With devastating anti-environmental rollbacks coming from the Trump administration in Washington, D.C., Oregonians are fighting back and looking to Oregon’s leaders to stand up for Oregon values – ensuring we all have clean air and water, keeping our public lands in public hands, and acting on the biggest threat we face – climate change.

Today, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) and the Oregon Conservation Network (OCN) held its annual lobby day – the Clean, Green Lobby Machine. The day was a huge success thanks to more than 300 volunteers and environmental leaders who attended from across the state. From Southern Oregon to Bend to Powell Butte to the Columbia River Gorge, they came together to urge Oregon lawmakers for leadership on protecting our natural legacy, something that is needed on the local and state level now more than ever.

The incredible number of people who attended makes it clear that environmental values are Oregon values, and Oregonians are motivated to get involved to ensure our leaders reflect them.

Volunteers asked Oregon’s lawmakers to support the six OCN 2017 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon:

  • Keeping the Elliott State Forest in public hands.
  • Addressing climate change with the Clean Energy Jobs Bill (Senate Bill 557).
  • Cleaning up dirty diesel engines with Clean Engines, Clean Air (Senate Bill 1008).
  • Protecting our rivers from suction dredge mining (Senate Bill 3).
  • Passing a modern transportation package that will make our streets safer for pedestrians and people on bikes, give Oregonians more transit options, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Adequate and stable funding for our natural resource agencies and programs.

One of the top priorities for OLCV and OCN is keeping the Elliott State Forest in public hands. As part of the OCN/OLCV lobby day, OLCV members from across the state were able to meet with State Treasurer Tobias Read to discuss why it’s so important to keep the Elliott State Forest – Oregon’s iconic first state forest – in public hands.

During the meeting, Treasurer Read listened to the concerns of Oregonians from around the state and expressed his openness to a better solution for the Elliott. With just a few weeks before May 9th, when a final decision could be made on whether the Elliott will be privatized forever or kept in the hands of Oregonians, this couldn’t come at a more critical time.

Executive Director Doug Moore, who attended the meeting, said afterwards, “I was very encouraged by Treasurer Read’s response as well as his thoughts on the Elliott. He’s listening to our concerns and is open to a better solution. We look forward to continuing the positive conversations and finding a better solution that keeps the Elliott’s 82,500 acres of public land accessible for all of us today as well as future generations.”