Persevering all year long!

This has been a busy, but quieter year for the Protect Grand Island Farms community.

After the hard work of preparing for several public hearings last year, we had a few months of waiting before the Yamhill County Commissioners met to discuss and vote on the pending gravel quarry this spring.

At that meeting, the commissioners decided to break the vote into two parts, both legal elements for the zone change. First they voted on whether the site represents a “significant” resource of aggregate (the second vote is pending). They voted two-to-one yes, which is in the quarries favor.

Our next step then was to appeal this decision to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). This summer, our lawyer made our case before LUBA and we once again waited until last week, when they released their verdict. Unfortunately, they upheld the county’s decision.

This was a disappointment, but it’s by no means the end of the story. We’re regrouping now to plan for the next steps and will be holding a community meeting soon to gather ideas and energy from everyone who cares to protect Grand Island!

On a related note, our legal team, CRAG Law Center, is celebrating their tenth anniversary next month! Congratulations to CRAG! If you are interested in protecting important land and natural resources across the Northwest, check out CRAG’s work and please consider becoming a supporter. We have been grateful for all the work they have done for us so far and look forward to more in the future as we continue to work on protecting Grand Island!

You can also continue to support our cause directly by donating to our own non-profit (see sidebar for details).

Finally, it’s the end of the harvest season here on the island. The season started out slow, with much lower than average temperatures. But by mid-summer the view on the island was as bountiful as ever, and over the last few weeks we’ve watched as farmers have worked all hours harvesting corn, green beans, dairy silage, fresh vegetables, fruit, and more. We live in a beautiful place.

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Next Protect Grand Island meeting Wed Jan 12

After a break for the holidays, our next meeting will be 7 pm, Wednesday, January 12 at the Unionvale Community Church. We’ll be discussing the next steps for our group, including fundraising ideas and other future projects!

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Commissioner meeting Jan 6

The rock company will be offering their rebuttal testimony at the next Yamhill County Commissioner meeting, Thursday, January 6 at 10 am in the Yamhill County Courthouse basement meeting room. We won’t be able to speak again on the issue, but it will be interesting to hear the rebuttal, and it will be great to have Grand Island fans in the audience. See you there!

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Public hearing continues 10 am, Dec 2!

Well, folks — so many people showed up at the first round of the pubic hearing that we didn’t finish … even after eight hours! So, the Yamhill County Commissioners have graciously allowed the issue to spill over into their upcoming regularly scheduled meeting time, Thursday, December 2, beginning at 10 am (in the basement of the Yamhill County Courthouse).

This time, testimony will begin with the opposition! See you there!

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Candidate forum — Tuesday, Sept 28

Tuesday, September 28th
McMinnville Community Center, Room 103
House District 24

We hope that you can join your neighbors in a public Food and Farm Forum next Tuesday from 6-8:30pm at the McMinnville Community Center (600 NE Evans St., Room 103). There will be a meet and greet followed by a panel with Representative Jim Weidner and Susan Sokol Blosser, both candidates for House District 24. This is an opportunity to discuss food and agriculture issues with the candidates to highlight for them your concerns and thoughts, and to hear from the candidates where they stand on these issues (including Grand Island!). Free and open to the public! Sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers, Slow Food Yamhill, OSALT.

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Hearing date rescheduled to Nov. 10!

The hearing in front of the Yamhill County Commissioners has been rescheduled and moved! Here’s the new info:

1 pm, Wednesday, November 10
McMinnville Community Center
600 NE Evans St, McMinnville, OR 97128

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Grand Island poems, cheers & slogans!

Tom Haire of Portland contributed these verses/slogans on the topic of Grand Island and our quarry fight. Enjoy!

sand, gravel and
crushed rock
they’ll do it right
it’s all
just talk

i like farms and
i like dirt
all that mining
sure will hurt

we need farms
and we need food
all that mining
is wrong
and rude

yamhill folks
don’t be no fool
don’t let them ruin
this little jewel

big birds nest
on every pole
not when it’s near
a mined out hole

how many trucks
will that bridge handle
GRAND ISLAND mining
is such a scandal

apples, peaches, pears
and plums
do not allow
those mining bums

jack be nimble jack be quick
GRAND ISLAND mining
makes me sick

peace and quiet
will be gone
once that mining noise
is on

Gravel pits
Aren’t as tasty
As fresh peach pits
Don’t be hasty!
Save Grand Island

Fertile farmland
Beautiful views
Don’t farm gravel
It’s bad news!
Save Grand Island

Yamhill County Commissioners
Listened to their constituents
Unlike most politician-ers
What a novel concept!
Save Grand Island!

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