SORPP important–please read

On May 10, 2012, Governor Kitzhaber signed Executive Order (EO) 12-07 entitled “A Pilot Program for Regional Farm and Forest Land Conservation,” also known as the Southern Oregon Regional Pilot Program or “SORPP.” The SORPP project provides Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties with the ability to develop regional variations in what lands must be planned and managed as farm and forest lands, as well as determine which, if any, lands have been inappropriately designated farm and/or forest lands in Jackson County.

As part of Jackson County’s determination of what land is appropriately considered farm (or agricultural) land, we are looking at Animal Unit Month (AUM) data as a determinate for what constitutes “suitable grazing land.” The below email from Jim Johnson of the Dept. of Agriculture proposes that Jackson County consider land with an AUM (non-irrigated) value of 2 to be considered “agricultural land” and remain under Goal 3 protections.

From a technical standpoint, the question is whether 2 AUM grazing lands should be protected under Goal 3 due to their “suitability for grazing.” If not, what minimum AUM number should be used in Jackson County to define “agricultural land” because of its grazing potential and why?

We appreciate any input from you and those in the ranching community. Please let me know you have any questions.

Craig Anderson

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