OSWA End of Session Report

OSWA End of Session Report 2019

By Roger Beyer

The legislative session began on January 14th with Democrats controlling both legislative chambers with super majorities (60% or more) and a democratic governor. The two chambers introduced nearly 1500 bills the first day and then adjourned until January 22nd when the session began in earnest.  The adjournment was preplanned, in that by starting on the 22nd the constitutional end date would be June 30th which coincides with the end of the fiscal year.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources lobby groups met twice a week to identify issues and make strategic plans.  This has been happening since the 2009 session and the results speak for themselves. By working together as a group, we have been much more successful than in the past.  With the current leadership and attitude of the legislature, everyone was expecting a very difficult session, and we were not disappointed.  

In the end, we succeeded in stopping many harmful policy bills including the proposed carbon cap and trade bill which would have been very detrimental to agriculture producers.  Additionally, we protected key budgets (ODA, ODF, OWRD) from harmful cuts and successfully lobbied to have the OSU Extension budget restored to current service level plus an additional $5.2 million for specific identified programs including:

  • $2 million (Extension) for fire resilience and recovery 
  • $2.27 million (AES) and $410K (Extension) for water quality and quantity programs 
  • $375K (Extension) for organic agriculture positions and $125K (one-time funding AES) for a continuing berry position. 

The next session is only 7 months away and I expect to see many of the issues that did not pass introduced at that time.  One we can count on for sure is the Carbon Cap and Trade as both the Governor and legislative leaders have stated it will be their highest priority for 2020.

Below is a list of bills affecting natural resource industries.  The list begins with bills which passed, sorted by issue areas. Following is the list of bills which did not pass, again by issue area.  

Bills of Interest That Passed

Regulation

Clean Diesel (HB 2007): Creates phase-out requirements for 2007 and older on-road diesel engines in Clackamas County, Washington County, and Multnomah County by 2029.  Exempts fleets of five trucks or less, low-mileage fleets, off-road engines, log trucks, f-plates, farm tractors, and implements of husbandry. 

Labor

FFA Funding (HB 2444): Provides state funding to Oregon FFA. The bill provides $1.43 million to the program and $600,000 in grant funds for FAA advisors during the summer months.

Environmental and Water

Dam Safety (HB 2085): Modifies the dam safety statutes in several minor respects.

Partial Assumption (HB 2436): Allows the Department of State Lands to assume fill-and-removal permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers for development activities within the urban growth boundary, excluding agricultural and forestry activities.

Codification of Obama-Era Regulations (HB 2250): Requires Oregon’s natural resources agencies to address through agency rules any changes to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, or Safe Drinking Water Act.

Navigability (HB 2835): Requires state agencies to look for opportunities for public access to waterways on public lands.

Tax

Commercial Activity Tax (HB 3427): Creates a tax on businesses with taxable receipts over $1 million. The minimum tax is $250, plus a 0.57% tax on receipts over the $1M threshold. 

Income Tax Kicker Modification (HB 2975): Includes an accounting change that reduced the upcoming kicker by over $100 million by transferring this money into the next biennium. 

Forest Products Harvest Tax (HB 2073): Sets harvest tax rate for upcoming biennium.

Wildlife

Elk Damage (SB 301): Adds elk overpopulation to the criteria of the Oregon Landowner Damage Program. Also, ODFW has committed to reviewing rules and regulations to expand opportunities to manage overpopulated elk herds that damage working lands. 

Landowner Damage Program (HB 2067): Removes the sunset dates for ODFW’s Landowner Damage Program. 

Land Use 

Second Dwelling for Forest Landowners (HB 2469): Allows landowner with at least 80 acres and home to site second home for family member under certain circumstances.

Forest Zone Template Test (HB 2225): Changed criteria for qualifying for template test home of forest land.

Extends Timeline to Exercise Building Rights (HB 2601): Allows forest landowner additional 5 years to build approved building.

Bills of Interest That Failed 

Regulation

Cap-and-Trade (HB 2020): Would have established a cap-and-trade program in Oregon for carbon emissions. In the end, HB 2020 had over 100 amendments. Thousands submitted written testimony. The committee held remote hearings around the state and bi-weekly meetings in Salem. HB 2020 passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate following Senate Republicans denying quorum after significant grassroots opposition. 

Immunizes Landowners from Liability Claims by Guests (HB 2468): Would have expanded liability protection for landowners who allow guests and invitees to recreate on property.

Forestry in Drinking Watersheds (HB 2656): Would have banned forestry operations in drinking watersheds.

Pesticides

Aerial Application Ban (HB 2493; SB 926): HB 2493 would have banned aerial applications in the Santiam and McKenzie watersheds. SB 926 would have banned aerial applications on state-owned property.

Aerial Notification (HB 3044): Would have required an unworkable notification system for aerial applications of pesticides. 

Forestland Notification (SB 931): Would have required a notification and reporting program for pesticide applications on forestlands. 

Pesticide Use Reporting System (HB 2980). Would have extended the sunset on the pesticide use reporting system (PURS). 

Labor

Independent Contracting (HB 2498): Would have changed Oregon’s multi-part test to determine who is considered an employee versus an independent contractor. Many contractors would have lost their independent contractor status. 

Workers’ Comp Rewrite (HB 3022): Would have upended Oregon’s workers’ compensation system and increased risk and costs for small employers. 

SAIF Raid: Would have bought down Oregon’s PERS liability, Governor Brown proposed a raid on the SAIF reserves, anywhere from $500 million to $1.4 billion. 

Private Attorneys General (SB 750 & HB 2921): SB 750 would have enabled employees and unions to act as private attorneys general to supplement enforcement actions by public agencies in Oregon.  HB 2921 would have prohibited Attorney General from accepting funds from sources other than public bodies of this state to pay cost of employing assistants.

Environmental and Water

Stay of Water Rights Decisions (SB 977/HB 3420): Would have disallowed automatic stays in OWRD proceedings. 

Transfer of Stored Water (SB 51; SB 903; SB 946): 

SB 51 would have only allowed transfer of a storage water right in limited circumstances. 

SB 903 would have allowed transfer of a storage water right more broadly. 

SB 946 would have created a path for allowing transfer of stored water more broadly. 

Measurement and Reporting (HB 2851). Would have required new reporting requirements for water use. 

Harmful Algal Blooms (HB 2944; HB 3326; HB 3340): Would have required the Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate and respond to harmful algal blooms.

Tax

Pass Through Income (SB 211): Would have repealed the Small Business tax rates from 2013 and reduced the amount of income eligible for federal deductions. 

Forest Assessment (HB 2659): Would have repealed the special assessment for working forestlands. 

Estate Tax

SB 188 – Would have excluded decedent’s primary residence from the taxable estate.

SB 304 – Would have allowed the value of interest in a family-owned business to be excluded from the taxable estate.

SB 319 – Would have repealed Oregon estate tax.

SB 701 – Would have aligned Oregon’s basic exclusion to the federal value of $11.4 million.

Sunsets Forest Land Special Assessments (HB 2152): Would have repealed 5 key property tax programs for forestland.

Increased Severance Tax on Timber Harvest (HB 2495 & HB 3080): Would have created a new severance tax for fire suppression. 

Wildlife

Fish and Wildlife Commission Makeup (HB 2747; SB 310): Would have provided agricultural interests with a stronger voice on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

Land Use 

Historic Designations (SB 927): Would have removed a landowner’s ability to opt out of land use protections associated with historic designations. 

Oregon Agriculture Heritage Program (HB 2729; HB 2086): Bills that would have supported the newly created Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program. 

OSWA Annual Meeting 2019

Hosted by the Benton County Chapter 

Please Join Us

The Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) will hold its 2019 annual meeting June 20th – 22nd in Corvallis. The theme for the three-day meeting, hosted by the Benton County OSWA chapter, is “Research, Policy and Practices for Family Forest Management.”

On Thursday, June 20th there will be tour options for either Oregon State University’s new Oregon Forest Science Complex, Hull-Oakes Lumber Co. mill in Monroe, or the Thompson Timber Co.’s sort yard & shipping operation and Georgia Pacific’s sawmill both in Philomath. 

 OSWA’s annual meeting program and awards banquet will take place on June 21st at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis. The full-day program includes speakers discussing fire, forest carbon, communications and the latest research on the marbled murrelet. Other activities include a silent auction and awards banquet for the OSWA Chapter Volunteers of the Year and the 2019 County Tree Farmers of the Year, among other honors.

The annual meeting will conclude with the 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year Woods Tour on June 22nd. Participants will visit Oakes Investment, LLC’s forestland near Monroe managed by Don, Darrell and Dena Oaks, which has been in the Oakes family since 1883.

See brochure for more details.

Plans will include:

  • Discounted lodging at Corvallis Courtyard Marriott
    • Corvallis Courtyard Marriott Hotel
    • 400 SW 1st St, Corvallis, OR 97333
    • (541) 753-0199

Thursday, June 20th:

  • Afternoon mill and area tours
  • OTFS and OSWA Board meetings at Courtyard Marriott

Friday, June 21st at Benton County Fair Grounds:

  • Full day of presentations, exhibits, and programs
  • OSWA Membership Meeting
  • Silent Auction Awards banquet

Saturday, June 22nd -Carr/Oaks:

  • 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year woods tour

OSWA Lincoln Co Chapter Annual Tree Seedling Sale

Contact person: Joe Steere

Email:  jsteere@miami-corp.com

Native tree seedlings and some native shrub species will be available. This annual event is designed to provide the public with affordable native tree seedlings, promote natural resource conservation awareness, and to increase forest owners’ knowledge and abilities as stewards of their land. (A few nonnatives also).

Most seedlings will be $2.

Date: February 23, 2019

Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Lincoln County Fairgrounds 4-H Building, Newport OR 97365

 

Gaebel Neighbor to Neighbor Tree Farm Tour

By Jeremy Felty

On July 21st, 115 participants arrived at the Gaebel Tree Farm in North Plains for a Neighbor to Neighbor Woods Tour. In 2017, the Gaebel’s were the Washington County Tree Farmers of the Year. The tour was sponsored by the Gaebels and the Washington County Small Woodlands Chapter. It was funded by a grant to OSWA from Oregon Forest Resource Institute. The topics covered at the tour included, an overview of pond maintenance, food plots, portable sawmilling by family friend Clint Michael; the topic of commercial thinning was covered by Steve Cafferata; road design and culvert installation was covered by local ODF stewardship forester Nate Agalzoff and Tualatin Watershed Council representative, April Olbrich; and Big Horn Logging’s, Mark Stanley covered the active logging on the property.

Connie and Rich Gaebel discusses the family and property history.
Connie and Rich Gaebel discusses the family and property history.

In 1979, Rich and Connie Gaebel purchased this property as a rural place to live, a get-a-way and a place to hunt. It is the southern 40 acres of an original 160-acre parcel. Access required building a 60-foot clear span bridge. The 160 acres had been logged at the turn of the century and again in the 1950’s but never replanted. It was mostly brush, hardwoods and scattered young conifers. It was also used as a horse trail riding area with access to the coast range. Old logging skid trails abound and evidence of an old rail road grade running parallel to the creek was also evident. There is an old saw mill location close to the old rail road grade.

By 1981, Rich with help from friends and family built a road, bridge, cleared and planted 3 acres. By 1985 they had cleared and planted an additional 14 acres. Rich and Connie tried raising cattle and Christmas trees. In 1994 they converted the Christmas trees to forestry. Rich installed culverts where the road crossed three small creeks. One was recently replaced with a 36” fish passage culvert.

ODF Stewardship Forester Nate Agalzoff and April Olbrich discuss the culverts on the road system
ODF Stewardship Forester Nate Agalzoff and April Olbrich discuss the culverts on the road system

In the late 90’s, they installed a wildlife pond with water right’s and wildlife food plots primarily for deer, elk occasionally visit the site. In 2003, he logged and cleared three small areas, totaling 1.6 acres, and planted Cedar trees in groves. They were thinning in 2016 and are now thriving. Rich and Connie became very active in the Washington County Small Woodlands chapter in 1980.

Family friend Clint Michael explains the irrigation system, pond, and specialized dam system
Family friend Clint Michael explains the irrigation system, pond, and specialized dam system

The tour concluded with a catered lunch
The tour concluded with a catered lunch

Cafferata Family Outstanding Tree Famers of the Year Woods Tour

By Jeremy Felty

On June 30th in conjunction with OSWA’s Annual Meeting, 150 participants visited the 79-acre Cafferata Family Forest located in Lane County, hosted by the Cafferata family, OSWA’s Lane County Chapter, and Oregon Tree Farm System. It was funded by a grant to OSWA from Oregon Forest Resource Institute. Steve and Wylda Cafferata have owned this property since 2009. The tour focused on topics that the Cafferatas deal with on a daily basis, including thinning on the property, the presence of wildlife on the property, the controlling of unwanted vegetation, various reforestation strategies, and the importance of keeping the family involved.

Dick Courter, OTFS Awards Chairman, presents the 2017 Oregon Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year plaque to Steve and Wylda
Dick Courter, OTFS Awards Chairman, presents the 2017 Oregon Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year plaque to Steve and Wylda

The Cafferatas have a deep back ground in forestry. In 2009, Steve and Wylda, after raising four children and working for 35 years in their professions, realized one of their dreams by purchasing 79 acres of forestland. The land had been logged, replanted haphazardly, and then neglected for decades, so they set to work to bring the land under management. Using their skills, the Cafferatas put together an exemplary forest management plan that was certified to the American Tree Farm System in 2010. The results are great attention to wood, water, recreation, and wildlife and all the other attributes found in a working forest. The entire family, including the third generation, is involved in the management and enjoyment of the property.

Mike Cafferata discusses thinning projects conducted on the property
Mike Cafferata discusses thinning projects conducted on the property

Every speaker on the woods tour was a member of the family, the goal for the tour was to discuss the topics provided by the certification guidelines provided by the American Tree Farm System. Mike Cafferata spoke about thinning and vegetation management; Fran Cafferata Coe spoke about wildlife on the property; Joe Cafferata spoke about road maintenance and maintaining water quality; Wylda Cafferata spoke about aesthetics, fire protection, and security and access; Steve Cafferata spoke about soils, brush field rehabilitation, and planting; and Sam Cafferata spoke about recreation on their property.

A large crowd gathered for lunch, consisting of OSWA members, fellow tree farmers, guests from the World Forestry Center, and friends and family
A large crowd gathered for lunch, consisting of OSWA members, fellow tree farmers, guests
from the World Forestry Center, and friends and family

Woodland Measurements Workshop

Presented by Benton County Small Woodlands Association

Dave Hibbs Cedar Spring Tree Farm

Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Time: 8:30 carpool for a 9:00 start. Will be done at noon.

Location: S. Polk County. Details provided upon registration.
RSVP: 541-766-6750 by 10 a.m. Wednesday 10/17/18. Space is limited.

Knowing something about what you have in the woods is important. If you are selling trees, you will want to know the volume in the stands to be harvested. If you are thinking about stand density and thinning, you will want to know how crowded your stands are. Join Dave Hibbs for a hands-on field class that will look at ways to collect and analyze both density and volume data. Sponsored by Benton County Small Woodlands and OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension. We will be in the woods most of the time, so please dress accordingly.

Carr/Oaks/Johnson Neighbor to Neighbor Woods Tour

By Jeremy Felty

On May 19th 2018, 160 participants visited the Carr-Oakes-Johnson Homestead/Hardell Tree Farm in Benton county. They are the 2018 Benton County Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. The property is in its 4th generation of continuous family management. The first piece was homesteaded in 1883. Some of the original family orchard is still there and being managed to preserve its varieties. As new pieces of land were added and times changed in Oregon, management has shifted from agriculture to forestry with the family planting tens of thousands of tree seedlings long before that was a common practice.

Today, the property is a vigorous forest, bits and pieces of diversity that are being preserved or added, and 3 generations of family working together to keep the forest productive and to bring the family together. The first goal they list for the property is to have the 5th generation out there working and playing too.
The tour was hosted by the Carr/Oakes family, OSWA’s Benton County Chapter, and OSU Forestry Extension. It was funded by a grant to OSWA from Oregon Forest Resource Institute. Topics covered at the tour were, Pre-commercial thinning and commercial thinning strategies, the development of a pond and wildlife in a managed forest, and planning for a balanced forest age distribution.

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Dan Carr explains how he performs a pre-commercial thinning

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Brad Withrow-Robinson describes a precommercial thinning processes

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Fran Cafferata Coe and Kayla Carr discuss development of forest ponds while participants view rare red legged frogs.

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Mike Cloughesy discusses commercial thinning strategy options.