February 4, 2012
Monmouth & Independence Chicken Revolution to host Gretchen Anderson at Independence library
In the spring of 2011, Domenica Protheroe, Malinda Bermudez and Sue Barker formed the Monmouth & Independence Chicken Revolution to legalize backyard chicken-keeping in Monmouth and Independence. According to Protheroe, chickens were legal in Monmouth until 2008.
"This change was made to remove conflicts between the Municipal Code and the Development code," says Protheroe. "This worries me."
Their efforts to gain public support have included starting a Facebook page and website, gathering signatures for petitions, giving presentations at local farmers' markets, and hosting an information meeting. In December 2011, they presented a 42-page research packet to each city, along with petition signatures and public comments in favor of backyard poultry. Supporters argue that several nearby cities allow backyard poultry, including Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Keizer, McMinnville, Salem, Lincoln City, Eugene, and Portland, among others.
"We outlined and recommended a complaint driven model for legalizing backyard poultry, similar to what Dallas, Oregon enacted recently," says Protheroe. "Both cities are considering more complex measures."
While Independence is moving forward, the City of Monmouth has asked for patience on this issue, so the outcome remains unclear.
The Monmouth & Independence Chicken Revolution has asked author Gretchen Anderson to speak at the Independence Public Library on Saturday, February 11th at 6pm. In her book, The Backyard Chicken Fight, Anderson shares stories about why people want to keep chickens and how communities are challenging their local officials.
For Protheroe, keeping backyard chickens is not just about property rights.
"Whole and healthy foods have been the central point in my life," says Protheroe. "It’s easy to avoid supermarkets when you live in the bounty of Oregon."
And she believes raising chickens and collecting fresh eggs are an important part of living a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on the urban chicken movement in Monmouth and Independence, visit www.michickenrevolution.com.
Gretchen Anderson at the Independence Public Library
Saturday, February 11th 6pm
175 Monmouth St. Independence, OR
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