rotating pear bartlet/ anjou/ bosc


Sustain Agriculture

Agriculture and related food processing businesses are two of the principal industries of Hood River County. The primary natural resource is the fertile farm land of the Hood River Valley, an area including more than 14,000 acres of commercial apple, cherry, pear and peach orchards. Along with other agriculture, orchard crops, provide much of the county's economic base.More than 30% of the United States' winter pears are grown here, as are over 11% of the nation's Bartlett pears.

In addition to providing over 40% of personal income in Hood River County, agriculture provides a life style and values esteemed by many residents. Hood River farms and ranches tend to be family-oriented, often showing generations of family ownership. These small farms and ranches contribute to the sense of community in the Valley.

At Issue...

During the public hearings of January, 2003, Meadows North LLC consistently belittled the importance and value of agriculture to the valley, downplaying one of the stated goals of the state land use plan, to protect agriculture.

Goal 8 of the state land use planning guidelines lay out a framework of conditions which must be met in order for a destination resort to be eligible for siting in an area where it would otherwise prohibited. Some of these conditions are cut-and-dried, but other conditions are not so clearly defined. Definitions are important because they determine how eligibility maps are drawn.

There are a number of errors, assumptions and mis-calculations in the current mapping process, but one of the most obvious concerns the way the farms in the valley were counted. The folks doing the mapping inadvertently counted FIELDS as farms. This is a problem, as farms don't even enter into the equation if they are less than 20 acres. Many farmers in the valley don't have consolidated holdings; a FIELD that is 15 acres, and a FIELD that is 17 acres, and a FIELD that is 8 acres many all be part of one farm. Under the current map, that farm would not be counted, because none of the fields was individually large enough to count. There are over 100 farms in the valley that were left off of the agricultural survey because of this error.

Additionally, farm value and crops were not computed properly, further skewing the boundaries of the area determined to be eligible for resort siting.

1 Columbia Gorge Economic Development Association:,visited 7/15/2003.

updated: 12/2010

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