Our Focus: Protecting Productive Landscapes, Fostering Great Communities
“Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say, ‘This is my community and it’s my responsibility to make it better.'”
– Tom McCall, former Governor and co-founder of 1000 Friends of Oregon
Working with Oregonians to enhance our quality of life by building livable urban and rural communities, protecting family farms and forests, and conserving natural areas.
If you’ve ever picked fruits or vegetables on Sauvie Island or in the Hood River Valley, experienced the unspoiled majesty of Smith Rock or the dunes at Cannon Beach, or enjoyed one of Oregon’s world famous wines, then you’ve personally experienced the benefits that land use planning has brought to Oregon. If not for land use planning, many of Oregon’s most productive and beautiful rural areas would be overrun by sprawl.
Or if you’ve ever enjoyed a day walking and shopping in a thriving downtown or business district in any of Oregon’s communities–from Eugene and Portland to Bend, La Grande and Ashland–you’ve seen what the land use system can do for our cities and towns, too.
The passage of Senate Bill 100, which created our innovative land use planning system, was one of Oregon’s great bipartisan political achievements.
As historic as that effort was, Governor Tom McCall understood that, to be successful, Oregon needed a citizen watchdog group to ensure that local decisions reflected the voices of Oregonians and not those of special interests.
So Governor McCall, along with a young lawyer named Henry Richmond, created 1000 Friends of Oregon. Citizens had a new champion to fight for them.
Since 1975, 1000 Friends of Oregon has defended productive Oregon landscapes and the families they support, while promoting the qualities community, economy and environment that have made Oregon such a special place to live.
1000 Friends has been there every step of the way. We’ve been doing it for forty years and we’ll be at it for at least forty more. No other organization does what we do for Oregon.
Our Vision: A Shared State
We believe in an Oregon that is a Shared State. What does that mean? Check out our recent Medium photo essay: The Shared State
Despite the success we have had, there is so much more to do.
Oregon must continue to be a leader in “getting it right”, striking a balance of productivity, livability and beauty. That’s our vision for Oregon, and it drives our work every day. We’re continuing to work for Cool Communities that provide better housing and transportation options, for a land use system that continues supporting healthy rural economies, and for a new generation of land use leaders to carry the legacy of Tom McCall forward into the new century.
We are inspired by the everyday heroes that make their communities better for our children and grandchildren. Whether they were born here or came from elsewhere, Oregonians have a unique connection to the landscape and a desire to protect it. Click here to learn more about the Oregon Stories of some of our supporters from around the state.
One thing we’ve found throughout the years and across the state is that, as Oregonians, what unites us is greater than what divides us. If you agree, please join us and support our work.
1000 Friends of Oregon – 39 Years of Accomplishments
1973 was a watershed year for Oregon. That year, guided by the leadership of Governor Tom McCall, Senator Hector Macpherson and Senator Ted Hallock, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 100, creating an unprecedented system of statewide land use planning that sought to protect Oregon’s productivity, beauty and livability in a time of great change. In the summer of 1974, with Oregon’s land use planning laws barely a year old, a young attorney named Henry Richmond realized that defending this system required an organization with a long-term strategy and commitment to upholding the interests of the Oregon public. Richmond wrote to Governor McCall and made his case for such a “watchdog” organization. McCall was impressed and signed on as chair of the organization’s Advisory Board. With McCall’s support, Richmond set out to find supporters who shared his commitment to Oregon’s future. He hit upon a novel idea: find 1000 donors who would pledge $100 per year to support the fledgling organization. “1000 Friends of Oregon” was born.
On January 8, 1975, in one of his last press conferences in office, Governor McCall made a formal announcement that the organization had been created. 1000 Friends was on its way. Since that time, no other Oregon organization has worked as comprehensively statewide to defend the purpose and potential of the Oregon land use system: to create livable communities, protect family farms and forests, and conserve the natural and scenic areas that make Oregon such an extraordinary place to live.
Ever since our founding, 1000 Friends has been working tirelessly for Oregon landscapes and communities for nearly four decades, working with residents, businesses, and our affiliate organizations statewide. Here is a partial list of our achievements:
1975 — 1000 Friends’ first victory; protection of 12,000 acres of farmland on Sauvie Island via exclusive farm use (EFU) zoning.
1976 — Ballot Measure 10 to repeal land use laws is defeated: 57% to 43%.
1977 — 1000 Friends wins first Oregon Supreme Court case applying SB 100, affirming that state land use goals apply to individual decisions (Petersen v. Klamath Falls).
1978 — 1000 Friends settles case with agreement that protects Cannon Beach dunes from resort development.
Ballot Measure 10, a plan to weaken LCDC, is defeated: 61% to 39%.
1982 — Ballot Measure 6, a 3rd repeal effort, loses by 55% to 43%, thanks to opposition by Tom McCall, business leaders (Tektronix, Hewlett Packard, Omark), & Metro Home Builders.
1983 — Court of Appeals reverses LCDC approval of Salem and Marion County plans, sustaining 1000 Friends’ objections about sprawl and lack of protection for rural lands.
1986 — 1000 Friends unveils “Map of Shame” showing large amounts of rural lands in the Willamette Valley are zoned for sprawl.
Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Curry County case affirms that urban uses are not allowed in rural areas; protects 4,000 acres of lily fields and estuary land.
1988 — Oregon Supreme Court rejects Lane County plan provisions as inadequate to protect farmland and forest land; upholds 1000 Friends’ interpretation of forest land conservation goal.
1989 — 1000 Friends’ Cooperating Attorney Program (CAP) handles 100th case; more than three-quarters have been successful.
1990 — 1000 Friends and Portland Home Builders study: Planning has helped keep housing prices in Portland area more affordable than other West Coast cities.
1000 Friends wins Renew America award for land conservation.
1991 — 500-unit resort at Mt. Hood Meadows put on hold, thanks to 1000 Friends’ appeal.
1992 — 1000 Friends’ victories at the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) protect Wallowa Lake and Smith Rock from incompatible development.
1000 Friends begins Land Use, Transportation, Air Quality (LUTRAQ) study of alternatives to Western Bypass freeway.
1994 — “Pedestrian Environment” research report from 1000 Friends quantifies how better urban street design can increase pedestrian activity.
Coalition for a Livable Future co-founded by 1000 Friends, Audubon Society, Urban League and others.
1000 Friends defeats proposed subdivision on north moraine of Wallowa Lake.
ODOT adopts “LUTRAQ Alternative” in Western Bypass Environmental Impact Statement, killing the project.
1996 — 1000 Friends’ LUTRAQ study wins American Planning Association’s highest award.
1998 — 1000 Friends receives Olmsted Medal from American Society of Landscape Architects.
1999 — 1000 Friends begins Willamette Valley Alternative Futures Project, comparing potential cost of services and loss of resource lands in three scenarios for the valley’s future.
2002 — Following strong advocacy in the Oregon Legislature and the courts by 1000 Friends, the Oregon Supreme Court invalidates Measure 7, passed in 2000, which would have required “compensation” for reductions in property values from land use regulation.
2006– 1000 Friends begins Envision Oregon project. Holds 6 town halls that attract 1000 participants.
Measure 37 claims swell to 7,500, affecting 750,000 acres.
1000 Friends ends the year with a call for legislation limiting Measure 37.
2007 — Legislature develops Measure 49, modifying Measure 37, refers it to voters.
1000 Friends helps establish Yes on 49 campaign, raises funds, loans staff.
1000 Friends conducts Envision Oregon, Round 2: 12 town halls, another 1000 participants. Learn more about Envision Oregon here.
Oregon voters approve Measure 49, 62% to 38%, passes in 22 of 36 counties. The worst effects of Measure 37 are repealed.
2008 — 1000 Friends issues the Blueprint for Oregon’s Future, a visionary document calling for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through smarter land use and transportation planning, as well as other recommendations to improve Oregon’s livability and protect its working landscapes. Learn more and download the Blueprint here.
2009 — Legislature passes bill that prohibits destination resorts in the Metolius River Basin. 1000 Friends is part of the coalition that successfully fought for the bill’s passage.
2010 — 1000 Friends plays crucial role in passage of Senate Bill 1059, which helps link land use and transportation planning in Oregon’s largest cities.
1000 Friends announces 35 Oregon Innovators under 35 years of age. Learn more here.
Jason Miner becomes the fourth Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon.
2011 — 1000 Friends launches New Face of Farming initiative.
2012 — 1000 Friends launches the Land Use Leadership Initiative to connect the state’s emerging land use leaders with the pioneers and innovators who made our system possible.
The Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving plan is finalized and approved by Jackson County, six cities and the state. 1000 Friends’ Southern Oregon Advocate played a critical role in shepherding the process over ten years–and the result is an unprecedented vision for managing future growth and protecting important farmland in the Medford area.
2013 — 1000 Friends marks 40 years of Oregon’s statewide land use planning program with the Land Use Trail, highlighting forty exceptional places around the state.
1000 Friends holds a second year of our Land Use Leadership Initiative.
1000 Friends publishes two important reports: More Extensive Is More Expensive, documenting the fiscal risks of sprawl and promoting a more responsible approach to planning development; and Great & Growing, exploring the considerable impact of Oregon’s far-reaching agricultural industry and land use planning’s role in protecting it.
2014 — 1000 Friends releases CRC Facts, a report chronicling the serious risks of an Oregon-only Columbia River Crossing. The report and our testimony contributes to the megaproject’s failure in the 2014 Oregon legislature, saving the state from huge risks to its finances and health.
1000 Friends succeeds in our appeals of an overreaching urban growth boundary expansion in the City of Woodburn and an erroneous urban and rural reserves proposal in Washington County. Both victories save hundreds and even thousands of acres of good farmland from costly sprawl.
We’re committed to defending the vision and pursuing the full potential of land use planning in Oregon: for thriving family farms and forests, healthy towns and neighborhoods, and a sustainable economy for future generations. It’s a vision of balance and beauty–the core foundations of the pioneering spirit that’s made Oregon a beacon of livability and innovation for the nation and world. That’s what we do for Oregon.