Proposals for Oregon Forestry 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 Oregon forestry ballot measures, which are pro-logging. 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. Initiative Petitions 35, 36 and 37 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.” The Oregon Secretary of State rejected these measures on September 24, 2019, because she found they violated the single subject rule. This decision is currently the subject of litigation. Environmental advocates then filed modified versions as Initiative Petitions 45, 46, and 47, on October 2, 2019.

 

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. Ballotpedia also has the proposed text. 

Text of Proposed Oregon Forestry Ballot Measures

The three Proposed Initiatives by Environmental Groups are

Initiative 45

Initiative 46

Initiative 47

The three forestry initiatives are 

Initiative 53 – which is a Constitutional Amendment

Initiative 54

Initiative 55

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