to focus primarily on things like timber, semiconductors, and migration, with only passing reference to the others, like UAVs and food and beverage. This is in part due to the fact we have spent less time researching these topics; alcohol being an exception. And also in part because it is difficult to properly frame the conversation given that residents in every state eat and drink. However our office is asked periodically about the state’s food and beverage sector and also the tie-in with tourism. Consider this post a first effort to help quantify the discussion and highlight how Oregon differs from other states. Our office is indebted to Portland State’s Northwest Economic Research Center which produced a tremendous report for the City of Portland a few years ago. It breaks down the food economy into segments representing different portions of the supply chain. The report goes from farm to table, but with economic data. What follows below borrows heavily from the NERC report.

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OSU invents wristbands that detect pollutants

July 16, 2018 --

By Oregon State University,

Chemical-sampling wristbands made of silicone are already known as an easy-to-use method of measuring a person’s exposure to environmental pollutants. Invented at Oregon State University, the colorful wristbands absorb chemicals from the air and skin.

A new OSU study shows that the wristbands are also very good at linking external chemical exposure—the substances that go into a person’s body—with the chemicals formed inside the body itself as it metabolizes these “parent” pollutants.  

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Legislature lifts ban on guest ranches again

July 11, 2018 --

By Oregonians In Action Education Center
A property-rights education non-profit

A Short, Quiet, But Successful 2018 Legislative Session For Oregonians In Action,

The 2018 Oregon Legislature recently concluded their short legislative session. The session lasted approximately one month. For Oregonians In Action, the session was quiet, but nevertheless productive.

“Not much happened on the land use front in the short session,” said OIA President Dave Hunnicutt. “Since the session can only last for a maximum of 35 days, it is typical that land use bills take a back seat until the long sessions in the odd-numbered years. That was the case this year.”

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DeFazio on Columbia River Treaty progress

July 9, 2018 --

Congressman Peter DeFazio

Reps. Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), co-chairs of the Northwest Energy Caucus,  applauded the start of formal re-negotiations between the United States and Canada on the Columbia River Treaty, May 29 and 30 in Washington, DC.

“After working diligently for several years to bring Canada to the negotiating table, I’m pleased that Canada has finally agreed to start these talks, which are of vital importance to the Pacific Northwest,” said DeFazio. “It is imperative that we ensure that any updated treaty is beneficial for both the United States and Canada, including the end of the “Canadian Entitlement”, which would save Pacific Northwest ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars. I’m hopeful the negotiations are completed quickly and provide a fair agreement for both nations.”

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The next pest to invade Oregon

July 3, 2018 --

An impending threat to Oregon’s urban ecosystems

If it’s not on your radar yet, it will be soon: The age of ash trees (Fraxinus, sp.) in the United States is winding down as the emerald ash borer (EAB) slowly follows a western route across the country, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

EAB is a human-assisted invasive species that was discovered in the eastern United States in 2002. The little green insect has made it as far west as Colorado. It has devastated ash populations and is an uncontrolled epidemic. It is the most expensive invasive forest insect in U.S. history.1

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Tackling difficult landowner rights cases

July 2, 2018 --

Oregonians In Action Education Center
An Oregon property rights non-profit

The right to private property is a fundamental right of American society. Property ownership encourages creativity, ingenuity, hard work, and productivity. Simply put, the right to private property is the single most fundamental driver of the American economy.

But protecting property rights isn’t always popular, and sometimes OIA takes on controversial issues. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Below are two examples.

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