The Oregon legislature is working on its next budget and a set of “policy options packages” is being debated that are important for healthy rivers & wildlife. They need your help to be adopted.
ODFW’s (Fish & Wildlife) POP 123 would fund forecasts for river flow needs. OWRD’s (Water Resources) POP 102 would fund studies of existing ground water. OWRD’s POP 108 would fund measurement of groundwater use. Yes, this implies that the state does not currently know how much water we need in most rivers for healthy ecosystems, how much water is currently in aquifers that feed those rivers, or how much is being taken out by groundwater pumping. Absurd, isn’t it?
Not surprisingly, there are special interests with checkbooks who do not want these POPs funded. The agriculture industry is at the top of the list. You can express your opinion at a hearing next Saturday, March 16, from 2-4 pm at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center’s Three Sisters Conference and Convention Center.
Healthy rivers and ecosystems need your help. There will undoubtedly be many irrigators in attendance arguing against these POPs. Legislators also need to hear from people who hunt, fish, bird watch, hike, photograph, boat, or otherwise value the outdoors. Learn more about all the POPs here, the narratives explaining why they are being proposed are pretty compelling.