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  • Governor's Natural Resources Office -- What we do
    Willamette River
    The Governor's Natural Resources Office (GNRO) provides policy analysis and advice to the Governor's Office. We work with more than a dozen state natural resource agencies to implement the Governor's natural resource and environmental agenda, and to assist state departments in managing issues and advancing their budget requests and legislative proposals to the Legislature.
Ocean Resources Current Initiatives
Oregon Ocean Information
The Oregon coast and Pacific Ocean are of fundamental importance to Oregonians. Coastal communities rely on commercial and recreational fisheries, transportation, tourism and other uses that depend on our natural resources for their livelihoods and way of life. The ocean shore and nearshore ocean waters are an important ecological zone for many species of plants and animals that are specifically adapted to this unique environment. The State of Oregon is committed to the long-term integrity of marine ecosystems, and the sustainable use of ocean resources.

Oregonians are involved in a variety of ocean planning and management activities that may affect the future of our economy and ocean ecosystems. This link to Oregon Ocean Information will take you to a comprehensive calendar of upcoming ocean-related events, information about the status of energy planning in the waters off of Oregon, and a list of popular articles and information about Oregon's ocean. 
West Coast Governors Alliance (WCGA)
    • The West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health (WCGA) was created in 2006, and is a unique regional partnership established to protect and manage coastal and ocean resources and the economies they support along the entire West Coast. Upon completing an action plan in 2008, 10 Action Coordination Teams comprised of volunteers with expertise in priority areas, were created to develop and implement work plans to achieve high priority regional goals. The recently adopted National Ocean Policy identifies the WCGA as the regional ocean governance partnership for the West Coast, and one of nine such entities recognized throughout the United States.

      The WCGA seeks to achieve the following seven goals:
  • Ensuring clean coastal waters and beaches; 
  • Protecting and restoring ocean and coastal habitats; 
  • Promoting the effective implementation of ecosystem-based management; 
  • Reducing adverse impacts of offshore development; 
  • Increasing ocean awareness and literacy among residents; 
  • Expanding ocean and coastal scientific information, research, and monitoring; 
  • Fostering sustainable economic development in our communities.
Governor's Task Force on Genetically-Engineered Agriculture
In October 2013, the Oregon Legislature enacted SB 633, which requires that regulation of agricultural products occur at the state level, rather than at the local level (the new law does not apply to the pending ballot measure in Jackson County).  Recognizing the concerns over genetically-engineered agricultural products, Governor Kitzhaber agreed to convene a Task Force to examine issues around conflicts between growers of GE and non-GE products, as well as around issues of consumer information and choice (including labeling).
The Governor’s Task Force will:   
​​   •  Identify the main conflicts between growers of GE crops and other agricultural producers here in Oregon   ​
​​   •  Identify areas of agreement and disagreement related to GE and non-GE food products, including and especially related to information for consumers; and   ​
​​   •  Identify and describe what others have done, or have proposed doing, to address these areas of conflict
The Task Force has been asked to prepare a draft report to the Governor this fall, with a final report by the end of the year.  Following receipt of the report, the Governor will work with legislators and other interests to determine whether additional steps should be taken to address the issues identified by the Task Force.

Governor's Letter to Legislative Leadership Regarding the Task Force
Task Force Meetings Information - meetings are open to the public
The public comment period for the draft report is now closed. Please see below and on the Task Force Meeting Information page for summaries of public comments provided to the task force. The latest draft, which has not been finalized by the task force, can be found at http://authoring-cms.oregon.egov.com/gov/GNRO/Documents/Draft%20GE%20Task%20Force%20report%20for%20public%20comment.pdf.

Comments Submitted to GE Task Force (last updated 12/1/2014)
Resources Shared by Task Force Members
Klamath Basin Task Force
Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, Congressman Greg Walden, and Governor John Kitzhaber convened the Klamath Basin Task Force in July of 2013, following a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the remaining water and other resource management issues in the Klamath Basin.  The committee was charged with three things:   
​​   •  Negotiating a comprehensive settlement of remaining water and other resource issues in the Upper Basin;
   •  Reducing the costs to the federal government of the package of actions designed to restore environmental health and economic stability to the Klamath Basin; and
   •  Developing a program to provide lower cost power to irrigators in the Klamath Irrigation Project, as well as for off-project irrigators who are participating in water resources programs that benefit the basin.
On February 28, 2014, the negotiating team on water issues reached a proposed Final Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement.  That agreement is going through final review by the Klamath Tribes and other parties prior to signing.  The final report of the Task Force will be released in the near future.  Click here for the full media release.
Click here for the proposed Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement and a summary of the proposed agreement.

Click here for task force meeting schedule and meeting materials, including the Agreement in Principle on water.
Click here for the final Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement and the Final Upper Basin Task Force Report.
West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel
Governor Kitzhaber announced August 28, 2013 that Oregon is joining with the state of California to establish a new panel to focus on the extent, causes, and effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia along the Pacific coastline.  The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel will bring together scientists from California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia to develop strategic recommendations for researching and monitoring ocean acidification and hypoxia in the Pacific Ocean.
"Scientists are learning that ocean acidification is hitting waters off the West Coast earlier and harder than elsewhere on the planet," said Governor Kitzhaber.  "We need a comprehensive and collaborative approach to better understand what this may mean for West Coast fisheries, Oregon's rich natural resources, and the people who live on and visit the Oregon coast."
       ·      Click here ​for a full press release  


 ·       For a copy of the memorandum of understanding establishing the panel click here.
 ·       More information on the panel and its priorities are available here:  http://oregonstate.edu/inr/oah.    

Governor Kitzhaber's O&C Lands Panel

O&C Lands Panel
Statement from Senator Merkley:
"I want to thank Governor Kitzhaber and his leadership in bringing together diverse interests to find common ground for the management of Oregon's unique O&C lands.
I look forward to working with Senator Wyden and the rest of the Oregon congressional delegation to use these ideas to help craft a way forward to provide economic stability for the O&C counties, create a sustainable timber economy that puts people to work in the woods, and restore the health of our forests for future generations."
Statement from Senator Wyden:
"Oregonians expect a resolution of the issues created by the unique history of the O&C lands. A successful solution will balance economic, recreation and environmental interests, treat federal taxpayers, counties and private landholders fairly, and lay the foundations for growth in Oregon's O&C counties. Governor Kitzhaber deserves credit for bringing stakeholders together and Senator Wyden, as chair of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over federal forest lands, will take a close look at the Governor's report, especially the modeling and data it pulls together. To the extent the report helps in the crafting of legislation that can successfully move through the current House and Senate, as outlined in the principles Senator Wyden released last year, the Governor's efforts have helped move the ball forward."
Statement from Congressman Defazio:
"I want to thank the Governor and the panelists for their hard work -- it is useful, timely, and substantive. After looking over the materials, I'm optimistic. The report confirms that there are shared goals and there is common ground among Oregon counties, environmentalists, and the timber industry. I truly believe a long-term solution is out there. And my bipartisan work with Rep. Kurt Schrader and Rep. Greg Walden -- with some additions from the Governor's panel -- can help get us there."
Growth Management Program
GNRO is working with DLCD, cities, counties, and other interests to streamline Oregon's growth management program. Oregon has been successful in growing in ways that use urban land more efficiently, but there is a broad sense that the urban land use program needs to be less complex and more accessible to citizens who want to participate in decision-making. The following documents describe the initial concepts being developed in this area, and summarize census data from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California that show that Oregon is doing a good job of managing growth relative to its neighbors. For more information on this project, contact Richard Whitman at 503-378-6145. 
Working with the Oregon offices of the Bureau of Land Management and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the GNRO is working to develop an "all lands" plan for eastern and central Oregon that addresses all of the relevant factors for the decline identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in its decision that a listing of sage grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act is "warranted but precluded." The state is working with private and local partners in this effort, which is being managed through Oregon Consensus. For more information on this project, contact Brett Brownscombe at (503) 373-1680. 

Environmental Justice Task Force Gives Voice to All Oregonians
The Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) was created by Senate Bill 420, which calls for environmental justice in Oregon by ensuring that all persons affected by decisions of natural resource agencies have a voice in those decisions. The EJTF advises the Governor and natural resource agencies on environmental justice issues in Oregon.

Your voice for environmental justice in Oregon! Find it here...