Oregon Values and Beliefs Project Reveals Strong Support for Land Use

Oregonians are maintaining their strong support for protecting farms and forests from sprawl while targeting new development into existing cities and towns. That's the clear message from the Oregon Values and Beliefs Project released October 3.


The representative survey asked Oregonians from around the state about a variety of issues, from health care to the environment to their feelings about government. While the results reveal a wealth of information about where Oregonians stand today, including important differences in attitudes about certain issues, support for smart land use planning was consistent and widespread.

Among the key findings from the study related to land use:

  • Two-thirds of Oregonians (66%) consider protection of productive farm and forest land from development very or somewhat important.
  • Two-thirds of Oregonians (66%) favor the statement that new development should occur within existing cities and towns to save farmland and stop sprawl, with more than one-third (36%) feeling strongly. Just 26% felt that new development should be allowed outside UGBs, and only 9% felt strongly about this.
  • Six in 10 (60%) Oregonians believe that new population growth will be directed toward existing cities and towns, not into natural areas and farmlands in the next 10 years. About the same number (58%) think this trend is very or somewhat desirable. 
  • Half of Oregonians (50% with 24% feeling strongly) find the idea of revamping land use laws to permit more development undesirable, with only twenty-four percent (24% with 7% feeling strongly) finding such an action desirable.

Other results from the project also show that Oregonians continue to value investing in transportation options, with more than half choosing public transit investments as a higher priority than more highways.

Results also demonstrate that about six in ten Oregonians believe the government should take more action to address the challenge of climate change.

These results show that Oregonians still strongly value a sense of place and the health of the land as key priorities. As we work to create and maintain smart land use and transportation policies across Oregon, we will ensure that leaders understand that a this is a priority for a broad majority of Oregonians.

Learn more about the Oregon Values and Beliefs Project, including its key findings, here. The Project is a collaboration of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon State University, Oregon Health and Sciences University, and the Oregon Community Foundation.

Read coverage of these findings from the Capital Press, Oregon's leading farming newspaper.

Do you agree?

If you agree that farm and forest land should be protected from sprawl, learn how land use planning can make this happen at friends.org/LandUseIs.

And if you'd like to stand with us in our work to protect these great assets we share as Oregonians, please join us at friends.org/support. Thank you.