Trying to Protect Farms and Forests, But Saving Open Space

A land use law passed in Oregon in the 1970s that was meant to protect farmland and forests hasn't really protected either, according to a new report.

But the law did seem to have an impact on the protection of open space, according to this column from The Idaho Statesman.

"The law not only protected open space but also water quality and scenic views that added value for society across the board, the study showed. But it also seems to show that beyond laws that simply prohibit activities, there are limits to the effectiveness of restrictions for land-use management.

The report cited a study that found in Hood River County, there were no significant differences in either resource use or land conversion between areas where higher numbers of dwellings were approved on resource lands, and those where fewer numbers of dwellings were approved. The large minimum lot sizes may inadvertently encourage the growth of hobby farming, potentially at the expense of commercial farming."

Full Story: Rocky Barker: Oregon saved open space, not farms

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