Environment and Land Use


Introduction


This page presents summary points related to the environment and land use from the 2023 Oregon Values & Beliefs Typology Study.  The summary draws from a scientifically conducted public opinion survey completed in the fall of 2023. 

The survey’s full sample size was N=3,414 which is sufficient to assess Oregonians’ values and beliefs generally, to learn how Oregonians feel about different planning and policymaking issues, and to review findings by multiple subgroups. 

General Observations – Environment and Land Use


Oregonians value environmental quality including being concerned about the impact of climate change on the state.  Specifically, clean air and water and the state’s natural beauty are among what they most value about living in Oregon and feel are threatened by climate change.  There is majority support for at least the existing level of environmental laws and regulations including urban growth boundaries.

Findings


Q11. A or B?

Response categoryN = 3,414
FEEL STRONGLY: Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy17%37%
LEAN TOWARDS A21%
LEAN TOWARDS B27%63%
FEEL STRONGLY: Stronger environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost36%

Q24. A or B?

Response categoryN = 3,414
FEEL STRONGLY: Climate change requires us to change our way of life, drive less, and live more simply47%76%
LEAN TOWARDS A29%
LEAN TOWARDS B14%24%
FEEL STRONGLY: If climate change becomes a problem, we can deal with it later10%

Q34. When it comes to balancing economic growth and environmental protection, which comes closest to your view of what Oregon should do?

Response categoryn = 2,545
Relax environmental protection regulations to make it easier for companies to do business15%
Maintain a quality environment to attract people and companies in Oregon52%
Increase environmental protection regulations and discourage more people from moving to Oregon23%
Other [open] [See verbatims document]10%

Q35. Thinking only about land-use planning, which is your preferred choice for addressing housing costs in Oregon?

Response categoryn = 2,545
Relax land use planning regulations and urban growth boundaries to open farmland, forest land, and open space for housing development22%
Maintain existing urban growth boundary rules and promote higher density within boundaries to protect forests, farmlands, and open space47%
Strengthen protections for resource lands, water, and air quality even if it increases the price of developable land and housing costs21%
Other [open] [See verbatims document]10%

“A transition to a clean, green economy that benefits all Oregonians, centers our environment, and lifts Eastern OR and disadvantaged folks.”
Clackamas County

“Lead U.S. in fighting climate change by cutbacks in burning fossil fuels and employing natural climate solutions.”
Linn County

“Alternative energy has replaced the majority of fossil fuels, and the state is fully committed to sustainability and climate change.”
Lane County

“That Oregon will once again become a leader in urban design, with high-quality public transportation, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, safer streets, and reducing car-centric design.”
Multnomah County

“My biggest fear for Oregon in 50 years is environmental degradation and loss of its unique charm due to unchecked growth and climate change.”
Curry County

“Environmental disasters from climate change will ruin the Oregon we know and be more costly to us than we can manage.”
Marion County

“Corporate interests making climate change action impossible or ineffective.”
Benton County

“That the loudest voices ($$$) will divert our goals of being a place of compassion and green energy solutions.”
Multnomah County

“Losing natural resources including clean water, air, forests, salmon, other animals and plants due to exploitation and climate change.”
Washington County