(1) The Legislative Assembly finds that many valuable natural heritage resources are represented in natural areas that can be protected through the voluntary cooperation of private landowners and public land managers. These areas will comprise a discrete and limited system of natural areas that are selected to represent the full range of Oregon’s natural heritage resources. These areas shall have substantially retained their natural character, or, if altered in character, shall in addition to their natural heritage resource values be valuable as habitat for plant and animal species or for the study and appreciation of the natural features. As such they will be living museums for scientific research, educational purposes and nature interpretation.
(2) The Legislative Assembly also finds that it is necessary to establish a process and means for public and private sector cooperation in the development of this system of state natural areas. Private landowners and public land managers should be encouraged to voluntarily participate in the program through conservation activities that benefit all Oregonians.
(3) In order to ensure that activities related to natural heritage resources cause the minimum of conflict with other resource uses and that they are cost effective, the Legislative Assembly finds that the State Parks and Recreation Department should provide a specific framework for decision making related to natural heritage resources through a classification and planning process known as the Natural Areas Program. Future state natural areas should avoid unnecessary duplication of already protected natural heritage resources. Each decision should address alternative methods of accomplishing the same purpose and should consider cost effectiveness.
(4) The Legislative Assembly recognizes that there is a need for systematic, accessible information concerning the locations of the resources of Oregon’s natural areas, including special plant and animal species, native terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems and geologic features, and especially including the natural areas already protected that contain these resources. [1979 c.711 §2; 1983 c.786 §3; 2009 c.217 §2; 2011 c.319 §11]
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.