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Budget committee rejects attempt to keep Leaburg Hatchery open

Leaburg Hatchery
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
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Leaburg Hatchery

The fate of the Leaburg Fish Hatchery in eastern Lane County is one step closer to being sealed. A budget subcommittee at the Oregon legislature rejected an amendment Tuesday aimed at keeping the facility open past the end of June.

Sen. Kathleen Taylor, D-Milwaukie, co-chairs the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources. She told a hearing room full of supporters who had gathered to watch the vote that the proposal by Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Roseburg, to keep the hatchery open would fail.

Leaburg Hatchery
Credit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
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Leaburg Hatchery

But she said lawmakers will continue to look for a funding solution to keep the hatchery open past the end of June. “Unfortunately, right now, today at this moment, we do not have it," Taylor said. "There isn’t a for-certain source of funding for the hatchery.”

The Leaburg Hatchery, along the McKenzie River east of Springfield, operated for years under a federal contract. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ended that contract last year. That means the state would have to use its own money to keep it open. 

Supporters of keeping it open say it's an economic lifeline for eastern Lane County.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

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Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”