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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon Parks and Recreation Commision’

At its Corvallis meeting on Wednesday, November 20 the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved all four motions regarding this action (quoted below from the meeting’s press release http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/Documents/bandon-november-action.pdf):

Motion 1: the Commission finds that the contemplated Bandon Biota exchange meets the “overwhelming public benefit” standard of OAR 736-019-0070(4) and instruct the department to prepare a proposed final order for Commission approval.Motion 2: the Commission finds that the acquisition of Grouse Mountain Ranch meets the acquisition standards in OAR 736-019-0060 and instruct the department to prepare a proposed final order for Commission approval.

Motion 3: the Commission directs the Department to continue good faith efforts to address local community concerns as reflected in the Governor’s letter dated November 19, 2013.

Motion 4: the department will accept additional written testimony until December 6, 2013, regarding the proposed exchange or the proposed Grouse Mountain Ranch acquisition to afford the department the opportunity to consider the comments in preparing the proposed final orders.

Apparently the Bandon Biota’s latest golf course, slated for the Natural Area, is overwhelmingly beneficial to the public. Other pledged land and matching cash for acquisition, lots of cash for a new eastern Oregon State Park, and a promise of gorse removal might have had something to do It. The letter Governor Kitzhaber penned supporting the swap might have also had some impact on the decision.

I admit I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the 2+ hour audio of the meeting. A quick glance through the additional comments received didn’t seem to suggest overwhelming approval from the public, especially those in Grant County, the eastern Oregon locale of the potential new state park. Skimming through the botanist’s report on the natural area vegetation in the swap area, I noticed some interesting maps, two which appeared to  show rare plant distributions (pg. 38 and 39), and another (pg. 44) at least one area of “highest natural resource value. Habitat contains legally protected species.” http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/Documents/bandon-habitat-inventory-20131029.pdf

I also noted that the Governor’s letter was not “cced”  to any elected official or office in Grant County. I doubt State Parks employees are looking forward to addressing Motion 3’s direction to address local community concerns. As far as I can tell, so far nobody’s talked much with anybody out there at all about this idea.

Final Commission approval is slated to be considered at its next meeting, February 5, 2014 in the Salem area.

Want to get involved? You’ve got until December 6. Email at: oprd.publiccomment@state.or.us

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