Metolius River Forest Homeowners Association

A place for posting matters of importance to Cabin Owners and their visitors, along the Metolius River in Deschutes National Forest, Camp Sherman, Oregon

A Reason For Hope (Are your Speakers turned on?)

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update on Call to Help

Well, for the MRFHA cabin owners the process of having our cabins reappraised is rapidly approaching. When they were last appraised the adjusted fair market value as $45-55,000. Raise your had if you think it will be lower this next time? I one with their hand up! Go to the head of the class.

We'll try to see if we can locate comparable private lot sales that have occurred in the past 24 months that might be used to help establish the new value but this is tough to do. We have a small group working on this but could really use help from any cabin owner/user on the Metolius that might want to get involved; especially if you have Real Estate experience (but a desire to help is most important). Contact us through

Friday, July 6, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen, we badly need to form a group of interested cabin owners to do a review of lots and locate compariables we can live with to supply the FS's lot appraisers when they begin the process very soon. If enough of you step forward there will be less work for all. If you don't care what fees you pay for your lot then you may not want to be involved. If you DO care, call Mark (503-224-2262) or write me at I'll give you the details then. Hey, if you have any Real Estate experience thats a plus, but not at all required.

And on a different, but related matter, if your Metolius River FS lot has two 'cabins' on it, (I'm not talking about a utility shed of 130 sqft or less, but a second building you use), then WRITE me right away. There is a matter of VITAL importance we need to discuss. Trust me, you'll want to hear about this.

Possessory Intrest Tax - Update!

If you went to the anual meeting you know that a tax we cabin owners have NEVER paid, but have always had hanging over our heads has finally gone away, forever (we hope). The Oregon legislature just ending voted to repeal a tax we cabin owners have been trying to defeat for years! So that at least can be one less concern for all of us. Kinda nice to have some good news to report, now and then.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Annual Meeting Recap - MRFHA

A lot, and I mean A LOT, of good stuff was covered at the Annual Cabins Owners meeting this past June 30th; if you missed it it may be wise to check here often as we periodically add excerpts and content to fill in between now and the Picnic on Sept 2nd at the Johnson property.

We lost two valuable 'public servants as Carol Enyart and Don DeFrancq retired from the board. Don actually completed a 9 year service to MRFHA, for which we should all be most grateful. He's guided us through some perilous mine fields with nary a small trick. Don, we are all indebted to you.

Water, and our access to it was discussed. Those not holding a certificate to access Metolius surface (stream) water will NOT be able to secure one, as they are not being issued any longer. There ARE other ways to assure you have access to water. Get a hold of a MRFHA board member if you have concerns.

Fire protection and defensible space was again a topic. We can't imagine and day that it won't be. Don't be lulled into complacency. I mean, its not like a matter of life and death...No, its more important than that!

Yes it really has been almost 10 years since the last cabin lot appraisal, the basis for determining fees. We expect that within the next 9-12 months our lots will be re-appraised. We sorely need volunteers to contact us to help with the process of finding comparibles that reflect the values we'd like to see assigned. To put it into someone else's hands is just plain risky. Please contact ANY MRFHA board member and say you want to be involved. If you happen to have real estate experience we love you even more!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Possessory Tax

The State of Oregon, quite some number of years ago, levied a tax on cabin owners, then has twice temporarily waived the tax with the idea that it might be an unfair double taxation. Cabin owners would like the law that established the taxing authority be repealed, once and for all.

The Bend Bulletin, in a recent editorial opinion piece stated that Cabins on FS land might NOT be paying their 'fair share' and as such should probably be taxed by the state of Oregon beyond the taxes paid to Jefferson County for the Cabin improvement, and beyond the Forest Service permit user fee, of which a portion is remitted to local gov't. Over the years, the legislature has set aside that tax, agreeing that it is double taxation.

At issue is whether the 5% of fair market value permit fee system adequately reflects MARKET value. The example was an arbitrary 60,000 value Metolius lot..the question being, how can a lot on the Metolius be worth so little? Good argument, on the surface; I mean, if we choose to disregard the restrictions that a FS lease includes, when comparing to a private property lot. But how can that be ignored? And why should it be?

The restrictions we operate under compromise value...there is no doubt of that; and, we are arriving at a LEASE value, not a sale of the property. The goal is a fair and reasonable formula for a lease of the land, for which, really, true Market value comparibles are difficult to be found. .

The Bend Bulletin commonly writes opinion pieces for which they have inadequately researched their starting places. They forget that they are in the reporting business, not the entertainment business. Wait...maybe they ARE in the entertainment business. Yes, of course they are. Silly me. What was I thinking?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

TWO BBQ's back-2-back Weekends at the Camp Sherman Store

The Saturdays before AND after July 4th the Store will have a BBQ and Music, this year. That should be fun. See your friends and neighbors there.

June 30th MRFHA Annual Meeting...Don't miss it!

The annual meeting should have plenty of content this year; maybe more so than usual. It's the next to the last meeting before permit renewal; that's big. And an issue effecting cabin owners with regard to permit fees is facing us. Also, we'll have some guest speakers address water issues in the basin in the years ahead. Maybe we'll know the future of destination resorts in the basin, by then, too.

Lots to talk about. See you all there.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Comparible Lots and Your Cabin on the Metolius

Every lot in cabin groups along the Metolius has been assigned a Typical Lot; one that most closely imbues the elements of the cabin lots it represents. This 'Typical' lot will be surveyed this Oct (or about) and COMPARIBLES will be used to establish a value for the TYPICAL. The value of the TYPICAL will then determine what your fees will be going forward. Remember, the valutaion is for land as though it were BARE land and unimproved.

As you might imagine, the importance of that COMPARIBLE plays a HUGE part in your fee calculation (which the FS has determined to be Value of Typical * 5%). The MRFHA will play a role in finding reasonable COMPARIBLES and attempting to be sure the ones selected fairly represent the cabin groups.

Any member of the MRFHA who would like to help should contact a board member. This is a big task and folks, particularly those who may have relevant experience are so sorely needed. Contact a MRFHA Board member, or

Senate Bills and Destination Resort Ills

I know there are LOTS of opinions about whether legislation to keep Destination Resorts out of the Metolius Basin is appropriate, or an excess of governmental power. Recognizing this, the MRFHA has NOT taken a position as an association on this matter. Keep in mind, it was legislative maneuvering by the Jefferson County Commissioners that made it all this even possible; prior to very recent zoning changes the sort of resort mapped on Green Ridge and the smaller project for the other side of the basin could not have been allowed.

All the same it is for each to decide if the Basin needs protecting. It MAY just be a private property rights issue; or is it a PUBLIC lands protection issue? Are there people who are actually sad that Yosemite Valley, or the Gorge are protected? I imagine there are...though a pretty small group.

Would the extra folks in the basin actually cause a threat? Is the water needed for that a resort larger than Black Butte Ranch water that could be diverted from the Basin? Some say YES and some say NO. Well, suppose we are wrong, what then? What's the worst that could happen?

First Post *** This site was created to ......

This site was created to inform members of the MRFHA of things that might otherwise be missed in between periodic newsletters and meetings. Check here often to see what has happened since last you checked. We'll make all the efforts we can to be current, but invite you to add posts of your own.

Steve Prince, Icon of the Metolius

By Sister Bear Brown (O-22)

Steve Prince passed peacefully on Sunday, May 20, 2007. He was in his 80s, young at heart till the end. Steve was an icon of the Metolius - an enduring symbol. His The Skylight Cave Mystery, a delightful book in many of our cabins' libraries, draws upon his life-long love of the Metolius Basin.

I learned of Steve's death from his next-door neighbor on the Metolius for some 70 summers, Frances Beckwith Hogan (Fran). Their parents built the cabins when the two were children in the 1930s. According to Fran Hogan, "He was such an intellectual, compassionate, and interesting man, and such a good friend."
My mom, Leslie Tooze Brown (Pootie), knew them both growing up. In the 1980s, Fran, Steve, and my mom were leaders in the early years of the Metolius River Forest Homeowners Association. In later years, at least one adult child of each has served on the MRFHA board. Steve and Joan also led efforts in the 1980s to "Save the Metolius" from ill-considered logging schemes. Those efforts eventually spawned "Friends of the Metolius." Thank you, Steve, for your enduring contribution to the Metolius.

MRFHA - Camp Sherman

MRFHA - Camp Sherman
Metolius River