Proposals for Ballot Measures

It’s a few days after Election Day 2019, and there have been some interesting stories related to upcoming elections. Many are focused on the National level for 2020, but there are key local issues that will be considered.

In Oregon, Timber interests propose three pro-logging ballot measures. The industry says the measures would: 1. Give Oregon counties and the industry more control over how members of the Board of Forestry are selected. 2. Amend the constitution requiring the state to fully compensate woodland owners for any new regulations that limited their ability to log, such as expanded stream buffers. 3. Require that the forestry board use “non-biased” and “peer reviewed science”to come up with consensus-based policies.

These measures are the industry’s response to three ballot measures filed earlier this year by environmental groups. The Environmental Groups proposals would “tighten aerial herbicide spraying rules, increase forest stream buffers, prohibit logging in steep, landslide-prone areas, and prohibit conflicts of interest for state forestry board appointees.” These petitions are currently the subject of litigation.

Light filters through trees in Oregon State Park
Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland, OR

With Oregon’s election law, there are a few ways that a measure can be placed on the ballot. This include referrals from the legislature for constitutional changes. They also provide a means for citizens to participate in the legislative process, by proposing changes to statutes, the State Constitution or as a veto referendum (to uphold or veto state legislation.)

So far two measures have been referred by the legislature for the 2020 ballot. Many others have been proposed. Ballotpedia provides a great list of what has been proposed here.


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