Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Battle for the Metolius Rolling Into Court

Central Oregon LandWatch and Friends of the Metolius are going to court to try to protect the scenic river from two planned new destination resorts.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Central Oregon LandWatch and Friends of the Metolius are going to court to try to protect the scenic river from two planned new destination resorts.


LandWatch announced yesterday that it and the Friends are challenging a mid-February decision by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) that the resorts could ahead. The groups will question LUBA's findings that state land use law doesn't protect the groundwater that feeds the springs at the Head of the Metolius and that Jefferson County didn't have to update its 27-year-old inventory of protected natural resources before allowing the resorts.

LandWatch will file its brief in the Oregon Court of Appeals on March 24, according to Executive Director Erik Kancler, and a decision could come in August.

Conservationists fear that the two planned resorts - one of 640 acres and a humongous one of 10,000 acres - will draw down the water table and imperil the famous springs at the headwaters, as well as the river's world-famous trout fishery. A bill that would have blocked the resorts was sponsored by Sen. Ben Westlund, D-Tumalo, in the 2007 legislative session, but died when Gov. Ted Kulongoski said he wouldn't support it.

Kulongoski said at the time that he thought state land use laws provided adequate protection for the Metolius - but Kancler says the LUBA decision blew that notion out of the water. The ruling, he writes, confirmed "LandWatch's longstanding assertion that the state lacks clear authority to protect the Metolius and its basin and that new solutions are needed."

Fortunately, new solutions may be in the works. On Feb. 10, Mike Carrier, Kulongoski's director of natural resources, sent LandWatch an e-mail telling the group that the state Departments of Environmental Quality, Water Resources and Fish and Wildlife have "identified key concerns that would arise with the siting of a new resort near the Metolius River" and "concluded that they have no clear authority to prevent the construction of a resort.

As a result, Carrier continued, Kulongoski has asked the agencies to "make recommendations to him regarding needed legislation that would increase the state's authority relative to siting destination resorts."

As always, the devil will be in the details. "The next question, the BIG question, is what solutions will ultimately be proposed, will they be effective, and can they be implemented in time to protect the Metolius?" writes Kancler.

  • Pin It
    Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by H. Bruce Miller

  • Who is John Galt? Who Gives a Crap?: Atlas Shrugged's tea party flops hard

    Members of the Ayn Rand cult have waited 54 years for a movie version of her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. They finally have one that's true to the letter and spirit of the book. And that's the problem.
    • May 11, 2011
  • LandWatch Goes to the Mattresses Over Resorts

    The fight over Deschutes County's new destination resort rules isn't finished yet: Central Oregon LandWatch has put the county on notice that it plans to challenge them. LandWatch filed ìnotices of intent to appealî Thursday with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, charging that the county's new rules for determining what lands are eligible for resorts ìactually increase the development potential in the county.
    • Aug 23, 2010
  • Waste and Fraud: Walden Goes After the Big Game

    Eastern Oregon's own Rep. Greg Walden and a couple of other Republican congressmen have unleashed their righteous wrath on a federal program that helps low-income folks heat their homes.
    • Jul 2, 2010
  • More »

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors.
    • Dec 26, 2010
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general.
    • Dec 19, 2010
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation