Forests and Natural Resources
It is upon us to be responsible stewards of our timber resources with a sustainable management plan that values and protects this vital habitat. Let’s face it, we have some of the most beautiful and rich environmental habitats in the Pacific Northwest. It is what draws people to our area for recreation and to build a better life. I constantly hear from people who are visiting or moving here about how green and beautiful it is in Lane County. Whenever I have friends or family visit from out of town, they always want to go explore the beautiful hiking trails or rivers.
Most of the policies that regulate our timber land are done at the state level. Locally we must be diligent about making informed and thoughtful choices about our land use decisions. We have a patchwork of complicated and out of date land use codes coupled with extreme housing demands which can lead to development outside metro areas forcing unanticipated burdens on rural communities and the environment. My husband and I grew up in Lane County and have fond memories of playing in the woods and surrounding trails. It is unfortunate that large swaths of these valuable lands disappear by folks exploiting loopholes in our code and without transparency to the surrounding community. Current regulations are not satisfactory for our housing needs and can have devastating impacts to our environment. The county has an obligation to ensure suitable buildable land and that development projects are conducted with an appropriate level of oversight with public input.
I support responsible and sustainable green building practices that bring innovation and well-paying jobs to our communities. Technology and science has advanced to a point in which we can more effectively manage our resources while providing stable employment and income for our County. I encourage Oregon’s active lead in new, innovative ways to utilize our wood products such as cross laminated timber and other engineered wood and fiber products. These products are renewable, have the same strength as traditional building materials, and have a significantly diminished environmental impact when produced.