Through an innocent-sounding “update” to County-wide codes in both Crook County and Jefferson County, longstanding protections for farm and forest lands could be weakened. Both counties are considering the adoption of new “model codes” that would significantly replace the counties’ existing EFU and Forest zoning codes.
As development pressures grow in high-risk areas, we must consider every new development in the WUI carefully. Smart planning that takes wildfire risk into account will help avoid unnecessary loss of life and homes, risk to our health, and endangerment of firefighters.
Our win closes a local loophole that was allowing more development than is typically allowed on farm and ranch land.
Agriculture is an important part of Central Oregon’s cultural heritage and supports a resilient local food system. Farm and ranch land has remained available for family farmers in Central Oregon because of protections put in place by our statewide land use planning system.
We need to plan ahead so that together, our land uses and transportation system can reduce the average number of miles we all have to travel to get to where we want to go.