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Action Alert: Support the Natural and Working Lands and Waters Bill

Date: February 4, 2022

To: All League Members

From: Rebecca Gladstone, LWVOR President

Josie Koehne, LWVOR Forestry Portfolio

We are asking local League members throughout the state, especially in southern, eastern and central Oregon:

Support: SB 1534, Natural and Working Lands and Waters

Deadline: TU Feb. 8 public hearing in Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire committee

SB 1534 proposes state policy to increase carbon storage and resilience in our natural and working forest, range and agricultural lands and in Oregon’s coastal wetlands and marine waters.

The bill is the result of the Oregon Global Warming Commission (OGWC)'s 2021 Climate Change and Carbon Proposal and its carbon sequestration goals.

SB 1534 will enable Oregon’s natural and working lands to be voluntarily managed as a resilient and robust carbon sink while supporting the health of our economy and communities and enhancing social equity and quality of life.

Senate Bill 1534:

  • Defines natural and working lands (N&WL) in Oregon statute.

  • Declares it state policy to advance N&WL strategies based on equity and land manager interests, resourced with incentives and technical assistance support.

  • Directs the Commission to create an Advisory Group to inform its N&WL efforts.

  • Directs the OSU Institute for Natural Resources and certain state agencies to support the Commission in:

    • Developing a carbon baseline and activity-based metrics by 4/30/23.

    • Advancing a N&WL carbon inventory.

    • Completing a N&WL Workforce and Economic Development study.

  • Directs Reporting:

    • From agencies on the carbon inventory and metrics to the OGWC.

    • From the commission on progress toward these targets and metrics in its Biennial Report to the Legislature on a changed date.

SB 1534 lays the foundation to ensure that Oregon is investing to protect our rural economies, fish and wildlife, and drinking water supplies as we navigate changing environmental conditions. Carbon sequestration supports a strong economy, especially for timber-dependent communities in rural parts of the state. The bill will pave the way for a strong, incentive-based program to help small forest owners thrive and make sure our forestlands are not only protected but are economically resilient.

Read the Bill. We welcome your testimony in support.

Please call or email your legislators today! Ask them to support SB 1534!

For more information, contact Josie Koehne.

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