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Volunteers Monitor Douglas County Land Use

Douglas County volunteers formed an organization named Sane Orderly Development and registered it with the Oregon Secretary of State as a non-profit corporation in 1987.  Known by its acronym, SOD, its purpose is to compare proposed local land-use changes and decisions with Oregon’s state land-use goals.  It makes its findings known to residents and public officials.

Over the years, SOD has focused on several proposals, including a rock quarry near Glide; a site for a sewer plant for an expected housing development near Roseburg; a zoning change to encourage lenders to offer home improvement loans in Roseburg’s historic neighborhood, and the dynamics of interfacing lands merged into a larger municipality like Tri-City.

SOD has an informal relationship with the organization 1,000 Friends of Oregon, which supports the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission. The commission has defined 19 statewide goals, including retaining farm land for farming, forest land for forestry and wild lands for wildlife.

SOD leaders share the organization’s bylaws and its volunteers’ experiences working with local and state decision makers, accessing research information, collecting new information, and gaining citizen representation on public land use advisory bodies.

 

Sources: Mull, Bill, former SOD president and Tom Hawksworth, current SOD president. Interview with author. 15 July 2015.

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Dr. James S. Long was an As It Was contributor until his passing in January of 2016. He met editor Kernan Turner when Kernan spoke to the Roseburg writers’ club about contributing to JPR's As Is Was series. His contributions to As It Was ranged from a story about the recovery of whitetail deer at the old Dunning Ranch to the story of Nick Botner’s private orchard near Yoncalla created to preserve over 3,000 heritage apple varieties.