Oregon’s farms and forests – or resource lands – are considered “working lands” and are protected under Statewide Planning Goal 3 and Goal 4.
- Goal 3 protects farmland for continued production of food and fiber.
- Goal 4 protects working forest land around the state, preserving it for commercial forestry while recognizing its value for fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and protection of air and water quality.
Preserving these areas for resource use also benefits wildlife habitat conservation, recreation opportunities, and protection of Oregon’s signature landscapes. The heavy loss of agricultural lands in our region has led our coalition to think of strategies to ensure the long-term protection of farmland in our region, and the result has been our Farmland Conservation Program.
The program is modeled after programs in other counties in California, Vermont and Colorado, which all require that when farmland is developed for urban uses, the loss of farmland must be mitigated through permanently protecting other farmland that is also under development pressure.
Strategic priorities for preserving farmland and farm livelihoods include:
- Explore opportunities for collaboration with organizations working on similar issues.
- Advocate for appropriate land use decisions and affordable housing rules related to workforce affordable housing.
- Educate communities about land-use planning proposals and community impact.
- Appeal relevant land use decisions.