• Oregon State Senator, 1971-1973.
  • Board Member, Land Conservation and Development Commission, 1990-2000.

About Sen. Macpherson

Former Oregon Senator Hector Macpherson sums up his key life experiences this way: “I had two very exciting times in my life. One was my four-and-a-half years in the army air corps, and my proposing Senate Bill 100 (SB100) to the Oregon Legislature. Both of them put me in the line of fire.”

Macpherson grew up on a dairy farm in Linn County. He studied farming at the Oregon State College School of Agriculture, and took over the farm after returning from World War II. He continued to follow in his father’s footsteps by serving in the Oregon State legislature (Hector Macpherson Sr. was a state senator in the early 1900s).

Macpherson won a senate seat in District 8 in 1970. Immediately, he was embroiled in the “hot” issue of field burning. To help, he worked out a compromise on the subject. He had observed suburban sprawl threatening Willamette Valley farmland, and he took on the controversial issue of land-use planning.

In 1969, legislators had passed SB10 requiring cities and counties to adopt comprehensive land-use plans and zoning laws. So, Macpherson took that framework and developed SB100. This added timelines and created a new state agency, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to enforce SB10.

During the 1973 Legislature, Macpherson, Sen. Ted Hallock, and others successfully passed the bill. Oregon’s iconic land-use goals became law. However, Macpherson’s support of SB100 cost him his senate seat in the next election. He went on to serve on the LCDC for decades, and his efforts resulted in the Oregon we know and love today.

– Interview recorded June 14, 2006