Our Work in Southern Oregon

Based in Grants Pass, 1000 Friends' Southern Oregon Advocate Greg Holmes works with residents, affiliates, and communities throughout Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties. Below is a sampling of issues he is currently working on. For more information on these or any other land use issues in Southern Oregon, contact Greg at greg@friends.org.

Southern Oregon: Current Issues

Regional Problem Solving in Jackson County

In November 2012, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) gave its final blessing and acknowledged the Greater Bear Creek Regional Problem Solving (RPS) Plan, which creates urban reserves that will guide the next several decades of growth in the Medford-Ashland area. In March 2013, the decision was finalized. Cities can now begin implementing the plan, and we will continue to be involved as this is done. Read a brief summary of the project and get more information about the pros and cons of the final plan.

Regional Redefinition of Farm and Forest Land

At the very end of the 2012 legislative session an item was placed in the budget to set aside $550,000 for a “pilot project” to allow three counties the opportunity to re-define farm and forest land and to rezone land that no longer meets those definitions. The counties selected for the project are Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas. Despite the budget crisis the state is facing, this project was funded largely to appease critics of the land use program who would like to see it broken up, or “regionalized.” Euphemistically entitled the “Pilot Project for Regional Farm and Forest Land Conservation,” the project has the potential to do anything but conserve Oregon’s working landscapes. Read more about its implications and process here.

On the Horizon

Several other major land use processes are just beginning to take shape in Southern Oregon. We are monitoring their status closely, and will keep you apprised of how to participate as they progress. Among these are:

  • Jackson County: Medford and Central Point are beginning the process of expanding their UGBs. More information on Medford can be found here; Central Point has not yet established a web page for this work.
  • Josephine County: Consideration of the Rogue River Reserve Park, a proposed 249-acre Grants Pass city park located two miles outside the UGB. This project is on hold at least until after the UGB is settled.
  • Douglas County: Roseburg is in the process of analyzing the needs for its own UGB, but has been hampered by repeated attempts by Douglas County to adopt a significantly flawed Population Forecast. We are monitoring both processes.
  • Rogue Advocates is moving into implementation phase of Envision the Rogue Valley. Click here to see the report or get more information.