Grand Island is located about 35 miles southeast of Portland. It’s mostly home to a number of farms, but recently caught the attention of the gravel industry. Baker Rock Resources is applying to open a gravel mine on the Yamhill County island. Gravel experts say it’s the ideal place for nearby towns like Salem, McMinnville, and Dayton to get the needed resource.
Gravel is widely used to make concrete and asphalt, and is difficult to transport long distances due to its weight. But there are strict regulations on where companies can open mines, and Baker Rock is going through that permitting process right now. It is facing opposition from Grand Island farmers. They say it would destroy good farmland and heavily increase commercial truck traffic on the island.
The Land Use Board of Appeals has ruled that the site meets the necessary standards, but Protect Grand Island Farms — the group opposed to the mine — is appealing that decision. Either way, Baker Rock must go through a second step before final approval to determine the mine’s impact on the community.
Do you live on or near Grand Island? Do you support the gravel mine?
- Sam Sweeney: Yamhill County farmer on the Board of Protect Grand Island Farms
- Rich Angstrom: President of the Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association