Where do we go from here, Friend?
With springtime already giving way to some downright summery weather and the pandemic finally loosening its hold on our lives, the beauty of Oregon is calling. Still, the unseasonable April warmth means we're facing an early start to the wildfire season across the state, even as the effects of last year's terrible fires still linger.
While there are no easy answers for how to navigate these increasingly complex times, land use planning can keep us from losing our way. Over the last month, 1000 Friends has been hard at work at the legislature and elsewhere to advance bills, policy, and public awareness around issues that touch on nearly all of Oregon's 19 land use planning goals.
For my own part, I recently spoke as part of a summit convened by the World Forestry Center to address how we can adapt in this era of megafires. You can view the recording here, and you can read more about 1000 Friends' wildfire work here. A significant aspect of our current activity is playing out at the state legislature, where we are working to pass SB 762, the omnibus wildfire preparedness and resiliency bill. You can read my testimony here.
Also this month, we are celebrating some serious legislative success with the Oregon House of Representative's passage of HB 2560. This bill represents a major expansion of public access to policy proceedings, in keeping with Goal 1 of the land use system. We are so proud of all the testimony given in support of this important legislation from our members and affiliates (and you can find our testimony, given by Deputy Director Mary Kyle McCurdy, too)! For our complete midsession update, see the feature below.
Let's additionally take a moment today to celebrate another accomplishment that bodes well for the future of land use planning in Oregon: two newly-minted land use attorneys. Our very own Alexis Biddle and Chris Killmer have just passed the Oregon Bar Examination. Congratulations, Alexis and Chris!
Last but certainly not least, I'm delighted to be spending this month launching our brand-new 4-Year Strategic Plan. A year in the making, the Five Destination Points of our plan represent our promise to you and our commitment to a beautiful, bountiful Oregon now and for generations to come. I hope you'll explore our roadmap and join us on this journey.
As always, these achievements are possible because of you. Thank you, Friend. You're the reason we do what we do.
P.S. Please note that our offices remain closed while my staff and I remain fully accessible by phone and email from our home offices. Please feel free to contact us at any time.