Friday, March 27, 2009

Next Tuesday: Opportunity to help protect critical farmland

Please attend an important hearing next Tuesday March 31st in Salem on House Bill 3099. The hearing has been called to receive public testimony on this bill which would increase protection for farmland.

Date: March 31, 2009
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: State Capitol, Hearing Room E
Contact: Cheyenne Ross, Committee Administrator: 503-986-1734
Details: Please arrive early and sign up to testify.

The original purpose of the Exclusive Farm Use Zone is to protect Oregon's agricultural industry from conflicting uses and poorly planned development. Currently there are over 51 different non-farm uses allowed in the farm zone, ranging from private schools and private playgrounds, to gravel mines and golf courses. It is time stand up to protect our farmland!

Please join us next Tuesday to express your concerns directly to the legislators that will be making key decisions on farmland protection. Legislators need to hear your personal stories about why we need to pass HB 3099.

Please let the Land Use Committee know that you support HB 3099 because:
Farmland is not undeveloped land waiting for one of these conflicting uses. It is already developed land that supports one Oregon's leading industries. The agricultural industry is a primary driver of the Oregon economy and it keeps growing every year.

Most of these conflicting uses have nothing to do with farming. It's time to simplify our land use laws so that exclusive farm use zones are exclusively for farming.

Among other needed changes, HB 3099 would:

  • Better protect our best soils from gravel mining, by requiring an analysis of alternatives
  • Bar golf courses from high-value farmland
  • Allow new schools on farmland only if they primarily serve the rural community, instead of kids bused in from nearby cities
  • Help ensure that temporary medical hardship dwellings don't turn into permanent dwellings
The whole bill can be read at:

Please let us know if you'll be able to join us to testify by contacting Tara Sulzen at 503-497-1000 or emailing her at

Thank you for all you do!

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