County issues compromise in formation of new livestock district


By Alex Castle, East Oregonian

Oct 8, 2020


UMATILLA COUNTY — After months of waiting due to COVID-19 limitations and the hope that property owners could come to a resolution themselves, the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners issued a compromise Wednesday, Oct. 7, on the formation of the North Umatilla County Livestock District.


Rather than approving the formation of the district as proposed, which would have been the largest in the county at 252 square miles and include more than 500 property owners, the board conditionally approved a smaller district in the northeastern portion of the original proposal.


“It’s a less divisive proposal but it gets us part way down the road, and hopefully it should signal that we’re incredibly serious about resolution occurring,” Umatilla County Commissioner George Murdock said.


Umatilla County Counsel Doug Olsen indicated the district approved for formation Oct. 7 is roughly 45,000 acres in size with about 250 tax lots in it, but doesn’t include any property owners who have voiced opposition to a livestock district.


A map of the compromised district places its boundaries at Holdman Road to the south all the way to the Washington border at the north, with Kings, South Juniper Canyon and Dorran roads each making the western boundary and Kuppers Road making the eastern border. The district will officially become the 11th in the county as long as a majority of property owners in the new proposed district sign a petition in favor of it within the next 90 days.


The commissioners also unanimously motioned to include that the county may consider annexing other portions of the initial proposal into the livestock district in the future.


For properties within a livestock district, the responsibility falls on livestock owners to...