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Public meetings scheduled Sept. 15 for vernal pool permit rulemaking
For immediate release                                                                                      11-25
More information:  Lori Warner-Dickason: 503-986-5271; lori.warner-dickason@state.or.us
                               Julie Curtis: 503-986-5298; julie.curtis@state.or.us 
New general permit will align state and federal wetland mitigation rules
Central Point – An informal public meeting and a formal public hearing will be held on Sept. 15 to provide information and take testimony on a proposed new Vernal Pool General Permit in Jackson County:
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Informational meeting (an opportunity to learn more, ask questions, and comment off the record)
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Public hearing (all comments become part of the public record; no questions or discussion)
Location – Jefferson Conference Room, Rogue Valley Council of Governments, 155 N. 1st St., Central Point
The proposed GP will provide a faster and more predictable process for securing permits for removal-fill activities in vernal pools – an unusual type of wetland that supports three federally listed species (the vernal pool fairy shrimp and two plant species). The new permit will allow the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) to issue removal-fill permits that impact vernal pools in 60 days or less if the project meets specific state and federal criteria.
For the past several years, DSL has worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who also regulates vernal pool wetlands; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who regulates rare species; and a diverse group of local stakeholders, including business development representatives, on a coordinated permit process.
Craig Harper, natural resources program manager for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, said stakeholders have invested thousands of hours to craft a regional solution to shorter permitting timelines, more certainty, and better wetland conservation outcomes. "We're anxious for the new regulations to take effect, and are looking forward to working with the agencies on this new approach," he said.
Additional information about the general permit rulemaking is on the Department of State Lands website.
The State Land Board consists of Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon's Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.