To the editor:
I feel compelled to respond to your canvassing for the Clean Water Act. As vice president of the Wasco Co. Farm Bureau and as a director on the board of the Oregon Farm Bureau, and with the president of the Oregon Farm Bureau, Barry Bushue, serving as American Farm Bureau’s vice president for all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
I feel it is necessary to establish that the American Farm Bureau starts at the county level with family farmers like myself, then to Oregon Farm Bureau, then to American Farm Bureau, all with family farmers like myself. Without a grass roots organization like the Farm Bureau representing agriculture, we farmers, who only make up 1 percent of the population, would be regulated out of business by lawmakers and bureaucrats who don’t value or understand agriculture.
We, as a state and communities, care for our environment. We locally have for generations undertaken caring for our streams and watersheds through our Soil Conservation District and others, with past and ongoing projects, monitoring our streams with designated watershed committees to improve fish habitat and improve water quality. Our local farmers have and are employing water-saving irrigation practices, micro sprinklers, probes to monitor soil moisture so as to not overwater. No-till practices, GPS plotting that saves soil and fuel, thus helping us provide the best and least expensive food in the world, while doing all we can to sustain and protect the environment.
It should give anyone paulse that nearly 53 percent of Oregon is owned by the federal government, which is the same number that Environmental Oregon claims is unprotected by federal regulations.
I believe the 47 percent in the private sector have evidence that they are better environmentalists and stewards of our land than the 53 percent government landowner.
It seems that there is plenty of money to buy property but none to maintain existing properties. For the farmers and the private sector it is about the next generation and sustainability. I would ask, if canvassed, that we say we have evidence in Oregon, we are environmentalists and we care and are taking care of our water.
Leave the rules like they are and they should take better care of their 53 percent that we have entrusted to them.