Yesterday a coalition of agricultural and conservation groups announced they had developed an alternative to the most recent “Core 4” plan for the Portland metropolitan area. Here’s video of the press conference:
The coalition developed the map based on the criteria in state law, and with an eye toward selecting the most suitable areas for urbanization while preserving the best farmland for the next generation. “It is our best effort to look at the next 50 years and how this region should grow,” OAN Director of Government Relations Jeff Stone said.
According to Dave Vanashe of the Washington County Farm Bureau, agriculture has lost more than 140,000 acres of land to urbanization since 1960. “At this point in agriculture, we’re at a point of critical mass,” he said. “We can’t afford to lose any more land in the metropolitan area, or we’ll lose our suppliers and our agricultural infrastructure. We’re at the point of no return here.”
Stone said Metro and the county governments deserve credit for bringing a difficult process to this crucial point. “But right now is the time for agriculture and natural resources to talk about what we want, what we need and how we keep agriculture viable for the next 40-50 years,” he said.
Watch the video to see what Stone, Vanashe and others had to say.