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See also: Press release Map Video of news conference Press coverage

Ag/Natural Resources Coalition forms to protect rural lands

The Ag/Natural Resources Coalition has been formed to advocate for protecting vital natural resources for the good of the region (and the planet).  It represents an unprecedented effort to combine the expertise and wisdom of advocacy communities who don't always agree, but who share similar convictions.

The Coalition held a press conference at 11:00am on Monday, January 11th, at the Metro Regional Center, at which time they released a map of their proposal.  The map is their "best effort" to apply SB 1011's intent, text, and administrative rules fairly and consistently to the designation of Rural and Urban Reserves.  It's the centerpiece of a rational, well-thought-out proposal from people with deep roots in Oregon's culture and politics, and it is consistent with both the COO's recommendations and regional public opinion as surveyed in the Davis Hibbits poll of August 2009.

You may read their press release here.

The following organizations have endorsed the Coalition's map (as of 1/11/2010):

  • 1000 Friends of Oregon
  • Audubon Society of Portland
  • Coalition for a Livable Future
  • Friends of Family Farmers
  • Friends of French Prairie
  • Oregon Association of Nurseries
  • Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited
  • Oregon Tilth
  • Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition
  • Save Helvetia
  • Slow Food
  • Tualatin Riverkeepers
  • Urban Greenspaces Institute
  • Washington County Farm Bureau
More organizations are expected to endorse the map shortly.  If you know of an organization that might be interested in endorsing the map, please contact Eric Stachon at eric@friends.org or 503-497-1000 x129.

Watch video of the news conference:

Press coverage:

  • Farmers, nature advocates, 1000 Friends call for another cut to urban reserves proposal
    (Hillsboro Argus, January 15) Some of the biggest cuts come in western Washington County - a swath of land north of Hillsboro proposed for industrial development would be in a rural reserve and cut off from development through at least 2050; North Plains and Banks would be surrounded by rural reserves; Cornelius and Forest Grove would see small growth areas.
  • Farmers, Conservation Groups Come Together On Urban Growth
    (Natural Oregon, January 11) As the Portland metro area kicks off a long debate over growth and land use, several farming and conservation groups are joining forces on a single vision for how we should grow over the next several decades.
  • Coalition wants more rural lands preserved
    (Portland Tribune, January 11) Based on a map released by the coalition, the greatest differences with the current Metro proposal are in Washington County.  The coalition wants less land designated for future development and more land designated as rural reserves in Washington County than Metro.
  • Ag, conservation groups air Metro reserves proposal
    (Capital Press, January 12) At a press conference Monday, Jan. 11, the coalition aired a proposal to cut in half the number of acres being considered for urban uses near Portland in the plan and to increase by more than 10 percent the acres proposed for rural uses.  The coalition said it came forward with its proposal after failing to see a reasonable plan emerge from a year-long, multi-county effort to designate lands for urban and rural uses for the next 40 to 50 years.
  • Farm And Conservation Groups Propose Open Space Map
    (OPB News, January 11) Metroís draft map allots 24,000 to 31,000 acres for future urban development.  But farm and environmental groups united to say thatís about 10,000 acres more than whatís needed, and proposed their own map.
  • A letter from Portland Mayor Sam Adams
    (January 11) This morning, a coalition of Oregon conservation and farming organizations gathered on the steps of Metro to provide their proposal for protecting farm lands and natural resources in the Portland metro region.  And this evening, I will be testifying at Metro to share my recommendations on urban and rural reserve designations.  As we make crucial decisions about which lands stay rural and which lands become urbanized, I am proud to support the coalitionís approach and I want to share with you my reasons why.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.  See also: http://friends.org/issues/reserves

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