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

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Copy of NFH Letter on Cabin Fee Freeze

The Senate passed the Appropriations bill with an amendment that sets 2010 cabin fees at the 2009 fee level, that is no increase of any kind and no inflationary increase either for any cabin permit, regardless of where in the appraisal/fee cycle they are at or which appraisal cycle is being applied. This includes all cabin permittees. No cabin owners are excluded. Most have paid '09 fees based on their 90's appraisal value, which in many cases includes a 3 year phase in period. Others have paid '09 fees based on their more recent CUFFA appraisal value, which may also include a 3 year phase in period. This may be characterized, by some, as somehow unfair. But, given the complexity of cabin fee implementation across the Nation with many varied permutations, a simple freeze was determined by the Senate as most reasonable. No national database is kept that informs us of which cycle is being applied where, because it is administered locally, rather than regionally or nationally.

The process of moving this bill to final signing is important to understand, too. From an affirmative vote in the Senate, the bill goes to a House/Senate conference committee to work out any differences that may exist. When the committee is in agreement with all language and aspects of the bill, it is returned to both the Senate and House for a final vote. Language is often changed in this committee. It is here that concerns about the use of the term 'levied' will be addressed to be sure that the amendment says what Senator Tester intended as explained above. Contact with the appropriate Congressional staff has already occurred. There is no concern about who the amendment applies to or when. The date you receive your billing should not effect whether this moratorium applies to you or not. After an affirmative vote from both houses, the bill is sent to the President for his signature. We have been told, that because the Appropriations bill is so critical, this process should play out over the next week or so. But, while no major opposition is expected, it’s not done until it’s done.

Setting the moratorium based on 2008 fees was considered. But, the required offset was a much higher hurdle to get over. Let me explain. Because the moratorium eliminates any revenue increase, their is a shortfall based upon the revenue that would have been collected with no moratorium. That is the offset. The Congressional Budget Office determines this number. The offset for the moratorium, as passed by the Senate, is $3.9M. If fees were set back to the 2008 year, the offset would have been, at least, $9M to $10M. Senate passage of a moratorium with such a high offset was considered very unlikely. So the Tester amendment, using 2009 fees, was put forth. To say that the Senate rejected a moratorium based on 2008 fees mischaracterizes the process.

The source of those offset funds was another major concern and not a simple issue in the Senate or for the Forest Service. The $3.9M will come from the approximate $12M increase in the Forest Service Recreation budget. The FS will probably comment about this loss of Recreational funds. So you can see that the likelihood of a $9M+ offset gaining traction was quite miniscule.

This moratorium is meant to provide fee relief for only the next billing cycle (2010) while we pursue a legislative solution to replace the current faulty CUFFA fee determination process. So current appraisals will proceed under CUFFA. You need to remain fully engaged with that process, too. If second appraisals or appeals are in process, stay with them to their conclusion.

Most importantly, the moratorium brings credibility to our issue with members of Congress, the Forest Service, and others which hopefully translates into action to solve this issue once and for all. We are already working on the next steps to achieve legislative change. Congressional staffers in key offices are ready to work with us too.

We are encouraged with the progress. Stay engaged.

Pete Bailey
NFH Director & C2 Leg. Contact chair

URGENT Survey Request!

Fellow Cabin Owners

Some of you may have already received this request. We apologize for the repeat email. This note is a reprint from one sent by the National Forest Homeowners and forwarded to some by the Oregon Forest Homeowners. This information and other pertinent info can be found at the MRFHA Blog site online

There is a limited time for participation in the survey linked below. Please respond to the survey by October 15 if can.

Recent developments require that the NFH expand and improve their knowledge of Cabin Sales and Appraisals in cabin tracts across the country. First, alarming appraisal results continue to be reported from most Forests. Second, our new Fee Proposal, (available by clicking here for the Alternative Fee Model Proposal from the C2 Coalition ), has been introduced to cabin owners, Legislators and Forest Service personnel, as widely as possible. Questions are being asked that this new survey addresses head on. The results will help inform discussions with Congress about our Fee Proposal and the impact of CUFFA on National Forest cabins throughout the country.

YOUR HELP is urgently needed!
Please complete this new Survey today!

This is important! Your contribution to a national database is essential to the future of the Recreation Residence Program. Your answers will help us understand the national appraisal and cabin sales picture better.

The cabin isn't just about us. It is about generations before us and more importantly about the generations to follow, our kids and grandkids. What are you doing to ensure this legacy lives on?

Your contribution is critical.

Reach out to your fellow cabin neighbors. Encourage them and provide them a way to complete this vitally important survey. Print a copy for them to complete and mail in, or suggest they sit down with a family member and complete the survey online. Every Cabin Counts!!! Help us paint this picture!

Survey response deadline of October 15, 2009.
Remember one response per cabin, too.

NOTE: The survey is by Forest and NOT by tract so select OR-Deschutes as your location

By Internet:

Click here to take the survey online:

By Mail:

1. Obtain a print version of the survey: available at OR use the attached PDF File (same thing)
2. Complete it:
3. Mail it to: NFH Survey, c/o: Meredith Randall, 410 Powers Court Ave, Milton, GA, 30004

Please direct support questions to
One of our NFH survey specialists will get back to you shortly.

Copyright © 2009 , National Forest Homeowners
Contact Details
Mary Clarke Ver Hoef, NFH Executive Director
1-800-669-9971 / FAX: 916-359-5271

MRFHA - Camp Sherman

MRFHA - Camp Sherman
Metolius River