September 16, 2020

Wyden's Legislation to Boost Economic Development in Malheur County Gets Hearing

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to hit rural economies, the Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee (CEO) Act would support jobs, recreation economy and local ranchers in Malheur County

Washington, D.C. – A key Senate subcommittee today held a hearing on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's legislation to provide Malheur County with several economic development opportunities by maintaining and improving rangeland to support local ranchers and protecting the Owyhee River Canyonlands and surrounding public lands for recreation and wildlife habitat.

"This bill is extraordinarily important to rural Oregon and Malheur County, where the Owyhee flows and attracts thousands of visitors each year," Wyden said during the hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining. "The bill is about two things -- it's about preserving ranching and the ag way of life as an economic engine, and also protecting the absolutely gorgeous places that are part of this region."

A full clip of Wyden's remarks in Committee can be found here.

Wyden introduced the Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee (CEO) Act in November 2019 after after several months of consultation led by Wyden with local ranchers, environmental groups, local and state universities, accompanied by technical assistance from numerous federal and state agencies. The legislation aims to conserve, restore, protect and manage the federal land in Malheur County through the collaboration of all these stakeholders.

More information on the legislation can be found here.