Dear Governor Kate Brown,
I know it’s been a trying legislative session, and I know that you’re work here in Oregon is never really on a break. But today I’m writing to ask you to please sign HB 2437, the ditch cleaning bill that was passed this session. This bill is so vitally important to farmers and landowners in Oregon.
My land is part of G.A. Miller Drainage District, district #1 in Oregon. It’s been functioning since 1901. This ditch was hand dug and runs about 5 miles in the St. Paul area. We have been maintaining these drainage ditches to protect our farmland for 118 years.
Here is a short video of how we do this and why.
This past winter, after two years of working with Department of State Lands, I was asked, along with other stakeholders to participate in a legislative work group to find solutions. The current system, it wasn’t working and I have yet to find anyone that will disagree with that. So EVERYONE came to the table. Environmental groups, fish groups, farmers, university specialists, legislators, land owners, EVERYONE! And we all worked hours and hours and hours to find compromise, something that would work for everyone. Not one group got everything they asked for. Not one group walked out of those meetings thinking they nailed it. EVERYONE compromised to find a SOLUTION that would help not only the problem at hand but continue to make solutions better for the state of Oregon and protect our lands; wetlands and farmland alike.
The bill that came out of all that work was on a path to success. Because of all that work and support from Rep. Susan McLain, Rep. David Brock Smith, and Rep Brian Clem, it passed the House and the Senate with amazing bi-partisan support. And now it sits on your desk Governor Brown. So I’m writing today to ask that you please sign this bill.
This is good legislation that was put through a robust process in the Capitol. We need tools to protect our land, tools that have been used for over 100 years here in this state. I believe that by signing this bill you are assuring that more research will be done, we will learn even more about best practices for ditch cleaning and maintenance, and you will protect wetlands and farmlands in the process. Please don’t take this tool away from us and please sign House Bill 2437.
***Please click here to also send a letter to Gov. Kate Brown. She needs to hear how important this tool is for all landowners and farmers! As always please share and if you have any questions just let me know! Thank you!