Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thank You - Rebecca Biddle Wood Hardesty, Boise, ID

Dear Members of the Oregon Legislature:

I want to thank all of you for your brilliant and successful efforts to protect the Metolius River from resort development. Your hard work, creativity and commitment will create a legacy for all Oregonians to appreciate forever. In particular, thank you Senator Westlund and Senator Walker for all of the research and findings you made to support the bill passing through the committee in its pure form. Oregonians from all over your state applaud all of you as their representatives for standing up and defending the priceless value of nature's beauty.

Rebecca Biddle Wood Hardesty
Boise, ID

Thank You - Joel Wilson, Hillsboro

Dear Senator Brown,
[copied to Senator Starr]

I urge you and your colleagues to support the original version of SB 30 that would protect the Metolius River Basin as the bill was originally intended. While I am not a property owner in the Metolius area, my family has visited Camp Sherman area almost every year for the past twenty-three years. The natural and preserved beautify of the Metolius is unsurpassed. When I heard about Jefferson County’s efforts for developing large resorts in this immaculate region, I became most alarmed. I don’t know how the Metolius can possibly retain its delicate ecosystem once developers are free to move in for the sake of the almighty dollar.

Please do what you can to preserve the Metolius River Basin so that it can remain one of Oregon’s most beautiful and unspoiled destinations that can be shared by all.


Joel Wilson
Hillsboro, OR

Metolius river cabin for sale for approximately $700,000 - Kathy Reynolds, Camp Sherman

It’s true! These cabins are rarely offered for sale, since they stay in families for generations. Of course, the price doesn’t include the land, which is leased from the Forest Service.

This reminds me of a cabin which was traded for a (new) car, in the late 1950s. The cabin certainly has been a better investment than the car, and the car dealer’s grandchildren - and their children - will continue to enjoy it. Who got the better deal?

Well, Jefferson County wants to make a similar deal – they’ll trade over 10,000 acres of forest for increased tax revenue. These lands will be valuable destination resorts because of their beauty, location, wildlife, clean air, and clean water. But what if the resorts destroy the source of their value? What if future generations lose a wild and scenic river? Are we certain we can make this trade and come out ahead?

Please approve SB 30 with its original intent - to protect the Metolius Basin watershed. If the Bill is wrong, we can fix that. Jefferson County can find other revenue. But no one can fix polluted aquifers, or replenish them when they’re empty. Let’s make sure we keep something for our grandchildren’s children.

Kathy Reynolds
Camp Sherman, OR

Deepest Respect and Thanks - Kathy Krause, Portland

Senate Rules Committee

Dear Senator(s),

My deepest respect and thanks goes to all of you for restoring Senate
Bill 30 to its original intent! Faith in our "system" was restored
when I learned all of you had listened to the concerns and requests of
every day Oregonians! I know all of you have extremely tough and
demanding jobs. With great respect, I thank all of you for taking the
time to educate yourselves about the issue and speak on behalf of so
many Oregonians who believe this State can be a wonderful combination
of growth, success AND protected natural treasures! All of you will be
forever remembered as leaders in our community who had the forethought
to help protect an Oregon jewel! You will be known for having the
wisdom to research an issue and execute the right decision, so that
some day, we will never have to ask why no one cared!

Again, thank you for keeping Oregon the type of place that has kept me here!


Kathy Krause
Portland, Oregon
Multnomah County

Thank You - Joel Wilson, HIllsboro

[Sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee:]

Thank you for your action in restoring the original SB 30 that will save the Metolius! Your devotion in preserving Oregon's natural beauty is indeed praiseworthy.


Joel Wilson
Hillsboro, OR

Thanks To The Senate Rules Committee - Marie Sheahan Brown, Camp Sherman

Dear Senator Brown [and Senators Ferrioli, Nelson, Johnson, and Monnes Anderson]

I am deeply grateful to you and your colleagues on the Senate Rules Committee for your principled actions today to restore the original SB 30 to Save the Metolius. You make me proud to call myself an Oregonian. We still have leaders.

Marie Sheahan Brown
Camp Sherman, OR

Thank You Senator Westlund - Mary Wood, Eugene

Dear Senator: Thank you SO much for the personal phone call telling me the wonderful news about the Metolius bill! What a relief. I can't even begin to say how much I admire your vision and persistence in protecting this jewel. You are my hero, and you will be the hero to countless generations who visit the basin. Thank you again so much. I look forward to keeping in touch. Let me know how I can support you in the next steps. Mary

Explosion of Resorts Threatens Quality of Life - Kay Walsh, Bend

Dear Senator Westlund,

I am writing to voice a strong opinion that no resorts be built near the Metolius River. I have been visiting that little bit of pristine paradise since the 60's and when I lived in the Midwest and my life was full of stress, I would close my eyes and walk the river path north from the camp Sherman bridge past the old cabins and up to the next bridge.

When I returned to Oregon and on all my visits in between I made sure to include that magic place. It was always quiet with few people and I could fly fish in peace.

When I moved to Bend in 2005 I found a great doctor who practices in Bend. He too told me one of his favorite places in all the world was the Metolious River.

The explosion of destination resorts since I arrived is threatening the quality of life that I moved here for.

Even thinking of putting thousands of people anywhere near that basin is beyond my comprehension and really wrong for all the future generations. It is truly one of the last best sacred places.
Please do every thing you can to preserve it.


Kay Walsh
Bend, Oregon

Transformed Vision - Marie Sheahan Brown, Camp Sheman

[Sent to all State Senators:]

Some years ago, Becky Johnson ~ stateswoman of Oregon, beloved elder of the Metolius Basin ~ told me a story. Early this year, at 93, Becky passed on to a New Metolius. She cannot tell you the story now; I’ll try to do it justice. I call it a story of transformed vision.

Her father-in-law, S. O. Johnson’s, first view of the Metolius River headwaters took his breath away. In his mind’s eye, he saw a mill pond, a saw mill, and a cash crop of giant ponderosa timber all around. Mr. Johnson was seeing through lenses of the era. He bought 160 acres around the Metolius River headwaters for $16,000 in 1924.

Before that, in the late 1800s, T. Egenton Hogg had a green glint in his eye ~ the glint of cash. He envisioned railroad tracks and trains running from the Oregon coast into Central Oregon over the Santiam Pass. With transcontinental vision, he could see trainload after trainload hauling giant Oregon lumber to the East. Mr. Hogg’s railroad scheme crumbled, tainted with suspected misuse of investors’ funds. Perhaps, too, potential investors were rightly skeptical to sink money into a railroad built on the crumbly volcanic rock of Santiam Pass. Even today, great chunks of highway are prone to tumble down the hillside. The possibility of a railroad died out only after 1930, when the Portland and Southeastern Railroad filed for a right of way across “Hogg Pass,” which evidently was never granted.

Meanwhile, S. O. Johnson was experiencing transformed vision. Instead of an industry with raw materials all around, he began to see a sacred mystery of exquisite and delicate beauty, to be protected yet shared. He transmitted this vision to his son, Sam, to whom he sold the property for $1 in 1934. S. O. Johnson chose to serve as statesman for the common good instead of henchman to the Almighty Dollar.

Sam and Becky Johnson, and now their daughters, kept the tradition of statesmanship, generosity, and preservation of a Creation not their own. As just one example, thousands of people each year can view majestic Mt. Jefferson from the Headwaters of the Metolius, without much harm, thanks to the scenic easement the Johnsons donated to the Forest Service in 1971.

In recent years, Becky worried because she saw the springs at the headwaters diminishing. I am distressed to see similar dwindling of the spring I know best, a few miles downstream. I don’t know all the reasons why. I do know IT JUST CAN’T BE RIGHT to allow destination resorts in the Metolius Basin, with thousands of homes and possibly golf courses sucking up unprecedented and inconceivable quantities of this diminishing groundwater.

I don’t need to spell out the lesson in this story for Oregon Senators who choose to serve as stateswomen and statesmen protecting the common good.

I urge you to support SB 30 in its present restored form, with a vision to Save the Metolius and its irreplaceable values for all of the people.

Marie Sheahan Brown
Camp Sherman, OR

We wish to Thank Every One Of You - Sandy and Erskine Wood, Vancouver, WA

Dear Members of the Oregon Legislature:
[Sent to all State Senators and Reps. Merkley, Roblan, and Hunt]

We wish to thank each and every one of you for your efforts to pass the bill with amendments restoring the original SB30 to protect the Metolius River from development.
We hope that you understand how much we appreciate your work in preserving the natural beauty of this Oregon treasure and hope that you will continue to support the bill as it passes through the legislature. Permanent protection of the Metolius is very important to all of us and to our future generations.

Sandy and Erskine Wood
Vancouver, Washington

Friday, May 11, 2007

Update From Senator Westlund's Office - Strong SB 30 Passes Rules Committee!

Today, a very strong Senate Bill 30 passed through the Rules Committee on a 3-2 party-line vote. Details can be found at

Here is a letter sent out following the vote from Senator Westlund's office:

Good News!

Today the Senate Rules Committee amended SB 30 to protect the Metolius headwaters and basin from destination resorts. Jefferson County previously zoned the basin for two destination resorts that were proposing in excess of twenty-five hundred homes and two golf courses.

I introduced this legislation because this isn’t just about protecting a beautiful place; this is fundamentally about the continued existence of the headwaters that feed the Metolius River. The basin is a unique and sensitive hydrological system that would be threatened by development of such magnitude.

SB 30 is supported by Friends of the Metolius (, Central Oregon Landwatch (, Water Watch (, Back Country Hunters and Anglers (, the Native Fish Society (, Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited and OSPIRG ( I also received over 600 personal stories by email from people like you...Oregonians detailing their commitment to preserving this special place.

The bill is now on its way to the Senate floor where it needs your help to pass. Please contact your Senator today and ask them to support Senate Bill 30 and let them know why you care.

I would also ask that you contact your State Representative in preparation for the bill’s move to the House.

Thank you for your continued support for this Oregon treasure!

Down the trail,


Ben Westlund
Oregon State Senator
District 27

P.S. To see the amendments adopted today by the committee, please visit my website at

Dedicated To The Metolius - Matt Weeber, Corvallis

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Morse, and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, Roblan, and Gelser:]

It is my understanding that senate bill 30, regarding the protection of the Metolius River watershed may soon be coming to a vote in both the senate and house. I would like to make it known that I support the original vision of the bill set out by senators Johnson and Westlund. I believe in a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed. I am a graduate student in Fisheries and Wildlife at OSU and my research revolves around the Metolius sub-basin and protecting its native fish species. I believe it would be a travesty to allow "big resort" development within a sub-basin that is already one of the most "road impacted" in Oregon. As a native central Oregonian, born and raised in Redmond, I grew up on the Metolius in a sense. One of my first jobs was working for Becky Johnson, on her property at the head of the river. I have fly-fished the river since adolescents. I have conducted countless snorkel and fish nest (redd) surveys on the Metolius' many tributaries. I am concerned that added anthropogenic pressure would only exacerbate current problems, such as illegal camping, fishing, and dumping on river tributaries. Please protect this gem of an area so that future generations can enjoy it in the same way I have.


Matt Weeber
Corvallis, OR

I Grew Up On The Metolius - Celia Smith Walker, Fort Collins, Colorado

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee:]

I write to ask for your careful consideration of Oregon Senate Bill 30, and for your support for it in its original version. The Metolius Basin is truly a magical area. It deserves protection.

I grew up on the Metolius. I attended the little Black Butte School, ate potluck and danced at the Community Hall, bought penny candy at the Store, hiked the trails, fished the tributaries of the Metolius, learned to swim in creeks and ponds, rode my bicycle along the cinder roads. I spent hours under the ponderosa pine trees and along the Metolius and Spring Creek. I grew up judging the weather coming over Green Ridge and Black Butte, watching deer out in the meadow. This is no place for the concentrated masses of destination resorts.

I now live in Colorado, and have for 30 years. Colorado knows about mega development….and has rarely done it well. Aspen, Breckenridge, and Vail are prime examples, and the pristine beauty of high country Crested Butte will be Colorado’s next example of development gone extreme. The losses are immense for those of us who have seen the wildflowers, the quiet roads, the clear water, smelled the peppery swamp grasses. Large-scale development is simply incompatible with such sites and violates them.

In 1996, following the death of my husband, I sought the Metolius for healing. My writings were intended to be private, but if excerpts of them help convince you of the criticality of protecting this area, then sharing them with you is appropriate:

“The river fills my senses. The first night here it was so quiet. Not just that campers were still, but that nothing seemed to make a noise except the river. The river doesn’t speak with just one voice, but several—or maybe it is one voice, but with much to say. The background is almost a buzz of water crunching into water, but it undulates irregularly. With its rise and fall you can almost visualize the wave caps over rocks. Then there is the galumph of bigger water sloshing into some temporary vacuum. The brighter splash against the rocks. The background’s dull roar must be the slot water upstream, first shallow, then forced into a chute down the middle of the stream. From the transparent crystal shallows where you can see the rocks, to aquamarine and white cascades with champagne bubbles churning up. It sounds like wind in the trees, and although it could be, I think it is the beautiful water of the Metolius, and all that I can hear. It fills me completely and reassures me that the world continues at some basic level.”

There is a value to humankind in preserving the few quiet, special, pristine places remaining. There is honor and respect for those who can do that, such as yourself.

Celia Smith Walker
Fort Collins, Colorado

Still A Chance - Steve and Kathy Bachelder, Camp Sherman, and Portland

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee and Senators Devlin and Courtney:]

I have just learned there is still a chance to move this bill forward. Please do so!

The Metolius River Basin is recognized as one of the most special places in the country, if not world. A river of unmatched beauty, magical in its mood and pristine character.

Allowing destination resorts nearby will tarnish it with overuse, fertilizer run-off, litter, noise and general degradation of what is Oregon's crown jewel of quiet beauty. We cannot allow such a precious resource to be swallowed up just for the sake of Jefferson County tax revenues and developers' profits!

And speaking of that, are you aware that the sudden change in Jefferson County development rules last year increased the value of the two developers' holdings overnight a hundredfold? For example, Dutch Pacific purchased its square mile just a year and a half ago for $1.1 million. Shortly thereafter, the development rules change made it worth at least $100 million once it sells individual lots. The Green Ridge development is ten times larger (worth $1 billion?). Please contact me if you would like to see the math.

The legions of lobbyists and lawyers money like that can field are hard to fight, and hard for a county with its own economic problems to resist. But it's a big county with lots of private developable land that does not threaten a national treasure. Please support SB 30 and encourage development where it is less harmful.

Thank you,

Steve and Kathy Bachelder
Camp Sherman and Portland

Metolius is NO PLACE for destination resorts - John Schubert, Bend

Greetings Senators & Representatives,

Please act decisively to help Oregon remain Oregon, by giving the strongest possible protection to the Metolius basin. The Metolius is NO PLACE for destination resorts--it would be over run and ruined for all Oregonians, for the benefit of a few.

My family has visited this precious place since the 1950's and it still remains an important place where we can see the old Oregon, disappearing all too fast in the face of rampant post-measure 37 growth.

Destination resorts that convert prime forest habitat into sprawling rural subdivisions of luxury homes are not in the long term interest of our state. Please do not sell out our future for short-term economic gains. If all of Oregon begins to look like the rest of the country, we will have lost a great treasure.

Thanks for your consideration.

John Schubert
Bend, OR

Life Along The Metolius - Quentin and Jean Smith, Eugene, OR

[Sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee and Sen. Burdick:]

We strongly support the orignal vision behind Senate Bill 30, and support total prohibition of destination resorts in or within 3 miles the the Metolius River watershed.

Our children attended the little grade school there inthe 1960s and in those days could run and play freely, safely in the woods. Quentin operated the little salmon hatchery behind the grade school almost single-handed, and drove snow plow some winters. I worked on the election board -- maybe 42 registered voters? --- was treasurer for the community hall and kitchen help there for our community dances and parties. The usual community sounds were the songs of wind in the pines and the Metolius rippling along. Our son and Pat Korish began the now-yearly project of cleaning debris from the river below the store bridge. Our children graduated each in a class of 3 from that school, and were well prepared for larger schools. Now they take their children and grandchildren to show them this area that has remained relatively clean and "wild" and which we all love so much. Please help us.

Quentin and Jean Smith
Eugene, OR

Don't Overwhelm The Basin - Michael Graham, Portland

Dear Senator Brown,

This message is to implore you to stand up to the opponents of Senate Bill 30, a measure to protect the precious Metolius basin from rapacious development by landowners who have cowed Jefferson County into submission and whose only real interest is in creating profits for themselves and their cronies.

For the last 30 years we have seen the Metolius Basin community slowly grow and the growth has been relatively well managed and it's effects on the basin have been minimal.

The proposed development of no less than 3000 homes on on the 3500 acres of the Colson property and over 300 units on the 640 acres on the Dutch/Pacific property are simply outrageous. The destruction of wildlife habitat, the creation of colossal traffic overloading of the roads, the degradation of water quality and availability, and the additional pollution created by so many new residences in the now pristine area are mind-boggling. This unique basin would be overwhelmed and it's pristine character, a precious possession of ALL THE STATE AND, INDEED, THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, would be forever lost. All for a pitiful modest inflow of tax dollars to the county.

As Chair of the Rules Committee you have the opportunity to pass the original uncompromised version of Senate Bill 30 and place a total prohibition of any destination resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius Basin watershed.The Metolius basin is a unique and precious asset to the state and the country...we cannot let it be destroyed by greedy, unthinking and uncaring so-called "developers".

Michael H. Graham, MD

Seen Too Many Environmental Treasures Destroyed - Michel Bayard, Bend

Dear Senator or Representative....

I am a long time resident of Central Oregon, among many, who has seen one environmental treasure after another destroyed or severely damaged by uncontrolled development, resulting from greed and a lack of concern for our desire to preserve our wonderful environment. We live here because we love this environment and the passage of bill SB30 (in its original version preventing any destination resort three miles from the Metolius river) would help protect one of our last environmental treasure, the Metolius area.
Please help us pass this bill.

Thank you.

Michel Bayard
Bend, OR

Your Work Will Be Appreciated For Years To Come - Sandy and Erskine Wood, Vancouver, WA

[Sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan:]

We ask that all of you work to restore Senate Bill 30 to its' original vision before the senate brings it to a vote. We thank you all for listening to the words of those who love and respect the beauty and peace of the Metolius River area and wish to preserve a priceless area of Oregon. There are far too few places left in their natural state for our children, much less our grandchildren. Your work to preserve the area, rather than to permit development, will be appreciated for many years to come.

Thank you,
Sandy and Erskine Wood
Vancouver, WA

Don't Fight (Conservation) Success - Michael McAvoy, Portland

[Sent to Senators Brown and Rosenbaum, and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan:]

I am writing you to strongly encourage you to support the original intent of Senate Bill 30 as initially written and keep a 3 mile exclusion zone for destination resorts along the Metolius River basin. This bill is heading for your rules committee very soon and I strongly encourage you to bring back the protections as initially written in this bill.

There is a proposal for two major destination resorts along the banks of the Metolius River. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to the Metolius, it is a place where my family has camped, hiked, bird-watched, fished, star-gazed, and recreated my entire life. I remember numerous summers spent along the river. My father taught me to fish, my sisters and I rode bikes. Whether it was camping or renting a cabin, we always came to the Metolius each summer. I remember watching the most amazing meteor shower I’ve ever seen while laying on the hood of our family car – the family in complete silence while the sky put on a great show. I’m now starting a family of my own and am planning on taking my two young sons to the Metolius to teach them to fish and camp and to enjoy the outdoors.

The problem with destination resorts in this area, is that the Metolius is a tremendously fragile ecosystem. The Metolius River is a spring-fed river which means its extremely sensitive to any changes in the groundwater in the river basin. This river is one of the very few areas in the lower 48 states where the Federally endangered Bull Trout thrive. This is a testament to the clean cool water which flows through this river basin. A great deal of public and private money has been spent in the last several years on returning this rivershed to a natural state and the result has been fantastic. My fishing club has spent a great deal of time returning Wychus Creek to a natural state in anticipation of the return of Salmon and Steelhead scheduled for 2009. We’ve spent a great deal of time, energy and sweat working with local landowners to plant trees in the riparian zone and provide cover for fish and wildlife. All of this is done complete as volunteers because of the love we have for this very special river.

Wild trout thrive in this river, the local area (Camp Sherman) is reaping the benefits from increased tourism, fishing, camping and recreation. Salmon and steelhead are being returned to the tributaries of the Metolius River. Right now this river is a success story. It is our heritage and a gem of Oregon. This river is one of the best free flowing spring fed trout streams in America. We should be embracing this river and doing all we can to protect it. This river is 100% what Oregon should be about. By protecting this river from instant development, we will not only be respecting our heritage, but we will build upon the growing economic model which is based around recreation in pristine areas. Destroying the pristine areas destroys this economic model.

Should mega-destination resorts be allowed to be built on the river, the Metolius will become a shell of its former self. Destination resorts are planned with at least three golf courses and over 4,000 homes. This is an instant city, larger than Madras, Redmond or Sisters. The water requirements of such an instant city right on the edge of the Metolius would severely impact the groundwater and effectively decimate the water quality of the river. Pesticides, weed killers, run-off, etc from the 4,000 homes and golf courses would seep into the groundwater and thus into the river itself. All the work done to restore this river would be wasted. We will have ruined yet another river system, all to give the wealthy another place for a summer home that’s closer to Portland than Sunriver.

Please support the original intent of Senate Bill 30. Please provide a 3 mile buffer within the Metolius River Basin where no large scale destination resorts can be built. There are plenty of other areas in this state more suited for destination resorts where the impact will not completely destroy a fragile yet successful watershed.

There was a time in Oregon’s history where our elected officials stood up to developers with very deep pockets who attempted to change our way of life. I remember as a kid when our elected officials in Salem protected the public lands and protected our special areas of exceptional beauty from development. I remember when state senators and representatives and governors said no when special interest groups tried to take our heritage and natural resources. Its been a while since we had this kind of leadership in our elected officials. I very much hope we can get this back.

I ask for your support in returning Senate Bill 30 to its original intent and keeping destination resorts away from the Metolius River.


Michael McAvoy
Portland, OR

Don't Swallow the Poison Pill! - Scott Blau, Lake Oswego

Dear Senator Brown,

I am writing to ask for your support for the original form of SB 30, without the "poison-pill" amendment. The Metolius Basin is very worthy of protection from further development and exploitation. This basin has been designated as a Conservation Area for good reason. For Jefferson County to allow a destination resort on a 627 acre parcel within the basin and a mega-resort on the eastern boundary is an insult to the unique nature of the area and to the existing community. This can't help but overwhelm the area if allowed to be built under current plans. The state legislature needs to stand up to protect this important and scenic part of Oregon.

Jefferson County went through the motions of a rezoning planning process during the last year. It reclassified two large properties as "potential" destination resorts. The overwhelming opposition from the Camp Sherman community plus a large group of opponents from elsewhere in the state and beyond was ignored by the county. The county is motivated by gaining tax revenues on the expensive housing that would be built , without concern for the impact of their plans on the resources of the basin or the community. There are currently only about three hundred dwellings in the basin, concentrated in the Camp Sherman area. The addition of two hundred and twenty five dwellings plus a one hundred unit hotel on the 627 acre site would be an inappropriate jolt to the tight-knit members of this existing community. And that is mild in comparison to the proposed 10,000 acre resort just beyond the eastern boundary of the basin.

Jefferson County is so anxious to allow the development of these two destination resorts, they have not updated the inventory of resouces of the basin that would be impacted. Since the last inventory was taken, there have been major fires in the area, elk have begun wintering near the 627 acre site, and a major effort has been undertaken to revive former salmon runs in the basin, to name a few of the major changes.

The development plan of the smaller of the two planned destination resorts runs counter to the purpose of a destination resort. A true destination resort is supposed to provide on-site amenities to its homeowners and visitors in order to cut down on their impact to the surrounding area. Dutch Pacific Corporation (owner of the 627 acre site) wants to exploit the surrounding public lands for the recreation of its homeowners and other guests. And in return, it will be, for the most part, a gated community that denies the public the use of its property. The no trespassing signs have already gone up. Their recently-purchased property is adjacent to the B and B Complex forestfire zone. That area does not need a concentration of activity during the years necessary for its recovery. Plus this development would create another isolated island of urban-forest interface that is obviously vulnerable to wildfire. This would make it an eventual burden to county, state and federal resources to defend it from inevitable wildfires.

Please consider adding your voice and vote to support the original version of the SB 30 wording that would protect the Metolius Basin from destination resorts. The resources and scenic qualities of this unique area are comparable to those of the Columbia River Gorge that is protected by the same law that SB 30 would be become a part of. The state legislature needs to take action to give this beautiful and unique area the appropriate protection for future generations of Oregonians.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this important piece of legislation.


Scott Blau
Lake Oswego, OR

Don't Destroy The "Destination" - Stan Shively, Philomath

[Sent to all members of the Senate Rules Committee and Sen. Gary George:]

I understand that you will be taking up Senate Bill 30 (protecting the Metolius Basin) in your committee Friday afternoon.

I am writing to ask that you pass the original bill presented by Sen. Westlund protecting the Metolius Basin from destination resorts. I am appalled by the plan to establish two massive resorts in the Basin. These resorts would destroy the beauty of the region and, perversely the very reason for the "destination." The long-term loss to the State would be unimaginable.

My family and I have camped at and fished the Metolius River since 1970. Politicians often talk about 'family values' yet I can think of nothing that contributes more to a family than the ability to enjoy time together in the natural beauty of this great State - and one of the most pristine areas is the Metolius Basin.

I am asking that you protect the Metolius, now and for future generations.

Thank you,

Stan Shively
Philomath, OR

Destination Resorts And Global Warming - Lizbeth Adams, Seattle

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee:]

I am writing again to express my strong support of SB 30 as it was originally conceived, and to ask you to throw the full weight of your power AGAINST the development of the Metolius River wilderness area. There are many powerful arguments that can be and have been made against the destruction of this pristine and irreplaceable piece of nature. My argument hinges upon the impending crisis of global warming and upon your responsibility as elected officials to make policies and establish precedents that will begin to reverse this catastrophic climactic course on which we have found ourselves.

In the context of global warming, it goes without saying that building 3500 homes to which people will commute long distances every day is an act of grave irresponsibility. Add to that the destruction of trees to make way for those houses and the crime becomes more serious. Then consider the destruction of wildlife habitats, pollution of watersheds, and disassembling of ecosystems, and the project becomes frankly inexcusable. Building a bunch of houses in order that a relatively few number of people may benefit financially simply does not provide adequate cause for obliterating this beautiful and precious area.

The Metolius is one river in one state in a large country on a very large planet. It could be argued that the fate of this little piece of paradise is of no great consequence to the world as a whole and that it is fatuous to cry "global warming!" when considering the impact of such a small area.

But this is exactly where the destruction must stop and where a new and necessary model of caring for and preserving our planet must be implemented. How can we ask China to stop building coal-powered electrical plants if we the United States are unwilling to take steps to clean up our own air and water and develop alternative energy sources? How can we ask India to exhibit better stewardship of this planet if we are unwilling to modify the patterns of gross energy consumption and waste that contribute so clearly to the poisoning of our atmosphere? And how can we expect the federal government to create policies with teeth if they have no evidence of concern or compliance at the local level? This IS an area that can be controlled. This is an area where we and you can make a difference. And as our elected officials, you not only have the power to start creating intelligent and transformative laws and policies, you have a responsibility to do so. We do not stand a chance of reversing global warming unless we all devote our individual and collective efforts to the task. I ask you to set an example and create a model for positive moral treatment of the environment. Please preserve the Metolius.

Lizbeth Adams, PhD
Seattle, WA

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Ruin An Oregon Treasure - David Johnson, Salem

[Sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee and also Sen. Jackie Winters:]

I am asking that you restore SB30 to its original form, pass it out of committee to the senate floor and recommend a YES vote to prevent new resort development in the Metolius basin area. The pressure that would be put on this area as a result of the increased population of a resort 4 - 5 times larger than Black Butte, would ruin this pristine treasure that all Oregonians enjoy. Also, the potential for pollution of the most crystal clear river I have ever seen is frightening. The needs of an area's local economy should not be allowed to ruin an Oregon treasure.

Thank you for listening.

David Johnson
Salem, Oregon

Think Of Tom McCall - Bill Failing, Portland

[Sent to Senators Brown, Ferrioli, Nelson, and Monnes Anderson:]

I can hardly believe it is necessary to write this letter, as the Metolius River basin is so unique and so Oregon scenic, that one would think that it would be safe from developer desecration. Yet, here it is on the table. You and your Rules Committee colleagues have an opportunity to be heroic. Stop this dead in its tracks!

This sell-off by Jefferson County, not known for their planning brilliance---but known for pleading poverty, needs intervention by those with a more global view.

Partisan politics aside, think of Tom McCall…who always did what was best for Oregon. You can (must) carry on his vision!

Thanks for protecting what will be appreciated by Oregonians for generations ahead!

Bill Failing
Portland, OR
(Our family has enjoyed the Metolius for 85 years---I want my grandkids to enjoy it as we have!)

Draw The Line Where It Needs To Be Drawn - Rebecca Biddle Wood Hardesty

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan:]

I am writing in support of the original vision behind SB 30 and a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River Watershed. The reality is that economic interests are the sole driving force behind the irreversible threat to the Metolius River Basin raised by the proposed destination resort rezone. The only value being promoted by the proposed rezone is economic - a profit to private developers and more tax money for just one of Oregon's counties.

Let's look at the balance sheet. What benefit and what burden do Oregonians derive and bear from the resort rezone in one of Oregon's most scenic and treasured areas? On one side, there is virtually NO benefit to Oregonians at large derived by the rezone. The benefit is purely economic and mostly private. The advancement of these private and isolated interests is at great public cost and expense. The public expense is not born by the developer and the county as it should be; rather state and federal taxpayers and citizens will bear the expenses, resulting in a shocking subsidy of private and limited county interests.

There are of course costs which one cannot put a price on – lost scenic value, lost wild land, increased noise and pollution, human imprint contaminating nature’s perfection, endangered species destruction, habitat and ecosystem devastation and solitude’s death. There is also the reality of an additional 36,000 car trips PER DAY attributable SOLELY to the proposed 3,500 home resort, increased emissions (at a time when we should be DECREASING emissions due to global warming), dramatically increased traffic, road construction and infrastructure to name just a few. This list just scratches the surface. But beyond these staggering costs is the enormous cost of catastrophic wildfire, a virtual certainty in the region which will only become more prevalent with the development of 3,500 homes in the middle of the Deschutes National Forest. The cost of catastrophic wildfire is staggering - the recent B & B complex fire which occurred in the same area as the proposed resort in 2003 cost the government 43 million dollars. Human imprint dramatically increases the chance of wildfire and if one occurs, the state of Oregon and the federal government will bear the greatest burden of the cost of containing such a fire with the developers walking away from such liability, their profits in their pockets.

I urge you to consider the balance sheet of the resort rezone for the Oregonians you represent. SB30 is a heroic effort to draw the line where it needs to be drawn; to place the value of nature above the value of money in one of the world's most pristine wild areas; to support and defend Oregonian's love of their land.

Thank you for your support.

Rebecca Biddle Wood Hardesty

From Tuesday's Release of Steelhead in the Whychus - Tom Davis, Sisters

Reaffirming My Support - Marie Sheahan Brown, Camp Sherman

[Sent to Senators Johnson, Brown, Westlund, Burdick, and similar letter to Senators Ferrioli, Monnes Anderson, and Nelson:]

I have written to you twice before, urging your support for the ORIGINAL version of SB 30 to Save the Metolius. I now write to you as a member of the Senate Rules Committee.

While reaffirming my support for the ORIGINAL version of SB 30, I wish to clarify that I would not want this legislation possibly to be interpreted to eliminate the existing small, historic resorts and occasional B&Bs in existing homes in the Metolius Basin.

I believe these existing small resorts ought NOT be permitted to expand, for the same reasons that large Destination Resorts ought not be permitted. However, I am one of many who regard these small, historically present resorts as part of the cherished ambiance of Camp Sherman and the Metolius Basin. These few, small temporary lodgings have enabled generations of people to visit the Metolius for decades without undue or irreversible harm to the ecosystem.

Specifically, I am referring to the following sites:
Black Butte Resort & RV Park
Camp Sherman Store (a couple of rental rooms)
Cold Springs Resort
House on the Metolius
Lake Creek Lodge
Metolius River Lodges
Metolius River Resort
Suttle Lake Lodge
Twin View Resort

I am a native of Camp Sherman, 50 years old, and each one of these small resorts existed before I was born.

Thank you, Senator, for restoring the ORIGINAL version of SB 30 and maintaining the irreplaceable values of the Metolius Basin.

Marie Sheahan Brown
Camp Sherman OR

Greater Value In Its Natural State - Karen Allen, Bend

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan:]

I am writing in support of the original vision behind Senate Bill 30 and a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed. The Metolius River watershed is a rare gem in Central Oregon, home to a greater diversity of songbird, wildlife and plant species than any other place in Central Oregon. With a large percentage of land publicly owned or protected as the Metolius Preserve, this area has a much greater value to current and future generations in a protected, natural state than as destination resorts that would serve few individuals in the short term.

Thank you for your support,

Karen Allen
Environmental Science, Restoration, and Education
Bend, OR

Please Act Boldly - Dick Kellogg, Camp Sherman

Dear Members of the Senate Rules Committee,

I encourage your strong support of SB 30 in its original form. The state should not let this jewel of an area be compromised by urbanization. Let Jefferson Co. place destination resorts in more appropriate, isolated locations as other counties in the region are doing. After all, destination resorts are supposed to be self contained, not overwhelm existing natural resources and recreation areas.

Jefferson County’s decision to increase by a factor of ten the residential density in and adjacent to the Metolius Basin is short sighted . The state needs to step in and correct this egregious county decision which was based predominantly on the need for economic growth? The County has abrogated its responsibility to make balanced land use decisions.

It is disingenuous to hold that the state has no right to override a local government’s land use decision, when recently Jefferson County itself was quick to ask the state to step in and override a local decision that would not allow the new jail in Madras.

The Basin will naturally see ever increasing use and pressures due simply to the general population growth and regional tourism and recreation interests praising its virtues. It is challenging enough to minimize those impacts for everyone’s benefit - and for future generations of Oregonians to enjoy its serene beauty as we have.

Please act boldly to protect The Metolius Basin, a unique natural resource that makes Oregon what it is - with characteristics that your predecessors have fought so diligently to preserve.


Dick Kellogg
Camp Sherman, OR

Native Fish Society Supports Original Vision - Tom Davis, Sisters

Senator Ferrioli [Copies were sent to all Senators] -

The Native Fish Society enthusiastically supports the ORIGINAL VISION of Senate Bill 30 including a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed because the aquatic health of the Metolius River depends on its watershed. Destination resorts in the watershed are incompatible with clean water, high quality spawning gravel and the world-class native fish of the Metolius.

In addition to the Metolius and it’s threatened bull trout, the tributary waters, particularly Fly Creek, are exceptionally important because of the existence of isolated populations of native Redbands, a valuable genetic resource. Based on USGS reports the deep and shallow groundwater from the Colson parcel would flow toward, and discharge into, Fly Creek and other Metolius tributaries, likely carrying contaminants such as nitrate from wastewater systems at the resorts. Such pollutants would pose a major threat to the valuable, genetic reserves of native fish.

Whychus Creek water quality will also be impacted. It is one of the primary destinations for native Steelhead that are currently being reintroduced at a cost of millions. This is a nationally significant opportunity for re-establishing native fish in habitat that has been blocked from anadromous fish access for decades, and is the result of the Pelton – Round Butte relicensing agreements.

The sediment from soil erosion during construction, roads and other results of development at the potential destination resorts also poses a serious threat to spawning gravel and aquatic health.

Throughout our history we have usually given the benefit of any uncertainty to potential profit at the expense of precarious, natural resources such as native fish. Our decision-making usually places the burden of proof on non-market values, such as native fish. The watersheds of the Metolius including Fly Creek, and Whychus Creek, are of such high quality and value that this process deserves to be reversed. Senate Bill 30 accomplishes that and the Native Fish Society urges its passage.

Thank you for your help on this important legislation.

Tom Davis, PE (inactive)
Upper Deschutes River Steward, Native Fish Society
Sisters, OR

There Should Be No Compromise - Ellen Wood, Ronald Gregg, Nickalaus Allen Wood Newport, Camp Sherman

Please be advised, as residents of Camp Sherman, we adamantly support the
original version of SB 30. There should be no compromise! To preserve the
wild and scenic nature of the Metolius River Basin, there needs to be a
total prohibition on resorts in or within 3 miles of the Metolius River

Camp Sherman is a very special spot because of its pristine beauty, snow
capped peaks, crystal clear water and giant Ponderosa pines. Historically
it is significant due to the Native Americans and Sherman County wheat
farmers who travelled to this area and geologically, due to the Headwaters
of the Metolius which bubbles gently out of the ground. After travelling
many places around the world, it's hard to find anywhere as beautiful as
Camp Sherman. I am always so glad to return home, where it's quiet and
peaceful, and you can drink the water without filtering or fluoride.

Destination resorts would severly impact the Metolius Basin. Don't be
fooled by economic interests and their lobbyists. More people means more
roads, fewer trees, the destruction of the ecosystem, pollution, the
deterioration of water quality and an impact on the water table. My
relative who owns property below the Fish Hatchery had her well run dry a
few years ago. What will more development do to the water table? Camp
Sherman will lose its special character and attraction as a tourist center
if uncontrolled growth is allowed to occur. As you may know Jefferson
County threw out a Comprehensive Plan for the Camp Sherman area recently.
What you may not know is the Local Advisory worked on this plan for 10
years. Perhaps you can compensate for the County's misguided judgment and
help preserve the Metolius Basin.

My family has travelled to the Camp Sherman area for over 3 generations. My
great-grandfather Charles Erskine Scott Wood; poet, painter, lawyer, and
friend to Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, valued nature and the Metolius
River. I do too and it is the primary reason for my year round residency
in Camp Sherman. As ex-Governor Tom McCall might have said, please don't
"Californicate" Camp Sherman.

We urge you to listen to the people!

Ellen Wood
Ronald Gregg
Nickalaus Allen Wood Newport
-Camp Sherman, OR

Still Support Vision For SB 30 - John Anderson, Bend

[Sent to members of the Senate Rules Committee and Rep. Roblan]

Dear Senators: I write to inform you that I am one of the people who previously wrote to various senators urging support of SB30. I write again now to inform you that I still support the original version of SB30. No large resorts should be permitted within 3 miles of the Metolius River. Please support this action. Thank you.

John R. Anderson
Bend, OR

Supporting the Original SB 30 - Sharlene Weed, Sisters City Council

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee:]

I am glad to hear that the Senate Rules Committee will be reviewing Senate Bill 30. I support the original vision which would ensure a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed. The watershed is an important gem for our community and our state. Please do what you can to protect it.

Best Regards,
Sharlene Weed
Sisters City Councilor

"Destination Resorted" To Death - Mike Golden, Redmond

The following letter was sent to all five members of the Rules Committee and to the House leadership.

I am a fish and wildlife biologist with over 40 years of experience in dealing with fish and wildlife and their habitats.

I have not been involved in the testimony regarding this bill as I have been away from home and was unaware that there was the potential for more impacts to fish and wildlife in the Metolius basin. The adoption of Senate Bill 30 in its original form is the only way that the Metolius basin can be protected from large scale development.

Any compromise that reduces habitat, impairs water quality or causes significant increase in activity will result in the lowering of the ability for that land to accommodate fish and wildlife. Development that has already occurred has, indeed, reduced wildlife habitat. In some places, very significantly.

Anadramous fish are being reintroduced into the basin, almost as this letter is being penned. Bull trout need the protection that only water of the highest quality can provide. Mule deer winter in the basin. Non game wildlife species are abundant. Wildlife viewing is rapidly becoming on of the most widely enjoyed activies in the state of Oregon if not the nation. In addition, the economic effects to the local economy are widely recognized as significant.

As a person who has worked, hunted, fished, birded and hiked in the Metolius basin as well as throughout the state, I can assure you that no one place embodies as many amenities for fish wildlife and recreation as the Metolius basin.

The Deschutes and Crooked River watersheds are being "destination resorted" to death. You have a great opportunity to preserve the Metolius basin as a place that is for natural places and wild things without the threat of man made impacts sto its existence.

Please, give the Metolius River the protection it needs and deserves by totally prohibiting all resorts within three miles of the Metolius basin.


Mike Golden
Redmond, OR

Let's Leave A Few Miraculous Places Untouched - Mary Thielen, Bend

[Sent to the members of the Senate Rules Committee as well as Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan]

Dear Senators and Representatives:

I support the original vision behind Senate Bill 30 and a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed. The Metolious River is a special place and should be left that way for future generations to enjoy.

Let's have the foresight to leave a few miraculous places untouched.

Mary Thielen
Bend, Oregon

Supporting The Original Vision For SB 30 - Michael Funke, Bend

[Sent to Senate Rules COmmittee Members, Senator Westlund and Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan:]

As an avid fly fisher who frequently visits the Metolius Basin, I strongly support the original version of Senate Bill 30 and the vision behind it. I don't own any land in the area and don't expect to ever own land there. But I visit frequently and feel we need a total prohibition on resorts in or within three miles of the Metolius River watershed.

Those of us who live here in Central Oregon have seen more than our share of destination resorts popping up all over the region. Powell Butte has been permanently altered by resorts. We really need to preserve some of the beauty of this region and not just turn it over to resorts. The Metolius Basin is a very special place, in my opinion, and it deserves special treatment.

Please support the original SB 30 in the Senate and in the House. Thank you.

Peace, Justice, Solidarity,

Michael Funke
Bend, OR
Trout Unlimited member

Unique Environment of People, Fish, and Wildlife - Bill Bakke, Portland

[Sent to Senate Rules COmmittee and Reps. Merkley and Hunt:]

The Metolius River watershed is a unique environment of people, fish and wildlife and should not be compromised and degraded by development of mega-resorts. I support SB 30 in its original vision and encourage you to take action to protect this remarkably beautiful Oregon asset. I have worked for over 20 years to improve wild rainbow trout and bull trout populations in this watershed and this work has paid off with more abundance and diversity of wild fish. I have also worked with PGE, the Warm Springs Tribes, and local stakeholders to re-introduce sea run salmon and steelhead into this watershed. All this work and commitment by agencies, the local community, and citizens is threatened by resort development in the watershed. Passage of SB 30 with its original vision protects this investment of time, money and passion for this beautiful and productive watershed. Please do not let all this value be squandered by developers.

Bill M. Bakke
Portland, Oregon

The Metolius - Al Krause, Sisters

Return SB 30 To Its Original Form - Al and Jane Krause, Sisters

To Members of the Oregon Senate Rules Committee
[and copied to Reps. Merkley, Hunt, and Roblan]:

I write to you to ask for your support to return SB30 to its original form as it was introduced by Senator Ben Westlund. As you know the intent of the bill was to prevent any destination resort development within three miles of the Metolius river watershed in order to protect this pristine Oregon treasure from the real and potential harm of such development. I would venture to say that no one who has been to the Metolius basin and had time to see and experience the bond with nature that this river provides would object to it's special protection except, perhaps, those who might profit from such development. The current SB30 has been modified to, in essence, eliminate the intent for which it was created. Please restore SB30 to it's original form. Current and future Oregonians will remember what you did and thank you for having done the right thing.

Al & Jane Krause
Sisters, OR

Oregon Is A Place Of People's Dreams - Kathleen Leppert, Bend

Senators and State Leaders,

Oregon. The name evokes images of towering pines, rushing rivers and bubbling springs, peaceful meadows and powerful mountains. The natural wonders of the Oregon outdoors is what brings thousands of tourists to our beautiful state year-round and what also has made Deschutes County one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. As a local Realtor, one of the first questions I ask people is “what do you like to do?” You see one thing that I know is that people who move to Oregon come here to live close to what they like to do . . . in the outdoors. That may be mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, hiking, skiing, rollerblading, hunting, camping, fly-fishing, or just strolling through the woods taking in the peaceful sounds of nature.

Oregon is a place of people’s dreams. I grew up hearing that “Oregon is God’s country”. My family dreamed of Oregon and hoped to move here one day. My husband and I did just that in 1990 and my family soon followed.

Since arriving in Oregon we’ve seen both the natural wonders of the environment and the ugly nature of people. Greed has stripped Oregonians of so much of its heritage due to rampant over-development. My foray into the development arena is due to my strong beliefs in smart growth principles, which are, among other things, to utilize current infrastructure and redevelopment practices to preserve and protect our open spaces and wilderness areas. In the words of Aldo Leopold “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.”

What is deeply disturbing is that it appears that if you have enough money and influence, you can rewrite Oregon’s laws and steal one of our crown jewels turning it from a Wild and Scenic protected habitat into a Disneyesque version of “Wet and Wild.”

What I’d like to ask is that each and every leader in Oregon protect the Metolius River Basin and preserve our heritage. This is what makes Oregon special and unique. Without it, people will stop dreaming of Oregon and we will no longer live in God’s country.

Kathleen Leppert, PC
Principal Broker/Owner, CSP, GRI
Leppert & Associates Realty

Oregon: Environmental Model Of This Nation - Doug Hancock, Camp Sherman

[Sent to Senators Brown, Ferrioli, Monnes Anderson, Nelson, and Johnson:]

I am writing to urge your strong support for SB 30 in its original version, without the amendments made by the prior committee.

Those who support development in the Metolius Basin have raised many objections to SB 30. These include arguments about loss of tax revenue for the county, loss of local control, NIMBYs, and deprivation of private property rights. While all of these arguments are made with conviction, none of them are valid. Moreover, even as there is at least arguable merit to arguments against SB 30, none of them can come close to justifying the degradation of the Metolius that would come from destination resorts. The Metolius Basin is the jewel in Oregon's crown. It deserves special protection and SB 30 is the only way to give it the protection it deserves so that all future generations of Oregonians can enjoy this natural wonder.

The destination resorts that are contemplated by Jefferson County would overwhelm the basin, which is a very fragile environment. The traffic alone would inundate the area, but this is just the beginning. Consider for a moment destination resorts many times larger than Sunriver in an area with one access road and you begin to see one of the problems. Other serious problems include pollution (of all kinds), increases in population far beyond what the area can carry, and serious concerns about the impact on the watershed.

You undoubtedly will hear a lot about these issues. For now I would rather give you my take on this legislation as a lifelong Oregonian who is fortunate enough to live in Camp Sherman, in the heart of the Metolius Basin. I don't need to tell you that Oregon is blessed with some of the most beautiful and pristine environments in the world. The Metolius Basin is one of the most notable.

But Oregon has been twice blessed: once with its lands, and once with courageous, independent politicians on both sides of the political divide, both liberal and conservative, who recognize that when it comes to protecting our environment, political partisanship has no role.

Oswald West was a democrat who took the lead in protecting our Pacific beaches for public use. And Tom McCall was a republican who pushed through legislation that maintained Governor West's public beach legacy, passed the bottle bill, cleaned up the Willamette River, and so much more.

Speaking on land use issues in 1973 Tom McCall said:

* * * there is a shameless threat in our environment and to the whole quality of our life, and that is the unfettered despoiling of our land. Coastal condomania, sagebrush subdivisions and the ravenous rampage of suburbia in the Willamette Valley, all threaten to mock Oregon's status as the environmental model of this nation.

Because of the convictions of Governor McCall and other leaders, Oregon continues to be a model for the rest of the nation in terms of protecting natural treasures. But his words ring true again today: now, over 30 years after McCall's warnings, there is another shameless threat in one of our most treasured environments; the Metolius Basin.

SB 30 eliminates that threat. You have the opportunity to stand in the proud company and carry on the tradition of your predecessors.

From a legal perspective, I have little doubt that Jefferson County could craft a zoning ordinance that allows destination resorts in the Metolius Basin . To a certain extent, SB 30 does sidestep this local process. However, SB 30 is based on the notion that in some cases there is a higher purpose than tax revenue and private profit. Namely, that some places are so unique they deserve protection so that future Oregonians may enjoy them.

Preserving Oregon's natural heritage has long been a tradition for Oregon politicians and civic leaders. Local governments have always been quick to ask the State government step in when it benefits the locals. As an example, the new jail in Madras could not have been built without the State's intervention in local land use regulations. Jefferson County was fine with State intervention in that case. It is disingenuous for the county to now say that the State shouldn't intervene on the basis that it usurps local control.

As to the NIMBYs, of course the people who live in the basin are opposed to destination resorts. But many hundreds of people from throughout the United States and around the world have voiced support for the bill. The reason is that preservation of the basin makes it available for all future generations. Once the resorts come, that can never be reversed.

At the end of the day, history remembers conservationists because they preserve natural treasures for future generations to enjoy. One of the developers who would build a destination resort was quoted a few weeks ago in the Sisters Nugget newspaper as saying that Senator Westlund "has ambitions in becoming governor, and perhaps he thought this [SB 30] would paint him as the man who saved the Metolius." Perhaps that is why Senator Westlund sponsored SB 30. Maybe not. Either way, it is far better to be remembered as the man who tried to save the Metolius than one who developed it.

Please pass SB 30.

Doug Hancock
Camp Sherman, OR

Committed To It's Beauty, History, And Preservation - Mary Jane K. Govaerts, Foster City, CA

Dear Senator Westlund [copied to Senator Burdick]:

Having been a registered voter fin San Mateo County, California for 26 years, I am writing my very first letter of support to a Government official. I find it ironic that this first letter is to a Senator outside of my County and State, but that is how passionate I am about this subject. I’m writing in support of SB 30 to provide any assistance that I can to help the save the Metolius River Basin. This pristine area has become a very special place to my family and I over the past many years. I am currently a resident of California, but spend each summer in Central Oregon with my family and friends enjoying the beauty of this rich area.

Having found this beautiful area that time seems to have forgotten has been a true a blessing. My time along the Metolius River is always a time of nourishment for my body and my soul. I have the great gift of being invited by a property owner to share a week of rest literally along the banks of the Metolius River in the town of Camp Sherman. I’ve had the opportunity to share with my family members, many of whom are residents of Oregon and some of our best times as grown adults have been in a little fishing lodge along the banks to the Metolius River. As a matter of fact, I am careful in who I share my knowledge of this area with in fear that it will become over visited, over populated, and thus exposed to those who might not respect or appreciate its uniqueness and vulnerability.

The people of Camp Sherman (residents, property owners, and the public servants) are so committed to its beauty, history and preservation that it reminds me of what is missing from many communities, and certainly my own, which is the agreement that the our environment is a gift from God and that as caretakers, we each have the responsibility to share it’s beauty while preserving it from being exploited and turned into yet another place for commerce to take over.

I greatly appreciate your support of the ORIGINAL version of SB 30 and although I’m not a registered voter in your Districtm I will continue to support SB 30 in any manner that I am able.

Mary Jane K. Govaerts
Foster City, CA

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Concerned About Fire - Thomas H. Anderson, McMinnville

[Sent to Senator Gary George and All State Senators]

Dear Senator George:

You may recall the devastating “B&B” fire that blackened much of the Santiam Pass area in 2003 and threatened to devastate Camp Sherman which was evacuated. I just read in the news that there is a 167 square mile wild fire burning in Georgia along with 220 active fires in Florida which have so far charred 125 square miles. There are is a wildfire burning in Los Angeles, California, and a fire burning out of control in Minnesota that so far has destroyed 45 buildings, including multimillion dollar homes.

All citizens of Oregon should be concerned that if protective legislation, such as SB 30 in its original form, is not enacted, the entire Metolius Basin will be vulnerable to an increased risk of wildfire and potentially billions of dollars in economic loss. You can’t bring thousands of homes and tens of thousands of people into a fire sensitive area without dramatically increasing the risk of loss.
This is another cost that should be considered before voting to allow development of destination resorts in the Metolius Basin. I hope to hear from you soon that you are supporting SB 30 in its original form.

Thomas H. Anderson
Law Offices of Thomas H. Anderson, P.C.
McMinnville, Oregon

Energetic Support For Metolius Basin Protection Bill - Thomas H. Anderson, McMinnville

[Sent to Sen. Gary, and to All State Senators]

Dear Senator George:

I am writing to ask that you give energetic support to a Metolius Basin protection bill.

If protective legislation, such as SB 30 in its original form, is not enacted, the special character of the Metolius Basin will be degraded forever. And there will be specific economic costs generated by the proposed destination resort that will end up being paid and assumed by parties other than the developer. Here is one example: The Jefferson County Planning department uses the Institute of Transportation Trip Generation Manual to assign 9.6 trips per day to each house. If 3500 houses are built in the resort, that will generate 33,600 vehicle trips per day on the Camp Sherman road. What will that cost in road maintenance and expansion, traffic, pollution, and carbon emissions? Are we not at a critical time when our public officials are directed to enact legislation reducing carbon emissions to address threatening global warming trends (rather than approving plans which will dramatically increase emissions)?

Before voting to allow development of destination resorts in the Metolius Basin, I think you need to assess the actual short and long term costs to your constituents and their descendants. Informed decision making, by legislators and by voters, requires such cost analysis.
I look forward to receiving your response.

Thomas H. Anderson
Law Offices of Thomas H. Anderson, P.C.
McMinnville, Oregon

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Only One Metolius - Dan and Linda Odum, San Carlos, California

Dear Senator Westlund,

I am a California resident who, with my children and grandchildren have been visiting dear friends in the Camp Sherman area of the Metolius Basin every summer for nearly 20 years.....and every visit provides rejuvenation and regeneration for all of us through the pristine beauty, amazing natural ambience and wonderful people with whom we've associated there. We appreciate California's great natural beauty, but we haven't found any other location that can compare to The Metolius Basin in Oregon for getting close to nature at the most basic level. We would urge you to use all of your official political power to maintain that very special ambience and prevent the permitting of construction of any type of destination resorts in or within a 3 mile radius of the Metolius river Basin.

Thank you for your most diligent attention to this serious matter.


Dan and Linda Odum
Wade and CC Odum and family
Christian and Mindy Halden and family
San Carlos, CA

Lessons From California - Frances B. Hogan, Palo Alto, CA

Dear Senators [Westlund and Burdick]:

My parents leased a lot from the Forest Service on the Metolius River in 1939, and now my husband and I continue to lease it. There are four generations of family, who enjoy vacationing there. We all realize how precious the Metolius Basin is and the irreplaceable qualities depend on the effects of the ecology and the natural resources!

Senate Bill 30 was a remarkable bill to be proposed by some of your senators!! They were recognizing the need to preserve and protect the Metolius Basin. Destination Resorts in that area would harm the treasures of the Metolius! Unfortunately the committee who was in charge of sending it the Senate added an amendment, which put it back in hands of the County, who evidently would like to reap the tax benefits from developing resorts. The resorts would not protect the ecology of the basin.

The residents of Camp Sherman and the Forest Service homeowners act at stewards of the basin and caretakers of the area so that others may come and enjoy it---safe-guarding it from investors who looking for the monetary gains. Living in California we know how important it is watch out for such inroads! This project sounds like a perfect example of things that occurred in this state. Fortunately we are in an area where people are concerned about preventing any environmentally incorrect things to happen.

I can't imagine that the eco-resort that has been proposed will be able to carry out many of their goals. With houses being built on it, how would it create a low impact, environmentally oriented, vacation community. It is bound to effect the environment. This land would be better used by the Land Trust or the Nature Conservatory where people can enjoy trails and the forest.

Frances B. Hogan
Palo Alto, CA

Monday, May 7, 2007

Whychus Slideshow - Erik Kancler

This past weekend, I took some friends on a trip down Whychus Creek, from the crossing at Alder Springs, to the confluence with the Deschutes and back. Pics are here. (Just select "View Slideshow")

Although the battle for SB 30 is about the Metolius first and foremost, resort development on the Colson site would impact the Whychus as well, which is fed largely by springs. The springs can be seen all along its length bubbling up in small pools, pouring full speed out of canyon walls, and trickling out of the hillsides. Many of these springs could see reduced flow, or dry up completely if a large-scale resort is allowed to be built on the Colson property.

Like the Metolius, the Whychus has been the focus of flow restoration, fish reintroductions, and conservation efforts. It too is a Wild and Scenic River and has been the recipient of considerable amounts of money to help restore it to its original state. The Tribes are planning to reintroduce Steelhead to the Whychus this month, in fact.

No political messages here, just a picture show of a beautiful and unique river in Central Oregon. Enjoy.