The Oregon Conservation Network has identified a bill to increase water withdrawals from the Columbia River as a threat to its pro-conservation agenda.

In the network's legislative bills hotlist, House Bill 4101 is among four bills identified as "a major threat."

House Bill 4101 would create a task force to develop recommendations for allocating up to 450,000 acre feet of water from the Columbia River for new uses.

Also on the list:

* A bill to allow the Land Conservation and Development Commission to redefine agriculture and forest lands in three Southern Oregon counties using factors other than soil quality and history;

* A bill to prevent the Department of State Lands from rejecting a wetland delineation if a conflicting delineation is submitted by an authorized soil scientist; and

* A bill to tighten standing requirements for appealing land use decisions to the Land Use Board of Appeals.

The 2012 legislative session starts Feb. 1.

The Oregon Conservation Network is a coalition of more than 50 conservation organizations.

--Mitch Lies

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