Public participation is a long-held value in Oregon—especially Central Oregon, where residents consistently and fearlessly speak up to defend the things that matter most to them. That’s why we’re glad to let you know that you have an opportunity to comment on the Deschutes County Community Development Department’s work plan for fiscal year 2019, which you can read here.
One of the top priorities in the Work Plan, which deserves comment, states:
“AGRICULTURAL LANDS RE-EVALUATION & POTENTIAL RE-DESIGNATION: Re-evaluate agricultural lands, including serving on state committee(s) to define non-resource lands [and] initiate a local non-resource lands project.”
While many aspects of the County plan are laudatory, including efforts to address affordable housing, transportation, and continued coordination with the cities of Bend and Redmond to achieve mutual goals, this priority is a threat to one of Central Oregon’s critical industries, our essential wildlife habitat, and way of life.
The process to reevaluate agricultural lands threatens to classify them as “non-resource”, and prioritize them for development. Agricultural lands (also known as resource lands) and the designations that protect them, are what provide us with local food, they are what provide deer and elk herds with migration corridors across private land, and what provides a living for hundreds of families in Deschutes County and the rest of Central Oregon. Are these not resources?
Public Hearing for Community Development Department Work Plan
Wednesday, June 13th at 9am,
Deschutes Service Center
1300 NW Wall Street Bend, OR
Let the Deschutes County Commissioners know that agricultural lands are valuable resources, and reclassifying them to allow inappropriate development is not your priority as a Deschutes County resident.
Written comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com until June 13th.