Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Canola Controversy: Despite Decision, It's Not Over

There's good news and bad news in the ongoing controversy between the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and various stakeholders over whether to open up previously protected areas of the Willamette Valley to the growing of canola.

The good news: a temporary ruling by the ODA, made without input from the public or stakeholders, to allow canola to be grown in these protected areas was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The bad news: the ODA filed for a permanent ruling to allow growing of canola using the same language and map. This permanent ruling requires public comment, including a hearing, before the rule can be implemented.

Which is where you come in.

1. Please consider signing this online petition opposing the permanent ruling. It will be presented to ODA Director Katy Coba and Governor John Kitzhaber during the public hearing on September 28, 2012.

2. If you can, attend the public hearing on September 28, 2012, at 9 am at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. If you are an affected stakeholder and/or expert, please provide comments at this hearing and encourage other stakeholders (seed producers, farm organizations, seed companies and others) to do the same. Address: Oregon State Fairgrounds, Cascade Hall, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, OR.

3. If you can't make the hearing, you can provide comments through October 5, 2012, in response to the proposed rule via email or postal mail. Address: Canola Hearings Officer, Oregon Department of Agriculture, 635 Capitol St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-2532.

For more information on canola and the issues surrounding growing it in the Willamette Valley, start here. You can read the ruling issued by the Court of Appeals. 

Photo of canola field in Washington County by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives, via Wikimedia Commons.

No comments: