Coming to you in Technicolor, a classic local television commercial from 1973 showing the rapid population growth in Oregon. Sponsored by the group “Keep Oregon Livable,” the ant filled-warning was part of a larger movement that brought planning to the forefront of politics statewide in the era.
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Property in the state of Oregon is not just the dividing line between public and private land. That said, the Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution –- “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation…” –- seemingly would make it just that. Still, the state regulates private land, at times, as if it were its own. It is not that Oregon property rights are so unique to America, but rather it is the way the state interprets and enforces them that is. Since the statewide land use plan in 1973, Oregon’s population has increased from about 2.1 million people at the passage of the bill to more than 3.5 million today. As a result of the legislation, the majority of the population increases took place in and around the Portland area in the Willamette Valley – seeing a nearly 1 million jump in population alone.