Ron Gets Wildfires Briefing, Also Tours Portland Mercado

The calendar may still say winter, but Ron  heard troubling news last week in Medford and Eugene, where he was briefed about the potential wildfire season that could loom ahead for Oregon this spring and summer.

The March 5th briefings presented by the federal Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service highlighted  that conditions in southern Oregon have not been this dry for 25 years, and that the snowpack outside Eugene is only about 10 percent of normal.

Both statistics, Ron  said, spotlight how dire wildfire conditions could be in Oregon during the months ahead, and demonstrate the importance of the wildfire funding legislation he is co-sponsoring with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). That legislation would boost funding for fire prevention and treat the largest wildfires as natural disasters.

In Medford Ron praised the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project as a collaborative model that well deserved the $2.2 million in federal funding he and fellow Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley worked to secure for the project. The economy and the environment in the Ashland area will both benefit from the forest thinning project..

Ron also  had the distinct privilege of touring the Portland Mercado, the city’s first Latino public market, before its opening April 1! The indoor-outdoor market, which Ron  strongly supported, will have food carts and retail space for 15-20 new start-up businesses in Portland’s Lents neighborhood.  It also features Micro Mercantes, an affordable commercial kitchen that will help emerging entrepreneurs translate their visions into viable enterprises.  The Mercado promises to enrich our community through its offerings of exceptional Latin American food, art, music and culture.

“The Portland Mercado is something with very good taste,” he said, “in terms of its location and in the wonderful products it will offer the community and the entire state.”