Hog/Chicken Slaughter Farm Hearing: Report

The Hearing seemed to go well for “Don’t Uproot Ashland” folks. There were over 100 people who showed up in opposition to the slaughter farm. Many more weren’t able to make it because of work. But the auditorium was full with many standing in the back and sides of the room. There were five or six in support of Uproot Meats including the two applicants.

Ashland residents and neighbors and concerned citizen presented a great deal of evidence supporting their claims. “Don’t Uproot Ashland’s” lawyer, Tonia Moro, showed how the County Planner’s actions so far have been lacking and over twenty additional conditions were presented that must be met to ensure public health and safety. A lengthy list of permits that are required was also provided. The applicant has no active permits at this time and has past violations of moving ahead without required permits.

The appellant opened an opposing argument to the land use plan with a visual slide presentation showing the destruction Uproot Meats has caused to the landscape in the two years they’ve been here. GIS maps showing areas of great concern, including steepness of slope, lack of developed access to the subject property without going through the middle of two other properties, inability for fire fighting equipment to gain access to the parcel, erosion and expansive soils caused by extensive excavation which is causing very costly damage to properties below, and the location of the TID irrigation canal and connected natural waterways with critical salmon and steelhead habitat were presented with documentation and visuals. The appellant community was very organized and focused, presenting well-researched and well-substantiated evidence-based statements.

Those in support of Uproot talked about being meat eaters and liking bacon but did not address land use laws upon which the hearing was focused. they mentioned that sustainability is their goal. The comments from “Don’t Uproot Ashland” representatives were well researched about pig and chicken farming and slaughtering in the short time that they’ve been made aware of the proposal than were the Uproot Meats folks were. “Don’t Uproot Ashland” had many members who brought expertise and experience to the discussion with backgrounds or careers in planning, geographic information systems, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, public health, farming, environmental science, and other related fields. Their simple message to the owners of the slaughter farm is “You can farm, but do no harm.”

Ashland has a wealth of knowledgeable and talented people who are joining in a common cause that is “Don’t Uproot Ashland!”

Denise Krause, “Don’t Uproot Ashland”