Oregon Stories, March 2014: Winning Big and Getting Ready

Last week, the legislature finished a very important session for all of us who care about Oregon's farms, forests, and transportation future. This session featured some big wins for us, but finishes with some important questions left unanswered.

Below are five key take-aways from this session. (Get more details in our full recap, here.)

  1. Acting in an exceptional circumstance to right a local government's wrongs, the Legislature wisely struck a balance to protect thousands of acres of farmland in Washington County rural reserves. This action followed a landmark legal victory by 1000 Friends.
  2. The demise of the risky Oregon-only Columbia River Crossing project has created a huge opportunity to have a new conversation about mobility in P I-5 corridor and across the state. We're proud to have played a major role in defeating this mega-project and we're excited about what comes next.
  3. Individuals and companies are still trying to use the legislature to create land use loopholes. Fortunately, we held these off for this session, but we need to remain vigilant.
  4. We heard more of the persistent fallacy that the only barrier to Oregon's economic development is a lack of raw land for development. We need to keep legislators focused on solutions that will actually make a difference, from better targeting investments to repairing decaying infrastructure.
  5. Opponents of the land use program see a big opening to dismantle the core protections and processes that Oregonians value. They're making no secret that they will try to do so in the next legislative session. All of us who care about Oregon's future need to prepare to defend it.
Read more about these legislative lessons, and what's next, in our full recap.

It has been an amazing start to 2014. We've had some big wins for farmland, healthy communities, and transportation choices.

Of course, winning in land use often means we must prepare to work harder than ever. Thank you to all who've helped us achieve so much--and even greater thanks for continuing to fight for Oregon's future. 

-The team at 1000 Friends of Oregon

P.S. Read on for some more stories of interest from the last month--including an announcement of our 2014 Tom McCall Legacy Gala! 

Farmland Wins Big in Reserves Ruling

All who care about farmland celebrated a big win last month as the Oregon Court of Appeals agreed with 1000 Friends, reversing an sprawling urban reserves proposal by Washington County. The ruling set in motion a historic agreement in the legislature protecting thousands of acres of farmland and provided a clear map for the region's next fifty years. Read our statement about the ruling after it was released by the court.

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Save the Date! Tom McCall Gala 2014: Coming Friday, June 20

We are thrilled to announce the date for our 2014 Tom McCall Gala! Celebrate the arrival of summer with us on June 20 at the brand-new Exchange Ballroom on Portland's inner east side. More details (including our special guests) to come!

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Listen In: Executive Director Jason Miner on XRAY.fm Online Radio

Our Executive Director Jason Miner will be on Jefferson Smith's radio show tomorrow, March 13, at 9:00 AM discussing all the latest in Oregon land use, and what to watch for next. XRAY.fm is a new radio station that anyone can hear online--tune in to the livestream at http://xray.fm!

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Travel Oregon's "7 Wonders of Oregon": Good Showing for Land Use

We were excited to see Travel Oregon's new "7 Wonders of Oregon" campaign launch recently--slick videos, guys! But we couldn't help but notice: six of the seven sites are also on our Land Use Trail. It's OK. We'll share. Check out the 7 Wonders here.

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Land Use Trail

This Month on the Land Use Trail

Since last June, we've been virtually visiting stops on our new Land Use Trail and sharing some fun tidbits about what makes these places special, whether they are Signature Natural Places, Thriving Working Landscapes, Great Communities, or examples of our Land Use Roots.

Since we were so busy with the legislative session, we only had time to visit one place on our Trail this month. Click below to learn more about Oregon City, one of our Land Use Roots:

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Support Our Work

None of our victories are possible without the thousands of Oregonians who are members of 1000 Friends of Oregon. Will you join in? Please consider joining, renewing, or making a special year-end contribution to 1000 Friends today. Thank you.

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Upcoming Events

McCall Speaker Series in Salem: Michael McCloskey
Thursday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 PM
Willamette Heritage Center, The Dye House
1313 Mill Street SE, Salem

Cost: Free and open to the public
RSVP: Amanda Caffall, amanda@friends.org or (503) 497-1000 x137

Former Sierra Club executive director Michael McCloskey is among Oregon's foremost veterans of conservation. We're excited to host him for an evening discussing the history and future of conservation in the state. Learn more and RSVP at friends.org/mccloskey.

McCall Speaker Series in Eugene/Portland:
Benjamin Ross on Sprawl

Eugene: Sunday, May 4, 4-6 PM 
Cozmic Pizza, 199 W 8th Ave.

Portland: Monday, May 5, 7:30-9 PM
Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Cost: Free and open to the public
RSVP: Amanda Caffall, amanda@friends.org or (503) 497-1000 x137

Ben Ross is a transit activist and author of the new book Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism. We're thrilled to host him for two events in Oregon this May. Learn more here.

McCall Speaker Series in Bend:
"Toward One Oregon"

Thursday, May 29, 6-7:30 PM
The Environmental Center
16 NW Kansas Street, Bend

Cost: Free and open to the public
RSVP: Amanda Caffall, amanda@friends.org or (503) 497-1000 x137

Join 1000 Friends and the Environmental Center for a community conversation led by Professors Ethan Seltzer and Michael Hibbard about finding Oregon's shared interests and overcoming its differences. This is an Oregon Humanities "Conversation Project" event. Learn more at friends.org/bendconversation.

Check out our calendar to stay up-to-date on all our upcoming events around the state.

Regional Updates

1000 Friends of Oregon has regional offices around the state. Our regional staff work with local residents and elected officials on issues important to their communities.

To find out what 1000 Friends is working on throughout Oregon, follow our "Latest" blog.

Join the Conversation

Let 1000 Friends and the power of social media help keep you up-to-date on our work and related topics. In case you haven't been following us, here's some of what you've missed:

Join Us!

Facebook

February 26
If you're in Eugene tonight, come say hi! We're meeting with friends at Hop Valley Brewing Company until 7 pm.

February 26
Transit works best when integrated with other modes. Here's a great example from Forest Grove.

February 19
“You can easily see when our statewide land use planning program kicked in because that’s when the slowdown of ag land loss became noticeable.” But we need to do more to protect farmland, a new study says.

February 16
Interesting look at the past, and possible future, of Milwaukie.
 

Follow Us!

Twitter

March 10
RT @Sightline: Great look at PDX's gentrification Qs by @annagriff in @Oregonian. http://t.co/eaQXFkETDf

Feb 27
Our friends at Friends of Family Farmers have a listening session in Medford tonight. Involved in #ORag? http://t.co/fATq1GYBAg

February 21
Safer pedestrian crossings, school zones rate at top of public 'wants' in PBOT transportation survey http://shar.es/FuCjq  via @planetizen

Interesting changes in how US kids get to school: ow.ly/rB1Hg. Don't forget how important #landuse is to getting kids walking.

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1000 Friends of Oregon | 133 SW 2nd Ave., Suite 201, Portland, OR 97204
Regional Offices: Eugene, Grants Pass
503-497-1000 | info@friends.org
© 2014, 1000 Friends of Oregon, All Rights Reserved.

Oregon Stories is 1000 Friends' monthly e-newsletter, with updates on our work and important happenings across Oregon and the nation.

Photo credits:
Header: Oregon State Seal at the State Capitol by PhotoAtelier, via Flickr. Creative Commons.
Helvetia farmland: Gary Swain, via Flickr. Creative Commons.
"Welcome to Oregon": Curtis Perry, via Flickr.  Creative Commons.
7 Wonders from Travel Oregon.
Kiger Gorge, Steens Mountain (Land Use Trail header): Christopher Cotrell. Creative Commons.
Credits for Land Use Trail backdrop images at friends.org/trail/credits.