The Come-From-Behind Metolius Victory | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

The Come-From-Behind Metolius Victory 

The Metolius Basin protection bill arose from the dead last week, and everybody in Oregon who cares about the irreplaceable treasure that is the Metolius

The Metolius Basin protection bill arose from the dead last week, and everybody in Oregon who cares about the irreplaceable treasure that is the Metolius River should give thanks for its resurrection.

The bill, HB 3298, designates the Metolius Basin and an adjacent three-mile buffer zone as an "Area of Critical Statewide Concern," protecting it from major development - including two destination resorts that had been proposed there.

A week ago HB 3298 was all but buried after it failed to gain the necessary majority of votes in the Oregon House. In a tactical move its supporters "put it on the table," delaying further action in the hope of switching over at least one of the five Democrats who had voted against it.

It worked. On Monday, June 22, the bill was brought to the floor again. This time Rep. Larry Galizio of Tigard changed his mind, and the measure passed by a vote of 31-28.

After the vote, Galizio said he switched because of a persuasive phone call from Gov. Ted Kulongoski and, above all, because of an overwhelming response from constituents in favor of saving the Metolius.

"Usually, you get these form letters," Galizio told The Oregonian. "I was getting lengthy, passionate, specific letters, from land-use attorneys, from average people. These were heartfelt letters. In my three terms, I've never received such an outpouring of emotion."

So much for those - including the editorial page of our local daily newspaper - who claimed the bill was special interest legislation being pushed by a handful of elitist Metolius property owners who wanted to keep the unwashed masses out of their private playground.

In reality, the victory of the bill is a victory for tens of thousands of people from all over the state - indeed, from all over America - who enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, photographing, or just immersing themselves in the incredible unspoiled beauty of one of this state's most spectacular natural areas.

For the losers - chiefly the would-be developers of the planned Metolian "eco-resort" and Jefferson County, which is desperate for anything resembling economic development - we don't have much sympathy.

The developers had an offer from the state to build a smaller resort near the Metolius; they turned it down and bet on a high-gear lobbying campaign greased with lots of dollars. They lost. That's politics. And they may still have an opportunity to build their "green" resort elsewhere in the state.

As for Jefferson County, it's a big place and there are lots of other locations to site destination resorts.

So we're handing out GLASS SLIPPERS all around to everybody who put the Metolius bill over the top - to Rep. Brian Clem, who sponsored it; to Galizio, for finally seeing the light; to Kulongoski and State Treasurer Ben Westlund, who kept on pushing; to Friends of the Metolius and Central Oregon LandWatch, who did the same; and above all to the thousands of ordinary people who didn't stop calling and e-mailing and sending letters even when the battle seemed lost. Ladies and gentlemen of Oregon, well done.

About The Author

Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Mystery Book Club

Mystery Book Club - Roundabout Books

Wed., Jan. 19, 6-7 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Editorial

More by Intern

  • The Other Half of the Yoga Equation

    The Source Issue 45 (Nov. 10) contained wonderful information about the forms of yoga offered in our vicinity. Most of the information covered pertained to the socially enjoyable forms of yoga enjoyed by the folks who use yoga mats and bendy posturing as they concentrate on improving their blissful breathing techniques. These physical forms of yoga are the beautiful compliments to the mental, mindful and meditative forms of yoga that balance the larger yoga (yogic) equation. Yoga is basically a non-denominational practice aimed at balancing the physical (body) existence with the meta-physical (mind) reality. The ensuing mind-body balance creates the union required for an increased "understanding" (consciousness) of the "living experience."
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Walden's Corporate Servitude

    In the time-honored American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, I am proud to be one of eight Central Oregon citizens arrested on December 5 in Congressman Greg Walden's Bend office. At our January 26 trial we plan to present a compelling defense. This act of dissent follows years of futile attempts to encourage the Congressman to hold open, unscripted town meetings accessible to a majority of his constituents. The Congressman has grown so suspicious of impromptu encounters with ordinary citizens that on Saturday he required a Bend Police Department intervention that enabled him to enter the Water Project meeting at the Chamber of Commerce through the back door. (Greg, we are nonviolent people who believe that democracy thrives on open dialogue and transparency; there is no reason to avoid us.)
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Doors of Equality Swing Both Ways

    I had to respond to "What's Wrong with Siri," (News, 1-4) since Apple's Siri isn't the problem. Three hours before I read, "What's wrong with Siri," I went to a store in town and complimented the cashier that this was the nicest "dollar" store I had ever been in.
    • Jan 11, 2012
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation