The following problem statement was developed by the Regional Partners--Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine Counties--to provide them with a collective frame of reference for this Project:
Rural lifestyle is an integral part of the fabric of Oregon. Counties have been struggling for years within the structure of Oregon's laws to provide for rural development opportunities. The broad scope and definition of farm and forest lands, together with the lack of Statewide Planning Program recognition of rural development, has created a regulatory environment that has constrained a rural lifestyle. An examination of farm and forest lands, recognizing that non-resource areas exist in southern Oregon, may provide an opportunity to address this issue. Any refinement of the scope of the definitions of farm and forest land will continue to focus on protection and conservation of higher value resource areas.
This concept, if endorsed, will help serve as guidance for the pilot program activity, work plan, data focus, and petition. It is designed to provide a unified focus for Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine Counties on this Project.