We work with rural communities across Oregon to help people who do not readily have access to the resources needed to interact fully and effectively with the land use system. We litigate cases locally and throughout the appeals process to enforce and uphold that system, craft and promote farm and forest preservation policies, provide technical assistance with land use planning matters, and find creative solutions to support our rural economy.
In coordination with our regional Affiliate Network and our Cooperating Attorney Program, our Rural Lands Attorneys provide pro bono legal resources and representation to rural Oregonians where land use matters are concerned. Often these cases come to us through our Forestry and Agriculture Advisory Committee or our Affiliate Network of regional land use advocacy groups, which serve as our “eyes and ears” on the ground monitoring for cases of irresponsible land use and engaging in the public processes to advocate for smart planning.
In a testament to citizen activism, farmers scored an important victory on the path to stopping a harmful land swap that would bring 163 acres of prime farmland into the Millersburg Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) in exchange for a 167.46-acre tract of industrially zoned land that would be removed from the UGB.
1000 Friends of Oregon, Columbia Riverkeeper, and farmers at Port Westward celebrate the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruling to overturn Columbia County’s approval of a 400-car rail yard for the proposed NEXT refinery at Port Westward.
1000 Friends celebrates an advocacy win in Washington County regarding an ordinance that would have begun planning work for a 3-lane-8-mile-long collector road through productive farmland in SW Washington County.
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently ruled that short-term rentals are not allowed on farm or forest land without a permit. This is a big win for 1000 Friends and a big win for farmers.
Land Use Board of Appeals overturned Columbia County’s effort to rezone 837 acres of high-value farmland in the midst of prime salmon habitat. The decision affirms community sentiment from farmers, business owners, and people that live along the rail lines to the site.
Applicants wanted the Polk County Commissioners to rezone over 200 acres of farmland from Exclusive Farm Use to zoning that would allow small-acre residential developments. The decision will protect agricultural land from fragmentation into small-acre residential development.