News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Letter to the Editor: Let the water games begin

Inhale the fragrant spring air, freshly washed in the rain. Breathe deeply! This gift may not be ours to enjoy next year.

Stealthily, ginormous chicken factories are apparating locally. Three sites are underway: Jefferson-Scio Road in Scio, Thomas Drive in Jordan, and Porter Road (1 mile west of McDonald’s) in Stayton.

These plans raise several threats. Our ambient air will stink, from a bit to a lot. Ammonia and litter dust can travel miles, impairing lung function. Children are particularly susceptible; our schools are dangerously within range.

These facilities (acres of barns, millions of chickens annually per site) will draw down streams and aquifers. Oregon water is the new gold. We have it, these agri-venture funds want it. Under ORS 537.545, they can help themselves to all the “stockwatering” they need, with no headcount limit in the text.

There is an opportunity to tune in to the next CAFO hearing for the Jefferson-Scio site, scheduled for April 5, 4 p.m. Check farmersagainstfosterfarms.com for info.
I am writing to Governor Brown to ask her to use her executive power to delay the developments. I invite you to do the same. Let your reps know how you feel. Come add your voice at the community meeting on April 7, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Stayton Community Center.

We need time on our side to update our distinctive EFU legislation. There are many ways we can reinforce farmer-to-farmer mutual respect. That is what makes rural Oregon special and resilient. Let’s just pick one.

Lucie Gouin
Scio farmer

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