Farmers and ranchers will miss Greg Walden

As someone who owns and operates a cattle ranch, I take pride in saying Congressman Walden is working harder than anyone in D.C. to cut through the red tape that we farmers and ranchers live with every day.

Greg has supported the Trump Administration as they work hard to renegotiate trade deals and expand access for our farmers and ranchers to foreign markets — like the newly negotiated USMCA and the U.S. trade deal with Japan — a great win for Oregon agriculture!

In Congress, Greg has passed legislation that would improve forest management and decrease the risk of wildfire by utilizing tools like grazing and thinning to reduce fuel loads on public lands. Greg has fought hard to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue to rely on the protections provided in the Farm Bill. He has worked tirelessly to advance legislation time and again that would federally delist the gray wolf and give the states the ability to better manage wolf populations.

I’ve watched Greg as he has spoken with leaders in the agriculture industries from Eastern Oregon throughout his career in Congress. His passion for the industries is clear in those meetings, and he has always carried the message he receives in those discussions back to D.C. I have had the pleasure of working with him in Oregon and in Washington, D.C. The farmers and ranchers of Oregon are going to miss having Congressman Walden around, thankfully we still have one more year!

Matt McElligott

North Powder

Wyden’s call for river protection shows foresight

As I prepare for the holidays, I take stock in the things that matter the most to me. It is clear, that the landscape of NE Oregon is one of those things, writ large. Eastern Oregon’s magic captured me the moment I stepped out of our dusty station wagon in 1961 onto the gravel driveway of what had just become my family’s cattle ranch near Baker City. I was five and we moved into a house comprised of three tiny homes built by early settlers to the area. Those shacks were skidded down the hill and stuck together over a precarious, river rock foundation. The living room had three doors in a row and the lumpy floor could not tolerate our jump roping. It was the most beloved house I have ever lived in, on land that is wedded to my soul.

Sen. Ron Wyden recently announced that he is seeking nominations for new Wild and Scenic River designations. He wants input from all Oregonians and is holding a “Wild and Scenic River Forum” in Portland. He is also asking for nominations via email at rivers@wyden.senate.gov. As rural folks, it can be difficult to make our voices heard over the din of opinions from larger population centers. I will be emailing Sen. Wyden and nominating rivers in Northeastern Oregon that directly impact our quality of life and underpin our growing tourist economy.

Our western culture, wild landscapes, and unique lifestyle distinguish NE Oregon as an enviable place to live or visit. The most important thing I can do for the future of our community is to help preserve our local waterways. The clean water and critical habitat we are seeking to protect is the lifeblood of future generations who want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable, outdoor recreation based, economy for Baker County.

Thank you, Ron Wyden, for your foresight and determination to move forward with this bill and to enable rural folks to have a choice in what waterways will be selected. Now is the time to make your voice heard for local rivers that you love.

Robin Coen

Boise

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