Deremer: Alarm over Chinese ownership of Oregon forestland

From the office of U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer,
January 12, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) is raising concerns after a Bloomberg report uncovered that the second-largest foreign owner of United States land owns 198,000 acres of forestland in Oregon. The individual, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), owns around 33,000 acres of the Bull Springs Skyline Forest just west of Bend in the 5th District.

“Foreign ownership of United States land by our adversaries is a serious problem that has rightfully sparked unease among farmers, ranchers, and foresters across the country. I’m deeply concerned that a member of the Chinese Communist Party owns tens of thousands of forestland acres – one of our most precious and finite resources – in my district,” Chavez-DeRemer said. “I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the Stop CCP Land Act and the Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act – two proposals that seek to prevent adversaries of the United States from purchasing our valuable land. With conflict and uncertainty on the rise around the world, including increasingly aggressive rhetoric and actions from China, we cannot hesitate to stand up to bad actors. I’ll be taking further action in the coming weeks to ensure our land and national security are protected.”

According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), China owns approximately 384,00 acres of agricultural land in the U.S. – a number that jumped by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020. With 198,000 acres of forestland owned by a member of the CCP, Oregon is home to nearly half of all U.S. land owned by China.

Chavez-DeRemer is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act, which would prohibit the purchase or lease of U.S. agricultural land by individuals associated with the governments of China and other foreign adversaries. She is also an original cosponsor of the Stop CCP Land Act, which incentivizes states to prohibit countries such as China and Russia from purchasing American agricultural land. Additionally, Chavez-DeRemer is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security Act.