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PNS Daily Newscast - December 13, 2018 


Trump 'fixer' Michael Cohen gets three years, and Trump calls him a liar. Also on the Thursday rundown: Higher smoking rates cause some states to fall in health rankings; and the Farm Bill helps wilderness areas.

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Ore. Brewers Call for Protection of Public Lands

The Oregon Wildlands Act would add 250 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers protections to the state. (Bob Wick/U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
The Oregon Wildlands Act would add 250 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers protections to the state. (Bob Wick/U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
December 4, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. — More than 50 Oregon brewers say protecting the state's public lands and watersheds keeps craft beer flowing. They're asking Congress to pass new protections before the session runs out.

Oregon brewers delivered a letter to some members of the state's Congressional delegation on Monday, urging them to pass the Oregon Wildlands Act, which includes safeguards for Devil's Staircase, parts of the Rogue River and other landscapes. Base Camp Brewing Company general manager Ross Putnam said securing clean water is vital to brewers across Oregon.

"Wild public lands are important to us because we need clean water to produce good, clean beer,” Putnam said. “And we feel this is not only an important but really just focal point of what we do as a business."

The Oregon Wildlands Act would designate roughly 200,000 acres as wilderness or recreation areas and add 250 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers protections.

Like outdoor recreation, the brewing industry is a big part of Oregon's economy. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, the industry supports more than 30,000 jobs and contributes more than $2.8 million to the state's economy each year.

Michael LaLonde is president and CEO of Deschutes Brewery in Bend. He said being outdoors is a big reason why people come to central Oregon. He said hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and other activities are an important part of the culture at Deschutes.

"And it's always been a big part of the fan base that visits central Oregon. They go to all the breweries and they go out on the trails and have a great time,” LaLonde said. “So protecting that wilderness space is extremely important for our business and just what we like to do as a team here."

Public lands advocates are pushing for lawmakers to add protections before the 116th Congress is sworn in on January 3.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR