Malsanto to open research station in Wilbur County, near Germaine

by Howard Apple­gate
     Mal­san­to Cor­po­ra­tion announced on Feb­ru­ary 17 that it planned to open a High Desert Research Facil­i­ty in Wilbur Coun­ty about 20 miles south of Ger­maine, near the Har­ney Coun­ty line. Rachel Evans, the spokesper­son for the huge, mul­ti-nation­al com­pa­ny said that the actu­al con­struc­tion of infra­struc­ture has been under­way for about a year now, and they hoped to have the facil­i­ty ful­ly oper­at­ing by May 1. The news sent an imme­di­ate stir through the local agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty, which is deeply divid­ed about the devel­op­ment.
     When asked how approval man­aged to slip under the radar of local media, Ms. Evans said, “We have an arrange­ment with a local ranch­er to build green­hous­es on 600 acres of his land. These are stan­dard agri­cul­tur­al facil­i­ties which fall under the Coun­ty zon­ing ordi­nances.”
     A check, how­ev­er, with the Coun­ty Cour­t­house, shows that ranch own­er, Dr. Ver­non Has­tart of Port­land, Ore­gon, may have received spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion from Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers, bypass­ing a need­ed Water Table Impact Study. All three Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers were “out of town,” accord­ing to the Coun­ty Clerk, and were unavail­able for com­ment.

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