House Bills Would Protect Prime Farmland from Destructive Gravel Mining

1000 Friends is supporting two bills to be considered by the House Land Use Committee on Tuesday, February 26. Both bills would limit the impact of gravel and other aggregate mining on Oregon's irreplaceable high-quality farmland.

The bills, HB 2201 and 2202, were introduced by the Oregon Farm Bureau. They are intended to mitigate or cease destructive mining operations that ruin prime Willamette Valley farmland. Most of these operations, for gravel and other aggregate minerals, can be done elsewhere in Oregon. There is no reason to waste our most precious lands for one-time profits. 

HB 2201 would require that aggregate mining operations clean up after themselves by reclaiming the top eight feet of topsoil where they operate in prime, unique, Class I, or Class II soils. HB 2202 would prohibit aggregate mining on most of Oregon's highest-quality farmlands.

To learn more about gravel mining's destructive impacts on Willamette Valley farmland, read this detailed testimony by a University of Oregon geology professor. 

The House Land Use Committee will hold hearings on these bills on Tuesday, February 26, at 3:00 PM. The hearings will be in Hearing Room E of the Capitol Building. Update: The committee heard two hours of testimony on February 26 and will continue its hearing on Thursday, February 28.

Your legislators need to hear from you that Oregon's best farmland is no place for gravel mining. To submit written testimony to the committee, send your comments to the committee administrator at Remind them of agricluture's huge economic impact in the Willamette Valley and Oregon overall (learn more in our Field to Fork infographic), and that there are plenty of places to do profitable gravel mining that don't require destroying our best soils.

You should also consider writing your legislator(s) an email or letter, or calling their office. Find out who your legislator is here. You can also find tips for writing or calling your legislator in our online Citizen Advocacy Toolkit. Click here to read it.

Read our full legislative agenda at

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