10 results for author: Karen Lewotsky

Oregon Sets New Goals for Carbon Sequestration

Natural and Working Lands Proposal Healthy forests, waters, and agricultural lands are vital to Oregon’s economy, culture, and way of life. These natural and working lands often come to mind as vital resources in need of protection from climate impacts, but they are also an essential part of the climate solution. The science is clear: in order to avoid climate catastrophe, we must radically transform the way we use our land — from how we grow our food to how we manage our forests. Recognizing this need, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Global Warming Commission to work in concert with our state natural resource agencies to develop and ...

Road-trips, Representatives and Adventures in Eastern Oregon

Summer is road-trip time, and recently, OEC staff Karen Lewotsky (Water Policy and Rural Partnerships Director) and Morgan Gratz-Weiser (Legislative Director) headed southeast across Oregon to Crane, with stops along the way in Tumalo and Prineville. Why Crane? The gathering in Crane was organized by leading legislators and partner organizations Verde, Willamette Partnership and others, to celebrate recent state investment in water and water infrastructure. The celebration kicked off with a virtual Zoom event the preceding week, and culminated with a tour of Harney basin groundwater resources, on-farm water use-efficiency practices and a BBQ ...

Using Soil to Slow Climate Change

The economic demands on farmers and ranchers to maximize production on their land can inadvertently lead to damaging the soil. Unhealthy soil stores less carbon and depends on an increased use of chemicals and fertilizers which in turn can increase pollution and loss of soil to erosion. The good news is that the stewardship and determination of today’s agricultural producers can help solve these problems. And, under the 2020 Oregon Climate Action Plan, there is an opportunity right now to set ambitious new goals to address soil health and combat climate change.   Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration Soil health is a term used to describe a ...

A Natural Vision for Water Part 3: Advancing Health and Environmental Justice

Inclusive natural infrastructure planning can advance health, justice, and community power. But how do we get there?

A Natural Vision for Water Part 2: Co-Benefits of Natural Infrastructure

In collaboration with Willamette Partnership and the Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies, OEC recently published a report demonstrating the benefits and opportunities associated with investing our state’s water infrastructure dollars in nature-based solutions. This post is the second of a four part series on the benefits and opportunities of natural infrastructure. OEC, Willamette Partnership, and our partners are working to shift policy to prioritize natural infrastructure solutions in community projects around the state. Read our full Natural Infrastructure in Oregon report to learn more.  Natural infrastructure is an approach ...

A Natural Vision for Water Part 1 – Common Natural Infrastructure Challenges, Opportunities for Action, and Case Studies

A new report from Oregon Environmental Council and Willamette Partnership demonstrates the opportunity to invest in natural infrastructure as a solution to Oregon’s infrastructure challenges.

2021 Water Outlook

OEC’s water program sets its eyes on natural infrastructure and water justice in 2021

Let’s wipe out a costly foible in the bathroom

Disposable wipes can seriously jam up your sewage system, and not only is the repair costly, but what greets as the plumbers pull out the mess, is just yuck.

More with less: How irrigation modernization makes life better for fish, farms and families

Many of Oregon’s highly productive croplands are irrigated, and in areas like the rolling wheat lands of northeastern Oregon, farmers rely on rainfall to water their crops. We are used to seeing huge sprinkler systems mounted on wheels moving slowly across a field as they deliver water to thirsty plants. (In some places, we don’t see sprinklers because the farmer is using drip irrigation, but the crops are being watered nonetheless.) When we hear about irrigated agriculture using 80% of Oregon’s water, it’s those sprinklers we commonly think of. Less often do we consider how the water gets from the river to the sprinklers. ...

Rural Partnerships Initiative

For many Oregonians, rural Oregon is a mostly pretty place they travel through on their way to somewhere else. Portlanders heading southeast to Bend/Redmond for a ski weekend, folks from Eugene heading northwest for the annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, and birders from the Ashland/Medford area heading east to Malheur Wildlife Refuge for the spring songbird migration pass through farm fields, rangelands, privately owned timber lands and rural communities. We all enjoy the scenery, but rural Oregon is much more than scenery to the twenty percent plus of Oregonians who live and work there, scattered in small communities across the landscape. Of ...