In just a few short days, winter officially arrives, and with it, a few extra minutes of light each day. It's been a long year, but with elections settled and vaccines on the way, I'm hopeful about the brighter days ahead.
This month, we have some exciting opportunities for you to get involved with our work now and in 2021. You can read more about them in the features below. I also wanted to fill you in on a few of our most recent program notes and milestones:
- After shifting in the spring from in-person to online, our second Southern Oregon Land Use Leadership Initiative (LULI) successfully concluded this month. Thank you to our program partners and sponsors, and congratulations to our newly-minted Land Use Leaders, a record number of whom will be holding public office in the new year. For information about participating in our next two LULI opportunities (one in the Portland area, and one in the Southern Willamette area), see the featured story below.
- On December 9th, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) approved the model code needed to begin implementation of landmark housing legislation HB 2001 and 2003 in Oregon's largest cities, which will ultimately help to ease Oregon's housing crisis while reducing sprawl. Deputy Director Mary Kyle McCurdy played a key role in advising on the development of the rules, and 1000 Friends will continue to provide support for cities across Oregon in adopting the framework over the next year and a half.
- Earlier this month, Food Systems Program Director and Southern Oregon Advocate Greg Holmes presented our farmland report and protection plan, Death by 1000 Cuts, to the Oregon Board of Agriculture as a part of a panel discussion of agricultural land preservation that included American Farmland Trust, the Black Oregon Land Trust, the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and the Oregon Agricultural Trust. You can watch a recording of the presentations here (starting at the 2-hour mark).
- Our Great Communities Program Director Alexis Biddle worked with our Affiliate group Friends of Yamhill County's Kathryn Jernstedt to pen a letter to the editor of the News-Register correcting their reporting and clarifying our position on McMinnville's proposed urban growth boundary expansion.
- Working with our Affiliate group Friends of Polk County, our Rural Lands Attorney Andrew Mulkey secured another important land use victory, keeping 228 acres zoned for exclusive farm use.
Last but not least, just this week, our Board of Directors met to discuss and ultimately approve the draft strategies for our next 4-year strategic plan, bringing us one giant step closer to being able to share it with you ahead of the April launch date. In the meantime, if you're hungry for more information about our work over the last year and into 2021, take a look at our recently-published 2020 Annual Report and keep an eye out for a few more special end-of-year emails between now and January 1st. As always, it's your support that makes all of this possible.
Thank you for all you do for Oregon, and thank you for being a Friend!
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.