Agri-tourism Resources

Over the last several months, we have spoken to lots of community members about agri-tourism and how we may incorporate available land use provisions for events and activities into Wasco County 2040. We will be working to adopt some new language to Wasco County 2040 and make some recommendations for the Land Use and Development Ordinance early next year.

In the meantime, we wanted to provide some additional information and resources for farmers or others interested in agri-tourism in Oregon.

Oregon Policy Handout on “Growing Your Business with Agritourism”: http://industry.traveloregon.com/content/uploads/2017/07/Agritourism-Webinar_7-20171.pdf

Oregon Agritourism Handbook: http://industry.traveloregon.com/industry-resources/toolkits/welcome-oregon-agritourism-handbook/

If you have some thoughts about agri-tourism in Wasco County, please take our 7 minute survey before June 19th!  You can also submit comments at any time during the next several years.

Water Conservation and Farms

During the 2017 Vision work sessions, water was identified by the community as a priority for strategic planning.  In May and June, during our 2018 road show series, water conservation ideas or other strategies related to water resources will be a topic of discussion.

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) manages water supply needs and rights, and works to restore and protect streams and watersheds to ensure long term water availability.  In 2015, they produced a flyer with tips for summer conservation of water on farms and ranches: Saving_Water_Farms_Ranches

The flyer also has some additional resources for farmers and ranchers concerned about water and/or irrigation.

In 2017, OWRD adopted an Integrated Water Resources Strategy to address challenges throughout Oregon related to water.

The plan has useful data, including some forecasts for future water use:

forecastedchange

forecastedchange2

These two graphics show that while Wasco County has a low predicted growth in municipal or industrial water over the next 30+ years, we will see an increase in agricultural water demand.  This is, in part, because of a predicted 8.5 degree fahrenheit temperature increase by mid-century. (For detailed data on how they forecasted water demand, please see this document).

The implications for Wasco County 2040 are to think about ways land use planning and regulations for development can help support OWRD’s strategies.  The report has some specific recommendations for land use plans that we will be considering for Wasco County 2040:

Table 10:   Land Use Planning
Agency Program
LOCAL

GOVT

Comprehensive Land Use Planning – Develop and implement land use plans to comply with statewide planning goals and other laws.  Comprehensive plans include policies on sewer and water systems, transportation systems, recreational facilities, natural resources and water quality management programs.

http://www.oregon.gov/lcd/pages/goals.aspx

Public Facility Plans (Goal 11) – Describes the water, sewer and transportation facilities which are to support the land uses designated in the comprehensive plan. http://www.oregon.gov/lcd/docs/goals/goal11.pdf
Land Use Compatibility Statement – State actions must align with local comprehensive plans.  Local governments complete a land use compatibility statement to approve state actions.
Ordinance – Specify the standards to be used in developing sewers, streets, water lines, and other infrastructure, and establishes procedures for approving development actions.  Also develops floodplain ordinances.
Floodplains – Regulates development in floodplains.  Issues floodplain development permits.  Requires elevation certificates construction within the 100 year floodplain.
Coastal Shorelands Planning Area – Local governments are required to identify the location of areas subject to geologic and hydrologic hazards, and identify evacuation routes.

 

We look forward to hearing community feedback on how to address water resource challenges.  You can participate now by submitting comments or taking our survey.

Central Gorge Producer Survey (OSU)

Are you a farmer in Wasco County?

OSU, WSU and Gorge Grown Food Network are currently surveying farmers in the central Gorge.

Here is the information:

Dear Farmers and Ranchers,

Gorge Grown Food Network, OSU Extension and WSU Extension are engaged in planning their programs, workshops and projects for the next few years and have teamed up to create a survey that will inform this work. Your feedback will go a long ways to inform the educational offerings and projects that we undertake in the coming years. We want to make sure we are truly providing the services you need. We recognize your time during the growing season is valuable and scarce, and have tried to streamline our questions to take approximately 10 minutes.

We really appreciate your efforts.

Click here to complete the survey: http://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3l4Kk1BowLNJZIN

Sincerely,

Hannah, Rachel and Liz