No on 7
I caretake 50 acres of land near the Clackamas River. On this land is a wetland naturally replenished by rainfall and underground aquifers converging into a series of pools feeding into the Clackamas River. This river basin is confronted with the same kinds of problems found in other watersheds: deterioration of habitat, dams, the destruction of salmon runs, urban growth and development, mismanagement of agriculture and forest lands, and natural resource extraction; all in an ecological imbalance begging to be healed.
I am in court trying to prevent a proposed mining operation from intersecting the underground aquifer and drying up the wetlands where I live when they remove the aggregate from their adjoining land. From the very beginning the odds have been stacked in their favor. In Oregon, gravel mining is king and what regulations there are, for the most part protect the industry. Now, under Ballot Measure 7, even those regulations will work to reward mining operators who can show a reduction in their property values if they are forced to comply with "an affirmative obligation to protect, provide, or preserve wildlife habitat, natural areas, wetlands, ecosystems, scenery, open space, historical, archaeological or cultural resources, or low income housing." The language in this proposed law is far reaching.
The Department of Administrative Services estimates that Measure 7 will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion a year. It is hard to comprehend what this means for all Oregonians and what the cost will be to our environment when we make the market value of just gravel deposits alone more important than wetlands and ecosystems? In the words of Henry David Thoreau:
"And the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which
to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."
Vote No on 7
Candidate for Secretary of State