What would funding the OAHP do?
Why is the OAHP needed?
To seize these opportunities and confront these risks, the OAHP Coalition is advocating for House Bill 2729 – the OAHP funding bill. On March 28, 2019, HB 2729 unanimously passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means – the State’s budget committee! The Capital Press published a great article about the bill and OAHP, highlighting the voices of legislative champions and Oregon Agriculture Heritage Commissioners.
What happens next with the OAHP proposal?
We need your help to pass the bill and secure the full $10 million funding request for OAHP! The only way we will get funding in this tight budget climate is if legislators hear from YOU about why this program is important for you and their legislative district.
How you can help:
If you do reach out to a legislator, please let Gordon Levitt, COLT’s Legislative Coordinator, know via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to show your support for OAHP in another way, please take two minutes to complete this OAHP Advocacy Options form.
History of OAHP
July 7, 2017: The Oregon House and Senate passed HB 3249 creating the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program, the state’s first voluntary farm and natural resource conservation program.
Oregon’s rich agricultural heritage and diverse farm and ranch lands have drawn people to the state for more than 150 years. These “working lands” are the cornerstone
of the state’s rural communities and provide myriad benefits to the natural environment. More than one quarter of Oregon’s 63 million acres are private working lands that create agricultural production valued at $5.4 billion—the state’s second-largest economic driver. At the same time, well managed agricultural lands support valuable fish and wildlife habitat as well as enhancing other natural resources.
For forty years, Oregon’s unique land use system has helped protect working landscapes. Even with a strong economic position and state protections, farms and ranch productivity is increasingly challenged by rising production costs, loss of processing facilities, fragmentation through new land uses, conversion to non-farm uses, complex regulations, and planning for generational transfers.
Governor Brown’s office convened a group of landowners, conservation and agricultural organizations and agencies to work with landowners, tribal governments, agencies and interested organizations to identify voluntary tools to help landowners maintain working farms and ranches while providing incentives and support for conservation benefits on those lands. The result of this effort was the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP).
Who developed the OAHP?
The Governor’s oﬃce convened a work group with representatives from a diverse coalition of agricultural and conservation organizations to develop a synergistic suite of programs to address both farm and ranch succession and land preservation. The work group consisted of:
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