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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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 Cabin owners would like the law that established the taxing authority be repealed, once and for all.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