Letters to the editor
I am saddened and angered by treatment of Dr. Sproat
I'm sad and I'm mad. I can't believe Dr. Sproat has been treated so badly for just trying to run his own life. His "letter" was heart rendering and so nice. I hope this "problem" can come to a different end and we won't lose a respected doctor and person.
Hemp extraction facility not a good fit for neighborhood
The permit does not acknowledge that growing hemp and processing hemp on farm ground are distinctly separate activities.
Opponents of alcohol extraction of industrial hemp on Powell Butte's Cornett Loop are strong agricultural supporters, but they also understand the simple concept that industrial processes should be performed in areas zoned and approved for such work.
By any honest measure that would be considered common sense. Neighbors' arguments to preserve local farm integrity, however, were rebuffed by county authorities.
Nearby industrial areas with essential infrastructure, including access to state highways to handle large trucks and a workforce that wouldn't have to commute, already exist in Crook County and in the city of Prineville. Other than a profit drain to absentees, there is no reason to degrade established Exclusive Farm Use properties when better options are obviously available.
The permit allows extractors to import hemp from anywhere in the state of Oregon because the whole state is considered "local." As the hemp biomass markets continue to implode, the incentives for real farmers rapidly disappear.
As is often the case in shrinking markets, the rush will be on to consolidate and aggregate industrial capacity. That is all the more motivation to keep these industrial activities out of farm neighborhoods. If "hubs" of hemp extraction will develop, especially when using alcohol methods, they need to be in the proper zones — definitely not on the farm.
But the permit has been granted to the absentee investors. Ironically, the effect will be to damage the image of Crook County as a proud agricultural home that is so highly valued by residents. Now the risk is that more farm residents will be threatened by industrial encroachment.
The decision is being appealed and support is growing. If not reversed, your share of Crook County could be next.
Steve and Bev Oberg
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