OCN Announces the 2017 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

In News by April Christenson

The Oregon Conservation Network – a coalition of environmental advocates from across Oregon coordinated by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters – has announced their 2017 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon.

“OCN strategically developed these priorities over the past year, and we are proud to have legislators working alongside us to protect our special places and our health,” said Paige Spence, Oregon Conservation Network Director. “The priorities reflect our dedication to protecting our climate, air, water, wildlife, and economy that make Oregon so wonderful and unique.”

At the top of the list of priorities is combatting climate change through championing legislation that would improve our climate and our economy by accounting for the true cost of carbon, dramatically reducing pollution and creating clean energy jobs.

OCN will also work to retire Oregon’s dirtiest diesel by using Volkswagen settlement funds and other mechanisms to reduce air pollution from older diesel engines, including vehicles and equipment.

The coalition has been working for years now to ensure a positive solution for the Elliott State Forest and that work will continue this session. OCN urges the State Land Board and the legislature work together to stop this sacred place from being sold to a timber company.

OCN members are working to protect Oregon’s rivers by ending destructive suction dredge mining that is sucking the life out of Oregon’s rivers by harming critical spawning grounds for salmon, killing young fish and fish eggs, and mobilizing legacy mercury.

This legislative session OCN is also supporting a transportation package that works for all Oregonians. Gas and diesel are making our air unbreathable and worsening climate change. To meet the needs of Oregonians today and in the future, we must invest in a safe and modern transportation system that offers affordable, healthy options for everyone in every community.

And finally, OCN will be supporting the state’s budget – facing a $1.8 billion deficit – by working with the Governor’s office, agency staff, and the legislature to advocate for stable funding for natural resource agencies and programs.

As session advances, OCN will share other bills of support or concern via a weekly Hotlist that goes to legislators and the press. The coalition also works to identify bills that would particularly harm the environment, the worst of which become Major Threats to a Healthy Oregon.

More information on the Priorities and on the Oregon Conservation Network can be found at www.forahealthyoregon.org.