24 August 1998
The Friends of Parks and Salmon
P.O. Box 69451
Portland, OR 97201
Dear Sir or Madam:
The Executive Committee of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society has voted to endorse 1998 Ballot Measure 66: the proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate fifteen percent of Oregon lottery net proceeds to restoring and protecting Oregon’s parks, watersheds, and fish and wildlife habitats.
Pacific salmon are a regional icon of environmental quality, and have been the focus of cultural, religious, and economic attention for centuries. Salmon link, upland, aquatic, estuarine and marine environments, and the status of native salmon throughout much of western North American can best be described as precarious. The continued decline of Pacific salmon and other fish and wildlife resources in Oregon is a clear indication that Society’s stewardship of salmon and their ecosystems continue to fall short of the mark. This disappoints us as scientists, and saddens us as citizens. It should be clear that existing policies and institutions, however well intentioned, have not worked. Real, substantive changes are needed, not only to restore salmon abundance but also to restore the functioning of ecological systems which create and maintain habitats for all fish and wildlife species, and which provide irreplaceable ecological services to human society.
Consequently, the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society supports the concept of a constitutional amendment, to be voted upon by citizens in Oregon, to dedicate fifteen percent of net lottery revenues to beaches, parks, salmon, wildlife habitat and watershed protection. The measure requires that funds for parks, and fish and wildlife be split equally, and that 65 percent of the monies dedicated toward salmon, watersheds, and fish and wildlife habitat will be for capital expenditures. We understand the explicit intent of measure’s proponents is for the term ‘capital expenditures’ is to be interpreted broadly to include habitat conservation activities, watershed and riparian education efforts, development and implementation of watershed recovery plans, enforcement, and agreements with willing landowners to protect and restore habitat (Ballot Measure Section 4b, paras. 1-4, 6). Should this measure pass by majority vote, the Oregon Chapter will work constructively to ensure that the necessary implementing legislation contains language adopting this broader definition of capital expenditures, and ensuring independent scientific review of the projects proposed.
This new funding can complement, but is inadequate to replace, the efforts that are already underway to restore Oregon’s watersheds and ecological systems by Oregon’s state agencies, cooperating federal and tribal agencies, and private landowners and organizations. We hope that the effect of this measure will be to increase funding for fish, wildlife and their habitats. However, its only guaranteed effect would be to establish a minimum level of funding for salmon restoration, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation at seven and a half percent of net lottery funds.
The American Fisheries Society (AFS), founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest professional society representing fisheries scientists. The Oregon Chapter is a volunteer professional organization of some 500 fisheries and aquatic scientists in federal, state and tribal agencies, the private sector, and higher education. The AFS promotes scientific research and enlightened stewardship of aquatic resources for sustainable, long-term use and enjoyment by the public. An important goal of the AFS is to bring the best scientific information to bear on issues concerning the conservation and management of fishes and their ecosystems.
Hal Weeks, President
for the Executive Committee
Item for Piscatorial Press (to accompany the text of the letter endorsing the measure sent to initiative proponents) Ideally, we would also print the text of the measure.
CHAPTER ENDORSES BALLOT MEASURE 66: LOTTERY FUNDING FOR SALMON, WATERSHEDS, AND PARKS
After considerable discussion and thought, ExCom voted to endorse Ballot Measure 66. If passed, this measure would amend the Oregon constitution to dedicate fifteen percent of net lottery revenues to Oregon’s parks, watershed, and fish and wildlife habitat. The park system would receive half of this fifteen percent, fish and wildlife habitat and watershed restoration would receive the other half. The text of the ballot measure is printed below.
Oregon AFS has consistently supported, and continues to support, measures that will restore Oregon’s ecological systems and the habitat needed by our trout, salmon and other aquatic and riparian species. As a pragmatic step, this measure is a statement of public intent. However, we also recognize three important principles that have caused many to have reservations about this measure. First, many object on the principle that something as fundamentally important as habitat restoration and sound ecological stewardship should be based on lottery funding rather general funds appropriated by the legislature. ExCom agrees. There is no guarantee that any monies flowing to salmon, watersheds and habitat from this measure will be additional to other monies provided by the legislature. However, the measure will at least set a minimum floor for dedicated funding based on lottery revenues.
Second, because education is also a dedicated recipient of lottery funds, many have expressed concern that this measure will effectively compete with and reduce funding for Oregon’s educational system. We certainly recognize this concern. We also acknowledge the ballot measure proponents’ point that the percentage of lottery funds to be dedicated to salmon, watersheds, habitat and parks is less than the proportion of undedicated lottery funds that currently flow into the state treasury. And, as mentioned before, there is no guarantee that lottery funds for education or salmon will be additional to funds that may otherwise be appropriated by the legislature.
Third, several concerns about the requirement that sixty five percent of monies for salmon, watersheds and habitat be used for ‘capital expenditures’ were raised. To many, ‘capital expenditures’ implies an emphasis on concrete edifices and in-stream structures. After discussion, meetings, questions and phone calls with the measure’s proponents, we understand that the term ‘capital expenditures’ is to be interpreted broadly (as is required for a constitutional amendment), and that it includes habitat conservation, education, watershed enhancement planning, enforcement and habitat acquisition. These are listed under paragraphs 1 – 4, and 6 of Section 4b of the measure, which is printed below.
ExCom recognizes that all of these concerns are legitimate. This measure is not a harbinger of a societal epiphany on watershed restoration and ecological stewardship. However, all things considered, we conclude that half a loaf is better than none. The Chapter will work to ensure that the broad intent of the term ‘capital expenditures’ is recognized in any legislation developed to implement this ballot measure (if passed) and the chapter will support strong and independent scientific review of the pool of projects considered for funding.
The Friends of Parks & Salmon can be contacted at P.O. Box 69451, Portland, OR 97201. Phone (503) 279-8343. They would welcome any financial assistance or other help you can provide to this campaign.
Regardless of your feelings on this measure, it is important that you vote on November 3rd!
TEXT OF BALLOT MEASURE 66
(provided by Friends of Parks and Salmon – text in boldface type is new; text in brackets and italics is to be deleted)
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
PARAGRAPH 1. Section 4, Article XV of the Constitution of the State of
Oregon, is amended, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon is
amended by creating new sections 4a and 4b to be added to and made a
part of Article XV, such sections to read:
Sec. 4. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), (4), [and] (5)
and (6) of this section, lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets, for
any purpose whatever, are prohibited, and the Legislative Assembly shall
prevent the same by penal laws.
(2) The Legislative Assembly may provide for the establishment,
operation, and regulation of raffles and the lottery commonly known as
bingo or lotto by charitable, fraternal, or religious organizations. As
used in this section, charitable, fraternal or religious organizations
means such organizations or foundations as defined by law because of
their charitable, fraternal, or religious purposes. The regulations
shall define eligible organizations or foundations, and may prescribe
the frequency of raffles, bingo or lotto, set a maximum monetary limit
for prizes and require a statement of the odds on winning a prize. The
Legislative Assembly shall vest the regulatory authority in any
appropriate state agency.
(3) There is hereby created the State Lottery Commission which shall
establish and operate a State Lottery. All proceeds from the State
Lottery, including interest, but excluding costs of administration and
payment of prizes, shall be used for any of the following purposes:
creating jobs, furthering economic development, [or] financing public
education in Oregon or restoring and protecting Oregon’s parks, beaches,
watersheds and critical fish and wildlife habitats.
(4)(a) The State Lottery Commission shall be comprised of five members
appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate who shall serve at
the pleasure of the Governor. At least one of the Commissioners shall
have a minimum of five years experience in law enforcement and at least
one of the Commissioners shall be a certified public accountant. The
Commission is empowered to promulgate rules related to the procedures of
the Commission and the operation of the State Lottery. Such rules and
any statutes enacted to further implement this article shall insure the
integrity, security, honesty, and fairness of the Lottery. The
Commission shall have such additional powers and duties as may be
provided by law.
(b) The Governor shall appoint a Director subject to confirmation by
the Senate who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The
Director shall be qualified by training and experience to direct the
operations of a state-operated lottery. The Director shall be
responsible for managing the affairs of the Commission. The Director
may appoint and prescribe the duties of no more than four Assistant
Directors as the Director deems necessary. One of the Assistant
Directors shall be responsible for a security division to assure
security, integrity, honesty, and fairness in the operations and
administration of the State Lottery. To fulfill these responsibilities,
the Assistant Director for security shall be qualified by training and
experience, including at least five years of law enforcement experience,
and knowledge and experience in computer security.
(c) The Director shall implement and operate a State Lottery pursuant
to the rules, and under the guidance, of the Commission. The State
Lottery may operate any game procedure authorized by the commission,
except parimutuel racing, Social games, and the games commonly known in
Oregon as bingo or lotto, whereby prizes are distributed using any
existing or future methods among adult persons who have paid for tickets
or shares in that game; provided that, in lottery games utilizing
computer terminals or other devices, no coins or currency shall ever be
dispensed directly to players from such computer terminals or devices.
(d) There is hereby created within the General Fund the Oregon State
Lottery Fund which is continuously appropriated for the purpose of
administering and operating the Commission and the State Lottery. The
State Lottery shall operate as a self-supporting revenue-raising agency
of state government and no appropriations, loans, or other transfers of
state funds shall be made to it. The State Lottery shall pay all prizes
and all of its expenses out of the revenues it receives from the sale of
tickets or shares to the public and turnover the net proceeds therefrom
to a fund to be established by the Legislative Assembly from which the
Legislative Assembly shall make appropriations for the benefit of any of
the following public purposes: creating jobs, furthering economic
development, [or] financing public education in Oregon or restoring and
protecting Oregon’s parks, beaches, watersheds and critical fish and
wildlife habitats. Effective July 1, 1997, 15% of the net proceeds from
the State Lottery shall be deposited, from the fund created by the
Legislative Assembly under this paragraph, in an education endowment
fund. Earnings on moneys in the education endowment fund shall be
retained in the fund or expended for the public purpose of financing
public education in Oregon as provided by law. Moneys in the education
endowment fund shall be invested as provided by law and shall not be
subject to the limitations of section 6, Article XI of this
Constitution. The Legislative Assembly may appropriate other moneys or
revenue to the education endowment fund. The Legislative Assembly shall
appropriate amounts sufficient to pay lottery bonds before appropriating
the net proceeds from the State Lottery for any other purpose. At least
84% of the total annual revenues from the sale of all lottery tickets or
shares shall be returned to the public in the form of prizes and net
revenues benefitting the public purpose.
(5) Effective July 1, 1999, 15% of the net proceeds from the State
Lottery shall be deposited in a parks and natural resources fund created
by the Legislative Assembly. Of the moneys in the parks and natural
resources fund, 50% shall be distributed for the public purpose of
financing the protection, repair, operation, and creation of state
parks, ocean shore and public beach access areas, historic sites and
recreation areas, and 50% shall be distributed for the public purpose of
financing the restoration and protection of native salmonid populations,
watersheds, fish and wildlife habitats and water quality in Oregon. The
Legislative Assembly shall not limit expenditures from the parks and
natural resources fund. The Legislative Assembly may appropriate other
moneys or revenue to the parks and natural resources fund.
[(5)] (6) Only one State Lottery operation shall be permitted in the
[(6)] (7) The Legislative Assembly has no power to authorize, and shall
prohibit, casinos from operation in the State of Oregon.
SECTION 4a. Any state agency that receives moneys from the parks and
natural resources fund established under section 4 of this Article for
the public purpose of financing the protection, repair, operation,
creation and development of state parks, ocean shores and public beach
access areas, historic sites and recreation areas shall have the
authority to use the moneys for the following purposes:
(1) Maintain, construct, improve, develop, manage and operate state
park and recreation facilities, programs and areas.
(2) Acquire real property, or interest therein, deemed necessary for
the creation and operation of state parks, ocean shores public beach
access areas, recreation and historic sites or because of natural,
scenic, cultural, historic and recreational values.
(3) Operate grant programs for local government entities deemed
necessary to accomplish the public purposes of the parks and natural
resources fund established under section 4 of this Article.
SECTION 4b. Moneys disbursed for the public purpose of financing the
restoration and protection of wild salmonid populations, watersheds,
fish and wildlife habitats and water quality from the fund established
under Section 4 of this Article shall be administered by one state
agency. At least 65% of the moneys will be used for capital
expenditures. These moneys, including grants, shall be used for all of
the following purposes:
(1) Watershed, fish and wildlife, and riparian and other native
species, habitat conservation activities, including but not limited to
planning, coordination, assessment, implementation, restoration,
inventory, information management and monitoring activities.
(2) Watershed and riparian education efforts.
(3) The development and implementation of watershed and water quality
(4) Entering into agreements to obtain from willing owners determinate
interests in lands and waters that protect watershed resources,
including but not limited to fee simple interests in land, leases of
land or conservation easements.
(6) Enforcement of fish and wildlife and habitat protection laws and
SECTION 4c. Any state agency that receives moneys from the parks and
natural resources fund established under section 4 of this Article shall
secure an independent audit, pursuant to section 2, Article VI of this
Constitution, to measure the financial integrity, effectiveness and
performance of the agency receiving such moneys. Each agency shall
submit the audit to the Legislative Assembly as part of a biennial
report to the Legislative Assembly.
SECTION 5a. The Legislative Assembly shall submit to a vote of the
people at the November 2014 general elections the question of
continuation of this amendment. This Section is repealed on January 1,