Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
February 8th 2024
Reference Bill Number HB4132
Chair Helm and Members of the House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources and Water:
I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, an organization of some 2,000 Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and encourage state action to address it. As rural Oregonians, we live on the frontlines of the warming, reducing snowpack, heatwaves, drought and the increasing wildfire risk that these trends conspire to produce. Because of this, we pay close attention to what is happening in Salem in terms of legislative proposals. While our main goal is to promote mitigation efforts through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the sequestration of carbon via natural climate solutions, we are also concerned to promote adaptation of both human communities and natural systems to the inevitable challenges that global warming and its climate change consequences continue to impose. As terrestrial organisms, we tend to focus our attention on what is happening on land. However, there is no doubt that our oceans are also stressed by the pressures of warming and acidification resulting from our historic and ongoing extraction, processing and combustion of fossil fuels.
Fortunately, in the case of our ocean ecosystems, Oregon boasts a series of marine reserves (ODF&W undated) established to allow us to “study these areas and learn how to best maintain Oregon’s nearshore ocean resources.” As HB4132 states: in 2022 the Ocean Policy Advisory Council offered recommendations for the ongoing management of these reserves through adaptive management that includes “Assessment of the capacity for the marine reserves to enhance ecological resilience to environmental disturbances…” Absent such assessment, the role of the reserves in providing information on “how to best maintain Oregon’s nearshore ocean resources…” will be compromised.
Absent adequate funding to allow this monitoring to be undertaken, the purpose for creating these reserves will be undermined. For this reason, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now strongly urges passage of HB4132 and suggests that increasing the allocation above the $800,000 stated in the bill would be quite warranted . After all, Oregon’s coast and ocean are among our greatest assets.
ODF&W undated. A Deeper Understanding: There’s more beneath the Surface. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. https://oregonmarinereserves.com/
OLIS 2024 House Bill 4132 82nd OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY–2024 Regular Session. Oregon Legislative Information System. https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4132/Introduced