Friday, June 15, 2007

Oregonian Letters To the Editor Supporting Senate Bill 30

The Oregonian posted three letters today, all in support of SB 30. See them here.

Metolius: Preserve this natural treasure

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Oregonian's call for a land-use process that the people of Oregon can believe in is laudable ("Yes, this river must be saved," June 10). But restoring public faith in a broken system will take many years of hard work. In the meantime, the fate of the Metolius River hangs in the balance.

The Oregon Legislature has a long history of passing laws that rein in development when treasured places are threatened -- the coast and Columbia River Gorge are prime examples.

Thousands of Oregonians are incredulous that Jefferson County would even consider allowing destination resorts within a stone's throw of the Metolius River. Senate Bill 30 won't restore public faith in the land-use process, but it will prevent the irreparable loss of one of Oregon's most treasured natural places and preserve it for all future generations of Oregonians to enjoy. It should be passed for that reason alone.


My family has been visiting the Metolius River since the 1950s because it is an extraordinary Oregon place that is best preserved just the way it is. More destination resorts nearby will destroy the peaceful quality of the basin and overrun the area with traffic, pollution, crowds, vegetation trampling and overfishing.

This landmark Oregon place needs special protection; our broken land use system cannot protect the Metolius.

Our state land use system has been severely compromised by legislative amendments at the behest of the development industry, one amendment at a time over the past 15 years. Little by little, the intent of the system has been undermined, most significantly by the destination resort amendment, but also by the 20-year land supply requirements, prohibition on inclusionary zoning and others. It is time to put a stop to the unraveling of what makes Oregon so special.

I have worked in the Deschutes National Forest for the past 18 years and also have been a planning commissioner and city councilor in Bend. Thus I have had a front-row seat watching this special region converted from a charming place to runaway growth. We need better laws to protect Oregon's special places.


Your editorial said it all -- "The Metolius River is one of Oregon's natural wonders . . . (a) magical place . . .." So, what more do we need to know?

The question is simple. Should county officials have discretion to "rezone" a natural wonder just so developers can profit? Should they be able to liquidate the timeless quietude of the Metolius to line developers' pockets?

Their actions underscore the very reason we have a state Legislature -- to protect Oregon's irreplaceable natural assets. Some places should be beyond a developer's reach, and this is one of them.

Let's not fool ourselves. The Metolius River Basin will never be the same if developed. Destination resorts are the pig in the parlor. Houses, roads, cars, exhaust and traffic don't match up to whispering pines, roaming deer and elk, Indian paintbrush, and quietude.

What other facts do we really need to know? The Metolius River Basin is a natural endowment for all Oregonians. The state Legislature is duty-bound to ensure that it is protected, not plundered.

ERSKINE WOOD for the Erskine Biddle Wood family Vancouver

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

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lifelong Republican Supports SB 30 - Steve Bachelder, Portland

Dear Representatives,

I have forwarded to you the attached letter [not posted here in hopes that Oregonain publishes it] I just sent the Oregonian in response to its editorial about SB 30 and the Metolius. I hope you will take it into consideration.

I agree with the Oregonian that overall Land-use policy is at a critical stage in Oregon and must be looked at thoughtfully, but we can't afford to risk the Metolius in the meantime, and the Metolius is up against the power of some huge money right now.

Please support the bill as written the Senate.

Incidentally, I am a lifelong Republican, one of many who realize ours was the original party of conservation, in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt.

Thank you,
Steve Bachelder
Portland, OR

Protecting The Metolius - John and Vicki Hornbeck, Camp Sherman

About twenty years ago, my wife, two small children, and I were able to spend a month on the Metolius River. We explored the Metolius Basin by foot, bicycle, and horseback. We were forever impacted by the diverse pristine beauty of the river and its tributaries. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Sisters from Boulder Colorado and maintained a steady schedule of camping, biking, and fishing on the Metolius.

About 6 years ago, a dream was realized when purchased the Metolius River Lodges, 13 cabins on the river with 1950s charm. Our guests are mostly second and third generation vacationers, birders, fisherman (and women), and families introducing their young children to the unique beauty of the Metolius. A number of our friends and guests are appalled at the prospect of mammoth resort developments which would have an irrevocable adverse impact on the river and its supporting ecosystem.

After 20 years in the Sisters area, we have noticed the effects of climate change, which so far have not visibly altered the Metolius. However with the massive water demands of the proposed destination resorts coupled with diminished snow pack, there is a great likelihood of irreparable damage on the Basin’s water table and the springs and tributaries, which have formed the Metolius for centuries. Once the river flow is disturbed, there is no man made “quick fix”.

The Bulletin several editorials against SB30 insinuate that the aim of SB30 is to protect the value of Senator Becky Johnson’s (D.Scappose) Metolius homestead. The Bulletin raises the classic “red herring” and demeans the memory of a true Oregonian. The late Becky Johnson, the matriarch of the Friends of the Metolius donated the viewing area of the Headwaters of the Metolius so that thousands of visitors, could be awestruck at the humble origin of a 22 mile Wild and Scenic river.

In probably her last public appearance last fall in Camp Sherman at a meeting of the Jefferson County Planning Commission, Becky Johnson passionately argued against the establishment of any destination resorts, which could harm the Metolius Basin ecosystem.

To equate Betsy Johnson co-sponsorship of SB30 with personal greed does a disservice to her mother who was revered in this community.

The absurdity of the Bulletin argument is that Becky Johnson’s property on the Metolius are almost priceless. The proposed destination resorts could not diminish the economic value of her land, and in fact might even enhance it. The only real monetary gain is for the developers of the resorts who hope to make millions selling second homes to wealthy investors. Of course, the Jefferson County Commissioners are focused solely on adding to their tax base rent. Over the years, they have paid scant attention to Camp Sherman except to raise the transit lodging tax on the guests to stay in the area.

By couching this issue as a local government right to exercise its land use power, the Bulletin intentional ignores the real issue of the States interest in responsibility to preserve a national treasure admired and enjoyed by Oregonians and visitors from all over the world. With a designation as a wild and scenic rivers the many books on its geography, bird and wild life, native bull trout, it is clear that the Metolius is a unique creation. No local government, golf resort developer, or even private landowners like us, “owns” the Metolius. We can only count our blessings that we are privileged to enjoy its unspoiled beauty and preserve the Metolius for future generations.

John & Vickie Hornbeck
Metolius River Lodges
Camp Sherman, Oregon

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

To Legislators: Please Act Boldly - Dick Kellogg, Camp Sherman

Dear State Representatives,

I urge your strong support of Senate Bill 30 in its current form. This bill would prohibit massive destination resorts in and adjacent to The Metolius River Basin.

It is not hard to imagine the impact of the proposed 3,000 housing and lodging units (a ten fold increase in current density) on this fragile natural environment. Those who have experienced the area's rare and unique natural beauties and serenity are shocked at Jefferson County's designation of this area as appropriate and eligible for massive resort development. The response from throughout the state and beyond is overwhelmingly against this proposal.

The Metolius is a state treasure. The State Legislature must step in and override Jefferson County's ill considered decision to change industrial forest lands in this area into urban subdivisions.

Please act boldly in protecting The Metolius River Basin as your predecessors did in protecting other unique natural wonders of Oregon - such as Crater Lake, Hells Canyon, the Columbia Gorge and Oregon's beaches.

Dick Kellogg
Camp Sherman, OR

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Please Listen To Your Constituents - Marina Martinez-Cavallo, Bend

Representatives, June 12, 2007

I am writing as a community member of Central Oregon and as a workforce and career education consultant, regarding SB 30 (Metolius). I want to express my overwhelming support for this bill. I have never written to legislators before but this matter requires urgent action. My friends in Central Oregon as well as visitors/ friends of ours from out-of-state are also writing to you about this. I have also copied many people with this letter (Bcc).


Many legislators are concerned about the economy and feel that allowing the destination resorts to develop will help. But, many well-educated and professional people will actually stop coming to this area and spending their money because this area will be just like the many other places we have in Central Oregon and California. Don’t we want to preserve our economic stability with environmental stability?

The proposed resorts will produce just above minimum wage jobs—food, retail, landscape etc. This is more of the same in Central Oregon.

Don’t we need to spend our energy recruiting corporations that will bring in higher wage jobs, provide occupational diversity that will actually increase our state economy and help us with the global workforce that we have RIGHT NOW? As a workforce consultant, I see how we CONTINUE in Oregon to develop these low-level minimum wage jobs and their disastrous effect on our families, marriages, and children; parents have to work 2-3 jobs to make a house payment and put food on the table. Our children suffer with lack of childcare and attention and find inappropriate ways to entertain themselves, ultimately causing more financial strain on our state. (I come from a gang-infested state.) And important to our economy, we are lagging in education nationally because of lack of funding. We can do better than this!

I moved to Central Oregon a few years ago and have been visiting it quarterly for over twenty years. I have come to learn that the Metolious River Basin is a precious diamond in this land. People actually go there to restore their sanity and to remember why they live in this beautiful state. It’s not uncommon for people to call this area “a spiritual place.”

We need this very delicate, environmentally unique, and peaceful place to stay in tact with the surrounding ecosystem. People need to find peace so that they can go on and deal with the changing global workplace, leaders they can’t believe in most of the time, and now the uncertainties of the global warming threat. Over 60% of marriages end in divorce, we have children taking care of their aging parents, and jobs that come and go on a regular basis. We need a place that feels good and feels like “home.” In sum, this area is rehabilitative to most of us.

Quite simply, if we don’t take care of the precious landscape we have, it won’t be able to take care of us. PLEASE DON’T LET THE DEVELOPERS WIN THIS ONE! Don’t let us become another uncaring California!
Clearly, the Metolious River watershed is at risk:
§ Destination resorts consume vast quantities of water (shouldn’t we be saving?)
§ Their golf courses, wastewater and pavement runoff can pollute surface and ground waters (Do we NEED more than 35 golf courses in an area this size? We have SO many ways tourists can enjoy our area)
§ Thousands of more visitors will crowd the unique Metolious Wild and Scenic River (I have camped here for over 20 years; I already see the pressure from too many people. It’s getting much harder for this area to bounce back)
§ Damage to the sensitive riparian areas and healthy fish habitat, not to mention wildlife like river otters will occur.

Please, Please, Please PASS Senate Bill 30. Let’s provide meaningful employment in ways that will really help our economy.


Marina Martinez-Cavallo, M.S.
Bend, Oregon

Absolutely No Reason To Develop The Metolius - Bob and Toni Duff

[To All Representatives:]

Please support SB30. There is absolutely no reason to develop any more land in or near, the Metolius River. It is a national treasure and must be protected/preserved.

Those in opposition to SB30 should be ashamed of themselves.

Thank you,

Bob and Annette (Toni) Duff
Redmond, Oregon

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Runaway Growth In The Metolius - John Schubert, Bend

[Sent to all Representatives:]

My family has been visiting the Metolius since the 1950's because it is an extraordinary Oregon place that is best preserved just the way it is. More destination resorts nearby will destroy the unique peaceful quality of the basin and overrun Sisters as well with traffic, pollution, crowds, vegetation trampling, over fishing,... Please afford this landmark Oregon place the protection it needs--our broken land use system cannot protect the Metolius.

Our State land use system has been severely compromised by legislative amendmnents at the behest of the development industry, one amendment at a time over the past 15 years. Step by step the intent of the system has been undermined, most significantly by the destination resort amendment, but also by the 20-year land supply requirements, prohibition on inclusionary zoning, and others. It is time to put a stop to the unraveling of what makes Oregon so special.

I have worked in the Deschutes National Forest for the past 18 years and also have been a planning commissioner and City Councilor in Bend. I have seen this special region converted from a charming place to runaway growth. We need better laws to protect Oregon's special places. Please have the courage to do your part.

Thanks very much.

John Schubert
Bend, OR

To Rep Whisnant: Disappointed You're Not Supporting SB 30 - Bill Bodden, Redmond

Dear Representative Whisnant:

I was disappointed to read in today's Bulletin that you will be opposing SB30 and supporting development adjacent to the Metolius River. I appreciate that your tradition of supporting developers regardless of the consequences has persuaded you to vote as we have been informed, but I ask that you reconsider. Your developer friends can make money elsewhere. The Metolius can't move. We can only hope that when it is abandoned to the consequences of development its demise will not be as precipitous as we have reason to fear.

Bill Bodden
Redmond, OR

Step In And Protect It - Michael Funke, Bend


The Metolius River needs the original, real SB 30--not the amended version touted by the folks at Ponderosa--and the original SB 30 needs your support despite the misgivings voiced by The Oregonian.

Unfortunately, genuine protection of this Oregon jewel requires the state legislature to take action that overrules Jefferson County officials who are far removed from the Metolius River Basin and, to be blunt, view this distant portion of their county (accessible only by a circuitous route through Deschutes County) as a cash cow.

This would not be the first time the state has had to step in to protect natural resources from overzealous local government, and it won't be the last. Until the laws that protect Oregon's land are strengthened, the best thing that can be done is to pass SB 30 to protect the Metolius now. If these destination resorts are allowed to be built, that cash cow will have long left the barn and the damage will be too permanent to fix.

Please protect the river today. Vote to support the original SB 30.

Peace, Justice, Solidarity,

Michael Funke
Bend, OR

United STATES of America - Duncan Robertson, Portland

Dear Representative Olson:

I appreciate your view and your comments – and even more, your responding and truly playing the role of a “representative” of the people. I should also add that in principle I agree with you.

I recall the words of Mario Cuomo a few years ago, “The name of this country is The United STATES of America.” The states is what it’s about. And that principle percolates on down, until ultimately it is the United Individuals of America – it’s about making life as productive and free for every individual as is possible.

Yet, we are not a true democracy; we are a democratic republi, in order to escape the tyranny of the majority, aka the lynch mob (which is being challenged through the initiative process). When we look to the rights of the individual: doesn’t a man have a right to beat his wife? After all, it’s his wife, his household, isn’t that this primary unit? The freedom of the individual unit to “do its own thing” only carries to the point where it then infringes upon the freedoms and rights of others: and so government: and the form of government we have, where the federal government can step in and say to Utah, “We know that you feel that it is your right to have multiple wives; to the southern states, “We know that you believe in segregation, but we’re overriding those “rights” because they cuts into the fabric of the spirit of this land.”

Likewise, a county DOES HAVE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE ITS OWN DESTINY…TO A POINT. But when a county decides that it can individually profit by permitting and in fact encouraging development for the sake of cash, that will ruin an experience for everyone else (other than the county and the developers) it’s time for the State to step in and say, “No, you are abusing your ‘rights’ as a county; we’re going to draw a line here.”

Think about it. And thanks for your consideration.

Very Truly Yours,
Duncan Robertson
Portland, OR

To All House Republicans: Support SB 30 Without Amendment - Leslie McMillan, Brooklyn, NY

(sent to all Republican representatives)

I appreciate your hard work in the Oregon Legislature, and your willingness to stand on principle. I am a conservative Republican and a native Oregonian (originally from Camp Sherman), formerly a political professional in Olympia but now serving in Christian ministry in the foreign country known as Brooklyn, New York. Indeed, there is broad support for unamended SB 30 – Save The Metolius – support beyond one end of the political spectrum in one corner of the country.

I am writing briefly to address an apparent Republican caucus position, at least in the Senate, that the Legislature should not interfere with local land use decisions in this case. This is a valuable principle with a long history in America. Yet we also know of many occasions when valuable principles seem to conflict with one another, and the higher must be chosen. This is such a time.

Surely in your position you have considered the principle of checks and balances, which restrains abuses or errors by any branch or level of government, and offers recourse to citizens. Sadly, Jefferson County’s decision looks like excessive short-term greed at the expense of a wonder of God’s creation that no one has a right to exploit unto destruction. The Senate wisely passed unamended SB 30 with an emergency clause, understanding that stretching out an unassured reversal through the lengthy LUBA appeal leaves the unique Metolius Basin still too exposed to the risks of strong influences on obscure committees with limited accountability to the general public.

You might also be inclined to consider the high principle of stewardship. Sometimes it is difficult to discern the proper balance between preservation of God’s creation and people’s rightful use of it. However, in the case of the Metolius Basin, the stewardship question is not hard to answer. The value of the Metolius Basin springs largely from the incredible origin of the river, which absolutely depends on a huge volume of groundwater constantly flowing to a specific location. This is not a matter of “a tree grows in Brooklyn” (whose disappearance might not be noticed), but of an irreplaceable, carefully created ecosystem entrusted to Oregonians for whom money is not the first love. Large, water-consuming destination resorts might be good in places that they will not destroy, but not near the delicate Metolius Basin. The Metolius has an intrinsic value far above any financial value, and this priority must be honored.

I know you have a lot to think about as the 2007 session draws to a close, and many people are pressuring you about their many urgent bills. I hope and pray that you can spend a few moments, even now, to commit to the high principles that will enable you to support SB 30 without amendments, and to be a voice within your caucus to Save The Metolius.

Leslie McMillan
Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our Land Use Laws Won't Address This Issue - Andrea Scharf, Yachats

Dear Representative:

I am a resident of Yachats, but I spend a lot of time in Central Oregon, and I have been doing so for more than forty years. This beautiful region needs the protection of SB 30 or it will be one more area which we can tell our grandchildren about, but which they will never experience for themselves--unless, of course, they are among the lucky few to be able to afford to live in an exclusive, expensive community where they can play golf on what used to be a forest.

I am also a member of a water quality monitoring project on the Yachats River and I am acutely aware of the threat development poses to water supplies in Oregon, west and east of the Cascades. In addition to simply being sublimely beautiful, the Metolius and the many other springs in that area must be protected or even our rich grandchildren will find their golf courses drying up in the summer! Not to mention the fish that thrive in those cold clear waters, and the people who fish there, hike there, or just sit there and enjoy the peace of a place that isn't "developed." I've watched the Bend area change dramatically in the past ten years and I have to ask--how many more exclusive "units" do we need? How many golf courses? How can we justify destroying natural resources for developments that could be built anywhere?

The efforts of proponents of this development to confuse the issue by offering a ludicrous amendment to "protect the Metolius" by developing around it should be seen for what they are--greed and disregard for ordinary people.

Our current land use policies will not adequately address the issues posed by this development, which is why it is so critical to pass SB 30 as it is written. I hope that you will support this legislation and vote for SB 30.

Thank you for your attention.
Andrea M. Scharf
Yachats OR

Register Guard Supports SB 30

This morning, the Oregonian editorialized against SB 30. That editorial is here.

Unfortunately, that paper's editorial board seems tobe suggesting that it's possible to save the Metolius using the state's land use system. Unfortunately the prospects for doing so are practically zero - the state's rules for destination resorts don't provide any means of doing this, neither do laws governing water use in the basin.

The Eugene Register Guard however has decided to support SB 30. That paper's editorial board seems to understand that SB 30 is the only way to save the Metolius from the impacts of these resorts, and understands that drastic times call for drastic measures.

Their editorial is online here, but we've posted the text to this post for your convenience.

Protect the Metolius
A Register-Guard Editorial
Published: Saturday, June 9, 2007

Willamette Valley residents have an enduring and powerful connection to the Metolius Basin, which for eastbound travelers is the first glorious sight that greets them after they've crested the Santiam Pass and begun their journey into Oregon's High Desert.

For Lane County residents, the basin's broad landscape of jagged basalt and yellow-bellied pines offers vivid contrast to the verdant forests and fields to which they're accustomed. Then there's the Metolius, a federally designated wild and scenic river that emerges abruptly from a mysterious confluence of springs near the base of Black Butte and muscles its way 17 miles north and east to Lake Billy Chinook and the Deschutes River.

When Jefferson County commissioners last year set aside two large tracts near the Metolius River for destination resorts, the move understandably raised eyebrows in Lane County - and across the rest of Oregon. As state Sen. Ben Westlund, D-Tumalo, noted, "The Metolius is not just a jewel in Jefferson County's crown - it's a treasure for us all - an Oregon treasure."

Conservation groups, local tribes and area landowners expressed justifiable concerns about potential harm to the river's unique headwaters, and depletion of the region's finite water supply. Westlund responded by introducing a bill that would bar new resorts within roughly three miles of the Metolius Basin. The bill passed in the Senate last month and is pending in the House, which should approve it.
Concerns about how the proposed resorts would affect schools, traffic, emergency services and the rural quality of life in the sparsely populated county are legitimate. But it's water that has emerged as the focal point of debate over Senate Bill 30.

The resorts, which would include golf courses and thousands of new homes, have so far applied for a combined total of 10.5 cubic feet of water per second. That's enough, say critics, to supply the cities of Redmond and Sisters with water - or to fill a glass of water for every Oregonian every 45 minutes.

Despite developers' insistence that their resorts would have negligible impacts, it's clear that they would risk inflicting significant damage upon the very river on whose presence they seek to capitalize. A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist has testified that extensive groundwater pumping "most likely will result in diminished discharge at principal spring complexes that occur at the head of the Metolius, along the main stem, along many of the tributaries, and near the confluence of the Metolius and Deschutes Rivers."

The bill has sparked a fierce debate in Jefferson County - and in the Legislature in Salem - about county rights and the integrity of the state's land use process. Resort proponents argue that Westlund is meddling in a land use matter that has already received extensive consideration at the local level. They also accuse him of riding roughshod over Jefferson's County's economic development interests.
However, Westlund and other resort opponents have raised serious questions about the legitimacy of the process that the county used to approve the resort zoning. More than a dozen appeals have been filed with the state alleging discrepancies and errors in the process.

Westlund also rightly notes that the state's land use and water conservation laws inadequately address the Metolius Basin's unique hydrological and geological features. While water restoration methods such as mitigation may be successful in most watersheds, they're a poor fit for spring-fed waterways such as the Metolius.

Westlund, who has favored development of Central Oregon resorts in the past, compares legislative intercession to protect the Metolius Basin with the state's move to protect Oregon beaches four decades ago.

He's right. The Legislature should intercede to protect an iconic treasure that belongs not just to Jefferson County, but to all Oregon- ians.

Do NOT Weaken This Bill - Mark Dohrmann, Portland

Dear Most Honorable Representatives:

Please pardon my 'mass mailing' but I understand time is sort for the issue of which I write you now.

I have been following with great interest the progress of SB 30, the bill to restrict Destination Resorts in the Metolius Basin. I am an ardent supporter of this bill, as it is drafted. I AM aware that one or more developers have made representations and offered certain 'considerations' in an attempt to have the bill amended.

Do NOT weaken this bill! It is intended to protect an extremely fragile State Treasure, and it is our (YOUR) obligation to see it protected. The amendments proposed will NOT provide protection to the Metolius Basin. If you are at all unsure of this fact then please have staffers study if most carefully. Once this special place is developed further their will be no way to get it back. The uniqueness that draws Oregonians and other visitors both nationally and internationally will be gone forever.

Vote in favor of SB 30.

Thank you for your careful study and vote of support on this important issue, in the interest of Oregonians.

Mark Dohrmann
Jefferson County AND Multnomah County Tax Payer
Visitor to the Metolius for over 35 years

Stop The Endless Paving of Oregon - Hal Darst

[Sent to All Representatives:]

I am writing out of sense of complete outrage and dismay at the possible development of the Metolius River area, and am asking for your support of SB 30. I am a native Oregonian who has experienced tremendous amounts of backcountry throughout the Cascades, Wallowa's, Kalmiopsis and most of Oregon. Further I have led numerous 20 plus day backpacking trips in Yosemite, Death Valley, the Appalachian Trail of both Maine and New Hampshire, as well as trips in Vermont, Alaska and Utah. Of the many places I have been blessed to experience, no place, - NO place, is more dear and cherished to me than the Metolius and Three Sisters Wilderness. I could try to bolster my argument with descriptions or comparisons, but let me be forthcoming and say I honestly don't know why - it is simply something one feels in the heart. If one has any ability to feel a connection with the land, (and this ability has nearly gone extinct in our species I believe), there is just something profoundly special about that area.

It has been excruciating to watch this endless paving of Oregon, from abundant ecological wilderness to greed-stained wasteland, over my 54 years. The hopes many of us had in the McCall era with the passage of Senate Bill 100 and the onset of Land Use Planning, has been bulldozed over. What happened to the strength of character in individual legislators who could STAND UP to shortsighted, monied interests trying to sacrifice public benefit for private gain?!!! Back then legislators worked to create whole systems such as the Bottle Bill, the Willamette Greenway and Land Use Planning. Nationally efforts were made to enact the Wild and Scenic Rivers bill, the Clean Water and Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Protection Act. Some courageous efforts, albeit flawed and imperfect legislation, were put forward by truly heroic and memorable legislators. Bipartisan efforts with people like Gov's McCall, Straub, Sen Hallock, Sen MacPherson, who used genuine passion and power of belief in the rightness of the cause, to persuad their peers to enact STATEWIDE, systematic legislation to comprehensively address the onslaught of developers and mindless consumerism.

And now legislators and citizens are reduced to fighting over this incessant incremental erosion by 100 acre parcels in a thousand different places, and civic government today even gets bulldozed over by these single penny-ante developers. I place a call for the return of some courageous legislators with the strength to hold the line set forth by those who brought forth the vision of an unspoiled state, saved from the fate of New Jersey and California. Those who once called this state the "Pacific Wonderland".

Truly, if these beautiful ridges and slopes of the Metolious die under the pavement and plastic, there will be a part of me that dies as well. I plead for some legislators and legislation that will stop this cancerous assault on our wildlands. Protect the Metolius, and lets get development back into the cities, where it belongs!!!! Please support SB 30!

Most sincerely yours,

Hal C. Darst

Strong Support for SB 30 - Robert Sims, Maupin

Representatives Dallum and Merkley and Members of the Oregon House of Representatives:

I strongly support Senate Bill 30 because the aquatic health of the Metolius River requires a high quality watershed that is incompatible with the development of nearby destination resorts. The Metolius River’s cold clean water and high quality spawning gravel support a world-class fishery that attracts fisherman from around the United States and the world.

The Metolius currently supports a threatened bull trout population, while the tributary waters, particularly Fly Creek, are exceptionally important because of the existence of isolated populations of native redband trout. These trout are uniquely adapted to the area and are a valuable genetic resource for the state of Oregon. According to the USGS, deep and shallow groundwater from the Colson parcel flows toward, and discharges into, Fly Creek and other Metolius tributaries. Development of destination resorts and associated golf courses is likely to discharge wastewater carrying contaminants such as nitrate into the tributaries of the Metolius. These discharges will damage the pristine water quality of the Metolius and threaten the survival of the trout populations, especially bull trout.

In addition, the water quality of Whychus Creek will be impaired by the development of destination resorts. Sediment from soil erosion during construction, roads and other results of development at the potential destination resorts poses a serious threat to spawning gravel and aquatic health. Since the creek is one of the primary destinations for recently reintroduced native Steelhead, development is incompatible with the reintroduction program. The program 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 product of the extensive Pelton–Round Butte relicensing negotiations.

The Metolius River and surrounding area is a pristine nature sanctuary that has been enjoyed by Oregonians since the late 1800’s. To allow the development of nearby destination resorts will irreparably damage one of Oregon’s and the nation’s great natural treasures. Once this treasure is lost, it can never be recreated and Oregon will be much poorer for the loss. The watersheds of the Metolius including Fly Creek, and Whychus Creek, are of such high quality that they deserve to be protected forever. Senate Bill 30 creates this much needed protection and I strongly support its passage.

The Oregonian’s Sunday editorial promotes process over protection, a questionable process that was set in motion by Measure 37. The Metolius is a state and national resource that deserves protection now, it cannot wait while our state-wide land-use planning process is reconstituted.

Thank you for supporting this important legislation.

Robert Sims
Maupin, OR