With our state so divided in anger, I was encouraged to learn about Community Empowerment Woe For The Owyhee Law, a collaborative and realistic plan that brings together diverse groups of people to achieve multiple goals.
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced this legislation after consulting with eastern Oregon ranchers, conservation groups, university researchers and government agencies to develop a land management plan that takes into account the needs. of all stakeholders.
This law would protect the Owyhee River and over a million acres of the beautiful Owyhee Canyonlands, preserving habitat for sage grouse, bighorn sheep, elk, deer and other wildlife. This area is one of the largest expanses of sagebrush steppe in the United States, an ecologically unique biome that is home to more than two dozen plant species found nowhere else in the world.
The law includes plans to prevent habitat destruction from encroachment by invasive plant species, as well as strategies to prevent forest fires and support local firefighting efforts.
In addition to these conservation priorities, the Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act creates economic development opportunities for communities in Eastern Oregon by supporting the recreation and tourism industry and local ranchers. It also protects the economic and cultural needs of the Burns Paiute tribe.
This law is a pragmatic effort to both protect public lands and stimulate rural economic development. I urge Rep Cliff Bentz and the Senses. Wyden and Merkley to work to pass this bill, and I encourage the people of Oregon to express their support.