Legislation Would Allow OSU Experiment Station Flexibility in Future Relocating

Legislation Would Allow OSU Experiment Station Flexibility in Future Relocating

More than 100 years ago the Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center was located out far from the city of Hermiston. Today however, Eastern Oregon’s largest city has been moving ever closer.

In order to be proactive for any future move, the Oregon U.S. legislators have helped to began the process to pass legislation in both U.S. House and Senate to release the property interest retained by federal government as OSU Professor Emeritus and Director of the Station Phil Hamm explains

Hamm: “The land of course since 1930 has been used as a research center. Along the way, this land was originally a federally-owned research station and then it became a state-owned research station. A reversionary clause was put that property saying on the deed that if any or all of the land ceased to be part of agricultural research then the land would revert back to the federal government.”

Hamm explains the station needs the flexibility in the future to continue providing research for the region’s irrigated crops.

Hamm: “It was set up to support agricultural research. And that is why the revisionary clause says agricultural research. I think they wanted to support that but not really thinking that 70 years later what that looks like, now the city is close to us. At one time it made a lot of sense, but now it doesn’t make as much sense because of the growth of Hermiston.”

Hamm credits the strong support of Congressman Walden on the House side and Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden on the Senate in helping to move the passage of this legislation.

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