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Natural Resources

​​​​Land use in Oregon

For 50​ years, Oregon has maintained a strong policy to protect farmland. This policy was adopted by the state legislature in 1973:

  • Open land used for agriculture is a vital natural and economic asset for all the people of the state.
  • Preservation of a maximum amount of agricultural land, in large blocks, is necessary to maintain the agricultural economy of the state and for the assurance of adequate, healthful, and nutritious food.
  • Expansion of urban development in rural areas is a public concern because of the conflicts between farm and urban activities.
  • Incentives and privileges are justified to owners of land in exclusive farm use zones because such zoning substantially limits alternatives to the use of rural lands (ORS 215.243).
Oregon's Statewide Planning Program has carried out the policy over the years and has effectively slowed the loss of farmland in Oregon.

Right to farm

Legislation adopted in 1993 and updated in 1995 and 2001, declares farm and forest practices as critical to the welfare of the Oregon economy, and establishes a right to farm law. This law protects growers from court decisions based on customary noises, smells, dust, or other nuisances associated with farming. It also limits local governments, and special districts from administratively declaring certain farm and forest products to be nuisances or trespasses (ORS 30.930).​

 ​​Land use resources

How Oregon's land-use system helps agriculture

Background about Oregon's land-use system

Oregon's Right to Farm Law

Right to Farm Law information

ORS 215: Agricultural Land Use

ORS 215: Agricultural Land Use

ORS 30: Farming and Forest Practices

ORS 30: Farming and Forest Practices

Standards for bird control in vineyards

Best practices for bird control in vineyards

USDA Coexistence Factsheets

A list of factsheets that define agricultural coexistence. USDA Coexistence



Jim Johnson
Land Use & Water Planning Coordinator
Phone: 503-986-4706