Oregon Small Woodland Association (OSWA) actively represents the interests of family forest owners in Oregon, at the Oregon Legislature. OSWA has a full time lobbyist to represent family forest interests, we introduce and lobby bills when needed, and members testify at committee hearings on bills of importance to family forest owners. During full legislative sessions, held on odd years, OSWA holds a Day at the Capitol for its members and partners. The 2013 Day at the Capitol was on April 23rd. Over forty family forest owners visited with legislative leaders during the morning, participated in an optional tour of the golden pioneer atop the Capitol building, toured the capitol with OSWA Lobbyist Roger Beyer, individually visited some of their own representatives, and participated in an afternoon Senate Hearing on HB 2441, OSWA’s pole building bill. The hearing on HB 2441 was successful. The Senate Rural Communities and
Economic Development Committee approved HB 2441 and forwarded it to the full Senate with a do pass recommendation. HB 2441 had already passed the House by a 58-0 vote. Also that day, the House voted on OSWA’s HB 2615, which adds truffles to the State list of Special Forest Products. The bill passed the House with a 59-0 vote and will move on to a Senate Committee for a hearing.
The Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity to hear directly from legislative leaders about issues important to them and to hear about some of the challenges they face in finding balance with funding requests and available state resources. It is also a great opportunity for these same leaders to hear about issues important to family forest owners. Participants came away from the day’s events with a better understanding of why it is important to communicate with one’s legislative representatives and how best to do so.
OSWA’s next Day at the Capitol will be June 18, 2015.