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. 

Corrected Statements Re: HB 2020 Cap & Trade Bill

To read OSWA’s Testimony dated March 1, 2019, please click here.

Oregon Small Woodlands Association

HB 2020 Recommendations
to
Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction Members

May 3, 2019 Corrected April 26, 2019 comments

Re: HB 2020 Cap & Trade Bill as currently written has many flaws

My name is Jim James. I am the Executive Director of Oregon Small Woodlands Association, an organization that represents the interests of Oregon’s family forest owners. Although, Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) has no position on HB 2020, if HB 2020 becomes law, there are many changes it will need to make to be successful in meeting its goals in Oregon.

Read More

Cost of Converting to Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Preliminary Estimate of the Cost for Oregon to Convert to Alternative Fuel Vehicles

4/22/19 Greg Peterson PE

Introduction

Before starting a new undertaking, stakeholders should know the scope, schedule, and cost, but unfortunately with HB 2020, and its many amendments, this has been obscured, so that very few Oregonians know what is involved with the scope of HB2020, particularly the cost of replacing most internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles with alternatives fuel vehicles (AFV).  Based on currently available vehicles, this memo will provide a preliminary opinion of the cost to convert to electric vehicles(EVs).

Read More

HB 2020 Recommendations

Oregon Small Woodlands Association HB 2020 Recommendations
to
Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction

March 1, 2019

My name is Jim James. I am the Executive Director of Oregon Small Woodlands Association, an organization that represents the interests of Oregon’s family forest owners.

Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) has no position on HB 2020. However, if HB 2020 becomes law, there are many changes it will need to make to be successful in meeting its goals in Oregon.

Read More

OSWA’s 2018 Successes

Thanks for tuning in to learn about some of Oregon Small Woodland Association’s 2018 Successes. 2018 was another busy and productive year for OSWA!

Here are some highlights:

At the Capitol:

OSWA was successful with its priority efforts at the 2018 Legislative short session. The $500,000 Eastside Fire Tax Relief, which was dropped during the 2017 session, was reinstated; additional state funding was provided for Sudden Oak Death (SOD) control in the south coast area; and the Oregon Department of Forestry received additional funding to pay for the expensive 2017 fire season.

A Carbon and Invest issue was introduced during the short session. It failed to get any traction, but the legislature promised a carbon bill in 2019. OSWA has been participating in the governor’s Natural Resource Carbon Working Lands Committee and Oregon Department of Forestry’s Carbon Working Group on Carbon issues. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) will be advising our lobbyist, Roger Beyer, on this issue. Roger is well respected in Salem and did an outstanding job of achieving OSWA’s priorities in 2018.

Board of Forestry:

OSWA participated in a Department of Forestry Smoke Management Review committee throughout 2017. A revised smoke management policy and rules are out for review and should be approved in 2019. The new rules will allow more prescribed burning in an effort to help mitigate the smoke associated with large wildfires while focusing on public health. Participants in the committee included the Department of Environmental Quality, forest landowners, health organizations, cities, and counties.

OSWA continues to be engaged with the Board of Forestry on upcoming issues such as riparian rules in the Siskiyou and Eastside Regions and possible rules associated with Marbled Murrelets.

OSWA’s Annual Meeting:

Over 180 members enjoyed OSWA’s 58th Annual Meeting in Springfield hosted by the Lane County chapter. Participants were treated to mill tours on June 28th, a full day of informational sessions focusing on the theme ‘Managing Family Forests into the Future” and an enjoyable Awards Banquet on June 29th, and 140 participated in the 2017 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year woods tour on Steve and Wylda Cafferata’s Family Forest on June 30th.

Neighbor to Neighbor Woods Tours:

In addition to the Cafferata Family tour, OSWA conducted three other Neighbor to Neighbor woods tours. One in Benton, Jackson, and Washington Counties and also hosted an event in Pendleton, to develop a new chapter for Morrow/Umatilla Counties.

Publications and Announcements:

Members received quarterly publications of the Oregon Family Forest News and the Northwest Woodlands magazine as well as Action Alerts and Legislative Updates.

Chapter Events:

Chapters held many local events and educational meetings plus kept members informed with their newsletters.

Membership:

Membership grew 6% in 2018, slightly higher than the 4% in 2016 & 2017.

2017 OSWA Annual Meeting, Workshop & Luncheon

EMPHASIZING THE “FAMILY” OF FAMILY FOREST LANDOWNERS

Connecting families and the tree farm

Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Place: The Rediscovery Forest in the Oregon Garden
Focus: Families are invited to participate in three 30-minute concurrent sessions in the Rediscovery Forest.

1. How to determine density management with Mike Cloughesy, OFRI, and Stephen Fitzgerald, OSU Extension
2. Being successful with reforestation with Glenn Ahrens, OSU Extension
3. Managing ponderosa pine with Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine

Conservation Association Connecting families and forest fun

Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Place: The Discovery Pavilion
Focus: Forest discovery station for young family members. Hands-on funand learning with Rikki Heath, OFRI
Families are also welcome to tour The Oregon Garden on their own or ride the tram before or after the luncheon! Admission is included in registration.

INSPECTORS

New this year! Inspector annual meeting and workshop. Inspectors that attend workshop do not have to pay for luncheon. Hosted by Tamara Cushing, OSU; Lauren Grand, OSU; and Mike and Connie Atkinson, OTFS inspection coordinators.
Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Oregon Garden Resort
Focus: We will explore the wealth of information from the national woodland owner survey and discuss approaches for engaging more family forest owners in a meaningful conversation about their woods.
Also, updates on certification requirements.

oswa-tree-farmer-year-2017

TREE FARM RECOGNITION LUNCHEON

Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (lunch)
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 (awards)
Place: Oregon Garden Resort
The sessions will be followed by a brief Oregon Tree Farm System business meeting and then a lunch (pricing on back) honoring the
County Tree Farmers of the Year. The high point of the day will be
a video featuring all the County Tree Farmers of the Year and the
announcement of the Inspector of the Year and the Oregon Tree
Farmer of the Year for 2017.

Sponsors:

Oregon Tree Farm System, Inc
Oregon Small Woodlands Association
U.S. Forest Service
Oregon Department of Forestry
Oregon Forest Resources Institute
OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
For more information, contact Jim James at 503-588-1813 or jimjamesoswa@yahoo.com.

Download the complete OTFS Annual Meeting Flyer and Registration flyer here.

Send your completed registration, along with fees, to the address on the back.

Special Tax Alert – 2016

Understand property, harvest and severance taxes – Don’t pay unnecessarily!

An OSWA member recently wrote in:

“Well, it happened again. I did some logging on my aunt and uncles place in 2015. As the logger, we keep all the records of board feet cut, in our office, and report the numbers to them, at the end of the year, so taxes can be paid. Dorothy died in 2015, so now a bank manages their estate, and their daughter received the forms in the mail, promptly forwarding them to the manager.

“The property was never set up as a Small Tract Forestland, though she received both the Forest Products Harvest Tax form, and the STF severance tax form. The manager called today, speaking to my mother, not sure what to do. Well my mother didn’t know either. She called my other uncle, Hubert, who DID apply for STF, and he said, yes, you need to pay both taxes.

“Well, he either didn’t know or didn’t remember. So, tonight, I called the manager and said NOOOO!, don’t pay the severance tax. Everything is taken care of now, but I still wonder how many other timber owners, who have NOT applied for STF, are getting severance tax forms, and going ahead and paying the money, unnecessarily.”

–Regards, John


August 15 – Tour of John & Cathy Dummer’s Young Forest

John & Cathy Dummer’s

The Ridge Tree Farm Challenges when Managing a Young Forest

OSWA Tour 2015 MillerSaturday, August 15th 8:30 am to Noon
Registration Required
To Register email oswaevents@gmail.com
or call (503) 588-1813 by August 7th
Please mention the event date – August 15th
FREE Admission & Lunch

Howdy Neighbor Tour in Washington County, Saturday, August 15th. Tour will focus on challenges in managing a young forest, including insect and disease challenges, animal damage, dealing with beavers, thinning strategies, and future log markets. It is hosted by OSWA’s Washington County Chapter. Registration is required. The tour and lunch are free. See the attached flyer for details.

To learn more about this day of Information and fun , as well as to get complete directions, download a copy of the event flyer here.

OSWA’s 2015 Legislative Priorities approved by Board

At OSWA’s September 2014 Board meeting, the board approved OSWA’s 2015 Legislative Priorities. The
2015 Legislative Session is a full session that will focus on State agency budgets and the ever increasing demand for school funding. With two consecutive high cost fire seasons, the issue of how to pay for fighting fires in Oregon will be an issue to watch. OSWA’s strategy will be to protect the funding we successfully lobbied for in 2013 and oppose unfair tax increases including any attempt to have landowners pay a larger portion of firefighting costs.

To see get more details and see the complete document, see OSWA’s Legislative Priorities page.

OSWA Legislative Update

Ackerman-Munson, Springer reappointed to Board of Forestry

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry issued this news release today.

Ackerman-Munson, Springer reappointed to Board of Forestry

Sybil Ackerman Photo
Sybil Ackerman

Sybil Ackerman-Munson of Damascus and Gary Springer of Corvallis have been reappointed to the Oregon Board of Forestry. On Sept. 17, the Oregon State Senate confirmed the reappointment of Ackerman-Munson to a second term running July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2018. Springer’s second term is May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2018.

Gov. John Kitzhaber submitted the two nominations to the Senate rules Committee on Aug. 25.

Ackerman-Munson has her own small business as an advisor for philanthropic institutions and individuals interested in effective grant making. She currently serves as a consultant for the Resources Legacy Fund, Burning Foundation, Gray Family Foundation, and Jubitz Family Foundation. She is also the Executive Director of the Lazar Foundation.

She was previously employed by many prestigious environmental organizations and has served on numerous boards and negotiating teams to craft solutions to complex policy challenges. In addition to her position on the Board of Forestry, she has served on the Environmental Justice Task Force, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Nearshore Ocean Task Force, the Governor’s Panel on Oregon and California Lands, the Steens Mountain negotiating team, the Habitat Conservation Plan Public Interest Committee, and the State Forest Management Plan revision subcommittee.

Gary Springer Photo
Gary Springer

Springer is a staff forester with Starker Forests, Inc. and also handles policy and public outreach duties for the family-owned company. In addition, he owns and manages an 80-acre tree farm in Harlan. He holds a baccalaureate in general humanities from Oregon State University. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Springer was a partner in Springer Logging, his family’s contract logging business. He has served on a variety of forestry-related boards and committees, including the Forest Practices Advisory Committee and the Committee for Family Forestlands.

He currently serves on the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and Oregon Society of American Foresters executive committees, and on research advisory committees at the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Forestry. He has also served on the Oregon Forest Resources Institute board.

Ackerman-Munson and Springer were appointed to their first terms on the Board of Forestry in 2010 by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The Board of Forestry consists of seven governor-appointed members, with the Oregon State Forester serving as secretary. The term of office is four years, and no member may serve more than two consecutive full terms. The mission of the board is to lead Oregon in implementing policies and programs that promote management of Oregon’s public and private forests that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

More information on the Board of Forestry is available at: www.oregonforestry.gov.

Contact:
Rod Nichols
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
503-945-7425
rnichols@odf.state.or.us