Feb 19, 2016

Co-authored by Megan Kemple (350 Eugene), Hannah Sohl (Rogue Climate), and Page Atcheson (Renew Oregon)

2588686667_967d1b29c9_o_Misserion.jpgOver 50 farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural stakeholders have signed onto a letter urging the Oregon legislature to pass the Healthy Climate Bill (SB 1574). The bill, which passed out of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee last week, would limit carbon pollution and invest in Oregon communities, to support the transition to clean energy and prepare for a changing climate.

The letter reads: 

 Our rural communities are observing dramatic changes in the climate, which we must address or lose our livelihoods. When climate change exposes our crops to extreme and unpredictable temperatures, our yields and economic security are threatened. Severe storms, droughts and floods lead to decreases in crop yields, soil erosion, infrastructure damage and disease/insect infestation. Many regions of Oregon are already experiencing these changes and last year the majority of Oregon’s rural counties were in extreme drought, threatening our crops, livestock, and water supply. 

Agricultural producers from across the state, from Talent to Union to Dallas, signed onto the letter. Many have written their representatives directly, asking them to vote yes on SB 1574. 

“Farmers experience the impacts of climate change firsthand, as it affects both our livelihood and ability to grow food,” said Kasey White of Lonesome Whistle Farm. “It’s critical that the legislature takes steps to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions, in a way that will support rural communities in this transition.”

Our Family Farms Coalition and Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, organizations which support family farms and sustainable agriculture, have also signed onto the letter and both have endorsed the bill.

“Climate change threatens our food security and our children’s future.” said Megan Kemple, Farm to School Program Director for Willamette Farm and Food Coalition. “It is time for the Oregon State Legislature to act. We urge our representatives to pass The Healthy Climate Bill now.”

You can see the full letter HERE