Friday, June 15, 2007

Favorite Place On Earth - Joanna and Thomas Price, Camp Sherman

Dear Representatives:

We have owned a small cabin in Camp Sherman for about five years. Prior to that, we were privileged to spend many summer weekends camping along the Metolius River at the Forest Service campgrounds. The Metolius Basin is by far our favorite place on earth. It is more than just beautiful; it is a spiritual place for us, as it was for the Native Americans who came before us.

How can we allow developers to come in with their bulldozers and forever change this quiet, peaceful landscape? The delicate nature of the area itself would be lost forevever if development went as planned, and the deluge of new residents crowded their way into Camp Sherman. Can you imagine a traffic jam at Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery? Or a line of visitors impatiently waiting their turn to shuffle down the path to the viewpoint at the Head of the Metolius? It could become the new reality if deveopment is permitted on nearby lands.

There are a few other side effects that worry us:

Development of this area means many, many more people, which increases the number of cigarettes carelessly tossed from cars, or sparks from chimneys or barbeques, either of which could spark the next devastating forest fire.

Further development within these forested lands means less habitat for the area's wild animals, including cougars. (And since the change in hunting laws, which eliminated the use of dogs in hunting cougars, the area's cougar population has risen dramatically. The Metolius Basin IS Cougar Country! ) Loss of their habitat by development is the leading reason for the increased number of dangerous (and sometimes lethal) cougar-human interactions.

When it comes time for you to vote on SB30, please help us preserve nature's delicate balance in the Metolius Basin.


Joanna and Thomas Price
Salem and Camp Sherman, Oregon

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