Rural property owners should pay VERY close attention to LC 83, the latest effort by the Governor to stop rural development. This time, the purported reason is wildfire prevention. The bill directs the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to create a “statewide map of wildfire risk”. DLCD will then develop rules that limit or prohibit all land uses in those areas, and every county will be required to implement these new rules.
The crazy (and intended) part of the bill is that the bill does not define what makes an area subject to wildfire risk. This bill gives that authority to DLCD to make up whatever they want. If their past behavior is any indication, both their maps and their regulations will be overbroad and punitive, meaning there will be thousands of acres across the state that DLCD will label as wildfire risk areas that are really not, and all kinds of land uses that will be restricted or prohibited that don’t have to be.
Remember, DLCD has a 45 year track record of opposing rural development of any kind, commercial, industrial, natural resource or residential. If they can now clamp down even further on rural Oregon and drive everyone into cities under the guise of “wildfire risk management” they will. The legislature should demand that maps be developed and approved before they even start talking about additional restrictions on property owners. Let the science work before the regulation is debated.
Here’s a link to LC 83, which will appear as a Senate Bill in the short session next month: