SB644 – Your help is needed!
The Oregon House of Legislators has just passed SB644. This bill would allow counties to approve mining permits on exclusive farm use zoned land, without needing to abide by state land use planning goals or administrative rules. This legislation raises concerns for conservation planning, because although allowances are made for sage-grouse conservation, there are a wide variety of other species that use these habitats. No provisions for consideration of impacts to other species conservation requirements are made within SB644. Resource management biologists worked diligently throughout the state to scientifically classify and delineate these essential protection areas. There are thousands of such acres adjacent to and near rural communities that provide vital deer and elk winter range, native bird shrub and grassland habitats, waterfowl wetlands, and stream habitats for aquatic species that would be susceptible to damage or elimination under the provisions of this bill.
Please take a minute to write the governor to share your perspectives on the potential impacts of changing land use planning requirements on wildlife resources. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the governor’s office.
Thank you for your time and effort with these very important legislative issues.