Oregon makes the list of endangered states

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — With all of Oregon placed atop a list of the 10 most endangered scenic places in America, environmentalists warned that a land-use law approved by voters last year could continue to mar the landscape.

The endangered list, released Thursday by Scenic America, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation group, categorized the whole state as endangered, but singled out fast-growing central Oregon and Wallowa Lake in northeastern Oregon.

Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties boast some of the "state’s most beautiful landscapes," while Wallowa Lake is thought to be the "best-preserved glacial moraine lake in North America," according to the list.

"Our state has received this ‘honor’ primarily due to the passage of Measure 7," said Randy Tucker of the conservation watchdog group 1,000 Friends of Oregon at a rain-spattered news conference Thursday overlooking Portland.

The measure, on appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, requires governments to pay property owners if laws or regulations reduce property values.

Tucker said if the measure is upheld by the court and goes into effect, "the damage to the distinctive landscapes that make up our state will be serious and irreversible."

Other similarly damaging initiatives have been filed for next year’s election, he said.

"We’re not just talking about natural landscapes like Smith Rock and the Oregon coast," he said. "We’re also talking about urban landscapes."

Scenic America said more than half of all new housing permits in fast-growing Deschutes County already are authorized in areas outside designated urban growth boundaries.

Beth Burczak, president of the League of Women Voters of Oregon, said the fallout from Measure 7 could go beyond landscapes. Social and health programs covered by the state would be "pre-empted by the billions of dollars for individual compensation payments under Measure 7," she said.

The measure would "have a chilling effect on any public efforts to protect our neighborhoods, our environment and our quality of life," she said.

State Rep. Earl Blumenauer said he was not happy about accepting the nomination to the list. The Oregon Democrat helped pass the original land protection act in the Legislature in 1985 and is concerned about Measure 7.

"It would require the public to pay people to observe our land-use laws," Blumenauer said. If the state can’t afford it, the law can be broken, he said.

Scenic America also listed the District of Columbia; the marsh islands of coastal Georgia; Red Rocks scenic road in Sedona, Ariz.; Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island; Coyote Valley, San Jose, Calif.; the St. Croix Valley Scenic Corridor of Minnesota and Wisconsin; the Harpeth River Valley, Tennessee; Virginia’s Lynville Mountain Landscape; and the Woodbury Watershed Forest in Baltimore.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

911 received multiple calls reporting a fire at Marie Anne Terrace apartments early Monday morning, Feb. 6, 2023 in Everett, Washington. There were no injuries or fatalities. (Everett Fire Department)
Fire damages Everett apartments, displaces 10

The fire at the Marie Anne Terrace apartments Monday night displaced four families and caused extensive property damage.

A rack with cards bettors can use to choose their own numbers to purchase lottery ticket on a counter at a market. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Been to Auburn lately? That’s where $754M Powerball ticket was sold

This is only the second time a Powerball jackpot has been won in Washington.

Granite Falls
Man shot near Granite Falls; assailants at large

Two suspects fled after shooting a 33-year-old man in a motorhome Tuesday morning, according to police.

Photo by David Welton
A federal grant will help pay for the cost of adding a charging station to the Clinton ferry terminal.
Federal money to help electrify Clinton ferry dock

The Federal Transit Administration awarded state ferries a $4.9 million grant to help electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

Exterior of Arlington high school (Arlington High School)
Marysville schools employee accused of raping Arlington High girl

Police said Christopher Carpenter sexually assaulted a teenager he was training while working at the Boys and Girls Club.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democratic Latinos form a caucus, hospital staffing bill clears a hurdle

It’s Day 31. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Most Read