I grew up on a farm outside of Terrebonne, in Central Oregon, and I will live and die there. I plan to care for my parents so they can live out their days in the log house they built. I will be the next steward of that land, bringing along the fourth and fifth generations of that place. My neighbor, Rex Barber of Big Falls Ranch, has made a Measure 37 claim to subdivide his farm, sell out and cut it to bits, thus changing our small farming community forever. And he is not the only one. There are several other claims in Lower Bridge.
As a voter, I was led to believe that Measure 37 would compensate a few people who could not provide a home site for their kids or were denied a building permit for a parcel that they bought years ago with the hope of retiring there. But the people making Measure 37 claims are using it as a vehicle to subdivide older family farms into housing developments and destination resorts.
As an Oregonian, no matter where you live in this great state, you are seeing or will see the effects of Measure 37. The subdivision of our entire state is imminent. Our plan by default is sprawl, but we should not accept the default. Our responsibility did not end with the unfortunate passing of Measure 37. This is a call to action, and it requires your vigilance.
Ask yourself what you thought Measure 37 meant. Did you think it would be the subdivision of Oregon? Is it okay to make a claim and then sell out? Where do the sell-outs go? What will they leave us with? As an active citizen, you can help to prevent the wholesale sellout of our farms and ranches. Protect your voice by writing to the county commissioner and state administrator about Measure 37 claims in your neighborhood. You can find claims in your area on your county's website under M37 claims. If you don't write before a hearing, you will lose your chance to say something. Be at the hearings where the future of your neighborhood will be decided. Let your representative know how you feel.