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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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Metolius River Fish Habitat Project will Temporarily Close Recreation Areas

Deschutes National Forest
Media Release

Sisters, OR - Several popular recreation areas along the Metolius River will be closed to the public from October 19 – 22 while a helicopter place trees into the River.

A five-mile stretch of the Metolius River from Jack Creek to Lower Bridge will be closed to the public for safety during the helicopter placement of over 100 trees to restore fish habitat without disturbance to the stream bank.

The Forest Service is closing the work area to all public access including hiking, boating, and fishing on the river while the project is in operation. The helicopter used in the placement of logs will create downdrafts that can be hazardous to people in the area. Lower Canyon Creek Campground, Allen Springs Campground and Lower Bridge Campgrounds will also be closed during this time. Although there is private land in the area, the helicopter will not fly over houses when placing the trees, and there will be no restrictions on access to private lands.

Trees and logs will be placed along three reaches of the river near Canyon Creek, Allen Springs Campground and Pioneer Ford Campground approximately 3 miles north of Camp Sherman. “The project will restore large tree structure to this section of the Metolius River and will create pool habitat and cover for redband trout, bull trout and Chinook salmon,” says Mike Riehle, project lead and Fisheries Biologist for the Sisters Ranger District. “Compared to historic conditions, the Metolius River is low in the number of large logs. This habitat restoration will improve the rearing habitat for rearing juvenile salmon as they are reintroduced above Pelton Round Butte Dams,”

The project is also sponsored by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. The Council has partnered with the Forest Service to restore fish habitat in the Metolius basin using grants from the Forest Service, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Below you will find a verbatim message from Pete Bailey, NFH Director & C2 Legislative Contact chair. This message indicates a strong sense of urgency on the importance for civic action around the Cabin Fee Act of 2010. Thank you in advance for hearing and acting upon your call to duty. If you desire ease in action, please contact: for a letter requiring minimal personalization aimed to reach representatives on both the House and Senate levels. Keep in mind - if not you, than who?

Megan Prince and the MRFHA Board


All Representatives and most Senators are home in their Districts and States between now and the elections. It is a timely opportunity for cabin owners to communicate with them expressing, as strongly as possible, the urgent need to enact the Cabin Fee Act (CFA) this year in the 111th Congress or, if necessary, to extend the moratorium.

We hope to encourage and secure passage of the Cabin Fee Act during the Lame Duck session that will follow the elections. THEREFORE WE MUST ACT! To secure the backing of your Senators and Representatives, cabin owners must demonstrate their support for the Cabin Fee Act. Send emails and make phone calls to your local offices. Better yet, go visit the office with your request for support. But, make it your message of support and request for their vote to pass the Cabin Fee Act. Personalized messages are most effective.

To assist you, attached are sample letters that you should edit, personalize and email or fax to your Senators and Representatives. You can find DC contact information by state at Write a letter to Congress.

The message is straightforward, but please put the message in your own words. Points that you can include are:

(1) Too many cabin owners are now faced with unjustified, dramatically escalating fees for their cabin use, making a growing number of cabins unaffordable and even impossible to sell at any reasonable price. The continuation of the Cabin Program as a source of middle class, multi-generational family recreation is in jeopardy. The current appraisal-based fee system is inherently flawed and must be replaced.

(2) Cabin owners, working with bipartisan supporters in both Houses of Congress, have developed a solution. This solution is embodied in the Cabin Fee Act of 2010 (H.R. 4888 and S. 3929) which is expected to be found “revenue neutral” by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Cabin owners throughout the country have studied, discussed and support the Cabin Fee Act of 2010.

(3) Senators should be urged to co-sponsor S. 3929 and support its passage. Encourage them to contact Senator Tester’s office to express their support. Representatives should be urged to support an early vote of approval for H.R. 4888 in the Lame Duck session. The entire Congress should then pass the CFA into law before the Lame Duck session adjourns.

(4) If the passage of the CFA must wait until 2011, a moratorium on 2011 cabin fee increases is essential. Ask for their support of a Moratorium.

If we do not secure passage in the Lame Duck session, we face a new Congress in January. The entire process could be set back considerably. There is no assurance we will enjoy the same level of support in the next Congress. Let’s get it done NOW! Please do your part and ask your cabin neighbors to do their part, too. IT IS TIME TO ACT!

Peter D. Bailey
NFH Director & C2 Legislative Contact chair

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tester introduces legislation to rein in cabin fees on Forest Service Land

Senator’s bipartisan bill would cap fees, set deadline for completion of appraisals

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to rein in skyrocketing fee increases for cabins on U.S. Forest Service land.

Tester’s bipartisan Cabin Fee Act would address the appraisal system for cabins that has led to the significant increases in cabin fees.

A law passed in 2000 set up appraisals for cabins on Forest Service land. But unexpectedly high values from the appraisals slammed cabin owners with new fees as high as $18,000.

Tester’s measure would change the law and assign cabins to a tiered system according to appraised value, setting user fees at between $500 and $4,500. The legislation also would require that current appraisals be completed within three years.

“These cabins are passed down in hardworking Montana families from generation to generation
—and the idea of leasing these cabins was never meant to make them a commodity for only the privileged few who can afford suddenly outrageous fees,” Tester said. “My legislation would bring some relief and, finally, predictability for these families.”

Senators Max Baucus, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, have cosponsored Tester’s bill. “This bill is common sense when it comes to preserving Montana's outdoor way of life,” Baucus said. “It will help make life easier for Montana families who have used these cabins for generations.”

“The U.S. Forest Service’s fee system is clearly broken,” Barrasso said. “Folks with family cabins in our part of the country deserve to know that they will be charged a fair and predictable fee. Our legislation will deliver increased transparency and common sense.”

Tester led the bipartisan effort last year that resulted in a one-year cap of 25 percent on cabin fee hikes while he explored legislation for a more reasonable fee structure.

A similar measure to Tester’s legislation is being considered in the House of Representatives. However, the House measure would add millions of dollars to the national deficit. Tester’s bill is expected to be “deficit-neutral” and not increase the national debt.

The Cabin Fee Act of 2010: A Statement on some Tough Issues

September 30, 2010

As volunteer leadership, representing all cabin owners across the country, the Cabin Coalition 2 group has had to address many subtle complexities and political realities in framing the Cabin Fee Act (CFA) under the direction of Congress. Frankly, the CFA is not a perfect solution, but it is intended to ensure the viability of the Cabin Program well into the future by keeping the Program affordable for most current cabin owners by maintaining a fee range of $500 to $4000 (Raised to $4500 in S.3929). If we are not successful in replacing CUFFA as the basis for our use fees, we believe that we will lose over 2000 cabins in the next 3-5 years because of the inability of families to pay those high fees or to sell their cabins in the face of those unsustainably high fees. As cabins are lost, the overall Program suffers and future appraisal cycles will likely add to those losses. As the program shrinks, the viability and survival of the entire Recreation Residence Program becomes doubtful. Please consider the following points.

Revenue Neutrality: The CFA must meet the ‘revenue neutral’ requirements of Congress. ‘Pay-as-you-go’ legislation in Congress makes this unavoidable. Unfortunately, we are being compared to the projected revenue amounts that CUFFA appraisals would have generated over the next ten years, a projection that we believe is unfair and inaccurate to begin with. Fortunately, we have already successfully argued that the Forest Service CUFFA revenue projections are seriously flawed. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has reduced the Forest Service estimate of revenue under CUFFA by over 15% in their analysis. While we believe that further CUFFA revenue reductions were warranted and supported by the information we submitted, the political reality is the final determination of revenue neutrality by the CBO is the standard we are required to meet by Congress. The CBO will render their final decision very soon and we believe the revised CFA fee structure will meet the requirement.

Fee Retention: The Fee Retention proposal, as specified in the “Mark-up” version of H.R.4888, would have provided the Forest Service additional revenue of $500 per cabin per year, specifically designated to fund the administration of the Program. However, this provision has been removed, with the advice of Cong. Doc Hastings’ staff, because it would increase the revenue needed under the CFA, thus also raising the need for higher fees across the board. The CBO has forced this point by interpreting this provision as an increase to the Forest Service budget, thus increasing the revenue needed to cover that increase.

CFA Fees: Because the $34 million revenue scoring is reality, the original proposed fee structure needed to be adjusted upward. Fee tiers at all levels are sharing that burden. Under the CFA, as represented by Senate bill S.3929, we are projecting that 20% of all cabins will see a modestly higher fee than they will under CUFFA initially. (Modest means between $50 and $500 annually). This is not an outcome anyone has wished for. However, that is only the short term view, because these folks and everyone else will continue to face potentially much higher fees in the future, with subsequent appraisals every ten years, if CUFFA does not get changed. Also, remember that the minimum fee of $500 was set so that even the lowest fees would cover the FS costs to administer the Cabin Program. This is fair to the US taxpayer, too. Support for and passage of the CFA will secure future affordability of the Recreation Residence Program.

Tier Assignments: The assignment of a given cabin into a specific fee tier will not be known with certainty until all appraisals under CUFFA are completed and ‘normalized’ (adjusted for inflation) to a common date of value. This normalization will span the period from 2006, when the first appraisals were completed, to the completion of all appraisals. This will produce the rank order (from lowest to highest) of all 14,000 cabins, from which the tier assignments, by percentages, will be made. We believe that the final fee determination for a given cabin will probably not occur until the end of 2013. The CFA transition period provisions will apply in 2011 through 2013, at least.

Fairness for All: To address the thought that ‘some lower appraised cabin owners are being asked to subsidize the higher appraised cabin owners’, please consider the following. Among the problems with CUFFA, which we believe the CFA in large part corrects, is not just that some cabins have high appraisals, but that unfairness and appraisal variability occurs cross the CUFFA fee spectrum, including the low end, the middle and the high ends of the spectrum. Most folks conclude that low fees equate to fair fees, however, there are many examples that refute this conclusion. There is variability and unfairness across the cabin fee spectrum under CUFFA. The CFA is a solution that moves us overall in the direction of fairness, while maintaining affordability of the annual fees and the marketability for those who must sell. We are all in this together if we want to guarantee the future viability of the Recreation Residence Program.

Positive Outlook: While some compromise by Cabin Owners and the Forest Service was necessary to achieve Congressional support for the bill, the CFA remains a far superior solution compared to the many problems of CUFFA. It is important to recognize the many positive benefits retained and addressed by the CFA.

• Lower average fees ($2400 vs. $3500) compared to CUFFA, leading to much lower fees over time.
• No unexpected or unrealistic future fee increases due to a flawed appraisal process.
• Predictable and modest future fee increases, limited to the annual IPD-GDP index.
• Fee stability that maintains marketability of cabins and retention of cabin values.
• Affordable fees keep the program within reach of the typical American family.
• Simpler to administer by the Forest Service and cabin owners, alike.
• A fair range of user fees where the highest fee is less than 10 times the lowest fee, acknowledging some variation due to location.
• Predictable and affordable fees lead to retention of cabins and survival of the Forest Service Recreation Residence program for future generations.
Cabin Coalition 2

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cabin Fee Act Questions and Answers: National Forest Homeowners & Cabin Coalition 2

The following Q and A has been compiled by C2:

Questions specific to the CFA Transfer Fee (additional questions for the CFA General Q&A document):

1. What constitutes a “Transfer” under the CFA?

A transfer fee applies when two standard are met, 1) a change of cabin ownership occurs, and 2) a new permit is issued due to a change of permit holder.

2. I recently changed my legal name and will require a new permit issued; is this transaction subject to a Transfer Fee?

No, a change of cabin ownership has not occurred so a transfer fee does not apply. While the transfer fee does not apply for simple name changes, the USFS may charge a reasonable administrative fee to handle this transaction.

3. If we transfer ownership of our cabin into a family trust, will a Transfer Fee apply?

Yes, a transfer fee of $1,000 would apply because a new permit would be re-issued and a transfer of ownership has occurred from your personal estate to the family trust, a separate estate. (discuss & verify this understanding)

4. If beneficiaries of our family trust change in the future, will this be subject to a Transfer Fee?

As a general rule, a transfer fee would be assessed only if the permit holder changes. If the trust beneficiaries other than the permit holder change, the permit is not re-issued, therefore a transfer fee is not assessed. If the permit holder (Trust?) name changes, a permit would be re-issued and a transfer fee of $1,000 would apply. (discuss & verify this understanding)

5. We inherited our cabin from our parents, will a Transfer Fee apply? Y

es, a change of ownership has occurred and a new permit is required, so a transfer fee of $1,000 would be assessed.

6. If we sold our cabin to a family member, would a transfer fee apply?

Yes, a change of cabin ownership has occurred and a new permit is required, so a transfer fee would apply. A fee of $1,000 applies to all transfers, plus an additional surcharge amount is assessed for sale amounts greater than $250,000.

7. When cabin is sold, how will the USFS verify the sales price?

The USFS will determine the final administrative process. We anticipate this process would require the cabin seller to submit a signed affidavit stipulating the cabin sale amount and that the stated sale amount represents the full cabin sales value conveyed, subject to fine or prosecution under federal law. In addition, a proof of sale such as a Bill of Sale, Deed, or Closing Statement with the sales amount listed may be required.

Questions regarding Fractional Cabin Ownership:

The following questions attempt to deal with fractional cabin ownerships. The USFS requires a permit to be held by a single party, which suggests the USFS does not recognize fractional cabin ownership and likely doesn’t want to deal with it. With this in mind, we need the transfer fee administration to remain simple and be closely aligned with this position. The permit holder has full responsibility for the permit terms and conditions, even though there may be extended family or non-family ownership of the cabin. (discuss & verify this position)

8. While I am listed as the permit holder, another family member is a 50% co-owner of our cabin. If the co-owner sold their interest to another party, would this transaction be submit to a Transfer Fee?

No, a new permit is not required because the permit holder did not change in this example.

9. (follow-up to question #8) If, at a later date, I sell my 50% interest in the cabin to another party, would this transaction be subject to a Transfer Fee?

Yes, a change of cabin ownership has occurred and a new permit is issued to in the name of the new permit holder, so a transfer fee would apply.

10. (follow-up to question #9) Is the transfer fee assessed against the sale amount of my 50% interest, or the full sales value of the cabin?

The intent of the CFA is to assess transfer fees against the full sales value of the cabin. In this case, the full sales value could be imputed from the sale amount of your 50% interest. If you sold your 50% interest for $60,000, the imputed full sales value of the cabin would be $120,000. Because this amount falls below the $250,000 threshold, a transfer fee of $1,000 would be assessed. If the imputed full sales value of the cabin exceeded $250,000, a transfer fee surcharge would be assessed, in addition to the base $1,000 transfer fee.

Friday, August 6, 2010


A message from Peter D. Bailey,

NFH Director & C2 Legislative Contact chair

The next six weeks, including August and early September, 2010, will be a critical time for the Cabin Fee Act (CFA), which has been so strongly supported by cabin owners everywhere as a solution to the excessively high fees resulting from the Cabin Users Fee Fairness Act (CUFFA). Congress will be “in recess” for District and State work periods and most Members of Congress will be home for constituent meetings. Cabin owners will likely have more than one opportunity in August and September to ask their Senators and Representatives to support our cause. If cabin owners cannot meet personally with their Senators and Representatives in their State or District offices or at local events, they should try to meet with their staff or phone, e-mail or write to their local offices.

Following the recess, Congress will reconvene in Washington, D.C., on September 14th with only sixteen legislative days before the targeted adjournment date of October 8th so the Members can return home to campaign for the November elections. Although there will likely be a “lame duck” session as long as two or three weeks following the elections, the agenda for that session will be very crowded and the outlook uncertain. This all means that we do not have much time to achieve our legislative goals this year. This is why August and September are so important. We simply do not have much time left to let Congress know how much cabin owners have at stake and how determined we are to achieve our goals: First, to enact the Cabin Fee Act. Second, if that cannot be done this year, to extend the moratorium on cabin fee increases for 2011.

The CFA (H.R. 4888 in the U.S. House of Representatives ) has been well received in Congress and moved at a rapid pace since its introduction in early March, with a successful April 22nd Hearing by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests and then, full Natural Resources Committee approval on July 22nd. Now Congress and cabin owners are awaiting a report on the budget impact of the CFA from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – a prerequisite for final passage. The necessary letter requesting this CBO analysis was co-signed by Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), Jim Costa (D-CA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), all of whom should be thanked for that effort. (NOTE: Members of Congress can be told that cabin owners are confident that the CFA can be modified if necessary to accommodate any changes required by the CBO.)

In the meantime, key Senators are being asked to introduce and pass a Senate CFA . If enactment cannot be accomplished in the limited time left for this Congress, then cabin owners will need an extension of the moratorium on cabin fee increases Congress passed last year.

So, following are the main points to be stressed by cabin owners to their Senators and Representatives:

For Senators:

Support introduction and passage of the CFA in the Senate

If necessary, support an extension of the current moratorium on cabin fee increases for 2011

For Representatives

Pass the CFA on the floor of the House

If necessary, support a moratorium extension

ALL Senators and Representatives should be contacted if possible, with the following Members key because of:

(1) Their positions on committees/subcommittees that have vital jurisdiction over the CFA and/or the prospects for a moratorium; and/or

(2) A large number of cabin owners in their State or their Congressional District.

Senators and Representatives who have clearly indicated their support for cabin owners are noted in the following list and should be thanked, while urged to continue that support through final enactment of the CFA into law. The 27 bipartisan cosponsors of the House CFA (H.R. 4888) should be especially thanked. Also to be especially thanked are the cosponsors of the Senate Resolution in 2009 that established the moratorium on cabin fee increases for 2010. The list also includes the Senate and House Democratic leaders , Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who could determine whether the CFA receives floor votes in the respective chambers.

For convenient reference, Senators and Representatives are grouped alphabetically by state.

Abbreviations are:

SA – Senate Appropriations Committee

SIA – Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

ENR – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

PFL – Senate ENR Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee

HA – House Appropriations Committee

HIA – House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

NR – House Natural Resources Committee

NPFPL – House NR Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands

“Ranking” identifies the top Republican on a committee or subcommittee.



Lisa Murkowski (R) Ranking, ENR – Member SA

Mark Begich (D)

Representative Don Young (R) NPFPL



Jon Kyl (R)

John McCain (R) PLF


Gabrielle Giffords (D-8th District), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Raul Grijalva (D-7) Chairman, NPFPL

Jeff Flake (R-6), NPFPL

Ed Pastor (D-4), HIA



Barbara Boxer (D)

Diane Feinstein (D), Chair, SIA


Joe Baca (D-43)

Ken Calvert (R-44), HIA

Lois Capps (D-23), NR

Dennis Cardoza (D-18)

Jim Costa (D-20), NR, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888, Co-signed necessary letter requesting CBO analysis)

Anna Eshoo (D-14), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Sam Farr (D-17), HA, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Elton Gallegly (R-24), NR

Wally Herger (R-2), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Mike Honda (D-15), HA

Duncan Hunter (R-52), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Jerry Lewis (R-41), Ranking, HA

Zoe Lofgren (D-16), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Tom McClintock (R-4), NR, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Jerry McInerney (D-11), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

George Miller (D-7), NR

Grace Napolitano (D-38), NPFPL

Devin Nunes (R-21), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Nancy Pelosi (D-8) , Speaker of the House

George Radanovich (R-19), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Adam Schiff (D-29), HA

Jackie Spier (D-12), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Mike Thompson (D-1), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Lynn Woolsey (D-6), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888



Michael Bennet (D)

Mark Udall (D), NPFPL


Mike Coffman (R-6), NPFPL

Doug Lamborn (R-5), NPFPL



Michael Crapo (R), Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution

James Risch (R) NPFPL, Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution


Walt Minnick (D-1)

Mike Simpson (R-2), Ranking, HIA, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888


Senator Charles Grassley (R), Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution



Dale Kildee (D-5), NPFPL


Senator Amy Klobuchar (D), Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution


Collin C. Peterson (D-7) (Chairman, Agriculture Committee) (SPECIAL NOTE: It is possible that the Agriculture Committee could assert jurisdiction over the CFA and insist on a hearing. This would hold up progress on the bill, possibly delaying it until too late. Minnesota cabin owners should ask Chairman Peterson to agree to waive Agriculture Committee jurisdiction over the CFA.)

Michelle Bachmann (R-6)

Keith Ellison (D-5)

John P. Kline, Jr. (R-2)

Betty McCollum (D-4), HA

James Oberstar (D8)

Erik Paulsen (R-3), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Tim Walz (R-3)



Max Baucus (D), Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution)

Jon Tester (D) Introduced 2009 Moratorium Resolution, Prime prospect to introduce CFA in Senate

Representative Dennis Rehberg (R), HA, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888



John Ensign, (R)

Harry Reid (D), Majority Leader of the Senate


Shelly Berkley (D-1)

Dean Heller (R-2)

Dina Titus (D-3)



Jeff Bingaman (D), Chairman, ENR

Tom Udall (D)


Ben R. Lujan (D)

Harry Teague (D)

Martin Heinrich (D-1), NPFPL



Richard M. Burr (R), ENR

Kay R. Hagan (D)


Virginia Fox (R-5)

David E. Price (D), HA

Heath Shuler (D-11)



Kent Conrad (D)

Byron Dorgan (D), Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution

Representative Earl Pomeroy (D)



Jeff Merkley (D)

Ron Wyden (D), Chairman, PLF


Earl Blumenauer (D-3)

Peter DeFazio (D-4), NPFPL (co-signed necessary letter requesting CBO analysis)

Kurt Shrader (D-OR)

Greg Walden (R-2), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

David Wu (OR-1), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888



Lamar Alexander (R), Ranking, SIA

Bob Corker (R), PLF


Lincoln Davis (D), HA

John Duncan (R), NPFPL

Zach Wamp (R), HA



Orrin G. Hatch (R)

Robert F. Bennett (R), SIA, PLF


Rob Bishop, (R-1), Ranking, NPFPL, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Jason Chaffetz (R-3), NR, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Jim Matheson (R-2)


Representative James P. Moran (D), Chairman, HA



Maria Cantwell (D), PLF

Patty Murray (D)


Norman Dicks (D-6), HIA

Doc Hastings (R-4), NR, Introduced and championed H.R. 4888, Lead signer of CBO Letter

Jay Inslee (D-1), NPFPL

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888


Senator Herb Kohl (D), SIA


Tammy Baldwin (D-2), Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Ron Kind (D-3), NPFPL



John Barrasso (R), Ranking, PLF, Cosponsor, 2009 Moratorium Resolution

Michael B. Enzi (R)

Representative Cynthia M. Lummis (R-1), NPFPL, Cosponsor, H.R. 4888

Monday, July 26, 2010

HR 4888 passes the Natural Resources committee!

The following report was provided this morning by Pete Bailey, C2 Chair. C2 is making great progress on the Cabin Fee Act. Read on... Sharon Karr


Other life challenges have not allowed a more timely communication, so if you are a regular visitor to the NFH website you have probably already read the following notice and related blogs regarding the Cabin Fee Act of 2010 (CFA). Though many hurdles remain to be encountered, positive progress continues to be made.

This week, Thursday, July 22nd, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R.4888 by unanimous consent. The committee approved bill included revisions to the original bill introduced by Cong. Doc Hastings (R-WA) last March. The National Forest Homeowners and the Cabin Coalition 2 strongly support the revised bill. This action sets the stage for a final floor vote on the bill, pending a positive report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regarding its budget impact. A positive budget report from the CBO is essential for all legislation. A CBO report is expected within a few weeks. In the meantime, cabin owners are now turning their attention to passing companion legislation in the Senate. The bill is attached for your review.

C2 leadership has provided the CBO with a strong financial evaluation of the fiscal impact of the CFA and CUFFA. We have made every effort to ensure a positive response from them. Though we are very encouraged about the scoring issue, their conclusions will be key going forward. Additional modifications to the fee structure may be needed to address the scoring, however, we believe that those potential changes would be relatively minor overall. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy your slice of heaven, while sharing your thoughts about and support for the CFA with your cabin neighbors. Your continued moral and financial support remains key in our progress.

Best Wishes to All,


Peter D. Bailey

NFH Director & C2 Legislative Contact chair

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

C2 Update from Pete Bailey

With small, but significant steps, we continue to move the Cabin Fee Act of 2010 (CFA) forward. The work being done by Cong. Doc Hastings’ staff, as well as several other engaged Congressmen, remains instrumental in this process. The ‘mark-up’ of H.R.4888 has been scheduled for this coming Thursday before the House Natural Resources Committee. Cabin Coalition 2 will be sending two of your representatives, Geoff Anderson and myself, to be present for the session and available to answer questions and monitor suggestions and/or proposed changes.

In addition, Congressional office visits are being planned for the two days prior to the Thursday ‘mark-up’. These visits are important because the educational/clarification process with staff continues. We must make every effort to ensure a positive, long-term solution to cabin fees is the outcome. Though the political process is cumbersome and challenging, it can work. The support of cabin owners from across the country has driven our current successes to date. Please stay informed and engaged, and ready to communicate with your state’s delegation in DC.

I’ll try to give a brief update of our Congressional office visits on Tuesday and Wednesday. Of course, we will be reporting on the outcome of the ‘mark-up’ session itself. So check the NFH website blog for the latest news.

Enjoy the summer sunshine!

Pete Bailey
NFH Director & C2 Legislative Contact chair

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attempt to Challenge the Metolius Protection Act of 2009 Emerges

Alert from Erik Kancler, Executive Director of the Central Oregon LandWatch

One year ago today, Governor Kulongoski signed the Metolius Protection Act of 2009 into law, finalizing a multi-year process to prevent destination resorts and other inappropriate development in the Metolius area and designating more than 400 square miles of land as Oregon’s first-ever Area of Critical Statewide Concern.

One week ago, the first real attempt to challenge the act emerged with a proposal for 15 units of “fishing accommodations” on the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook that not only runs afoul of the legislatively approved management plan for the Metolius, but amounts to a perverse interpretation of land use statutes that would pose new threats for significant rivers throughout the state.

The proposal is for a 15-unit subdivision of privately-owned single family detached homes up to 1,600 square feet in size.

The issue in regards to the Metolius is that the area’s management plan prohibits the approval of developments with greater than 10 residences. Do the single-family dwellings in the proposed development count as residences? If not, then the limitations of the ACSC may be substantially weaker than intended and the potential for new development opportunities in the Metolius area may re-emerge.

The statewide issue is that thus far, “fishing accommodations” (which are a conditional use allowed in forest zones within a quarter mile of Class 1 waters) have been understood to be a single “guest rooms” to be used “for sleeping purposes”. To our knowledge, no one’s ever attempted to call privately-owned detached dwellings with kitchens, bathrooms, etc. “guest rooms.”

If allowed to stand, such a precedent could ultimately lead to hundreds, perhaps thousands of new residences along the Metolius and other Class 1 rivers throughout the state such as the Umpqua, the McKenzie, the John Day, or the Illinois.

As I wrote above, this is Jefferson County’s first real test in regards to how it plans to enforce the requirements of the ACSC at the local level. Staff has recommended approval – provided the cabins are limited further in size and not constructed in riparian areas – but the planning commission has yet to vote. There’s still time for them to do the right thing.

Central Oregon LandWatch and Friends of the Metolius have jointly challenged this proposal and are urging the county to do the right thing. The public record is closed for now, but may be re-opened if the matter as taken up by the County Board of Commissioners. We’ll let you know if there are additional opportunities to comment.

Thanks for your support and stay tuned.

Very Truly Yours,

Erik Kancler
Executive Director, Central Oregon LandWatch

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cabin Coalition 2: Progress Update from Pete Bailey

Following the many requests you received for grassroots support, that we made this past winter and spring, we felt giving everyone a break was okay. Getting legislative change during this very challenging time requires a long term commitment from us all. This modest break in the action however, did not mean that the Cabin Coalition 2 has been resting on their laurels.

Since the Natural Resources committee hearing in late April, we have gained many new bill sponsors. You can follow the bill at We now have a total of 24 co-sponsors, in addition to our champion Rep. Doc Hastings. The Cabin Fee Act (CFA) is a truly bi-partisan bill as 12 Democrats and 13 Republicans have signed on. Recent grassroots efforts in California have been very successful, with the addition of Reps. Woolsey, Eshoo, Farr, Lofgren, McNerney, Speier and Thompson (all Democrats). Special thanks to all of those folks in the Bay Area that have been engaged!

C2 is working with Mr. Jim Streeter, Minority staff for Natural Resources, and their legal counsel, developing a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) requesting a preliminary evaluation (or scoring) of the revenue impact of the CFA. We seek a neutral scoring that implies no revenue loss to the Treasury from the legislation. We have explained that the FS projections fail to include several market realities, i.e., the decline in the real estate market, the potential loss of cabins (and fee revenue) due to inability to sell given high fees, the 30% lower valuations in second appraisals and the cost savings of eliminating the appraisal process and its inherent headaches. Several documents have been developed and will be attached to the CBO letter supporting our positions. A CBO response may take another few weeks. A July report is expected or hoped for.

We have made a few clarifying recommendations to House Natural Resources that address the transition from CUFFA to the CFA and expanded the review and appeal section of the act. These recommendations could be considered at mark-up. A mark-up session for H.R.4888 (which is held by the full committee, rather than the sub-committee) has not been scheduled, but we are hoping for a July date. The Natural Resources committee may wait for the CBO opinion before committing to a date. So we are in a waiting pattern, with the CBO scoring and the mark-up session both in play.

We have also been active on the Senate side. A draft companion bill has been developed. Key Senators are being approached in hopes of finding a potential bill sponsor, while also further expanding our lobbying and educational efforts. Please anticipate a request from C2 for you to call, email and write your Senators concerning this potential companion bill. Once again, we will need grassroots support from all states and cabin owners everywhere. Our success to date is clearly due to previous support. More will be needed!

Our progress gives us hope of success, however, a moratorium for 2011 fees remains on the table. We expect to more aggressively pursue this possibility early in the fall if any delays in the passage of H.R.4888 occur. Our best bet is for the CFA to be attached to an appropriations bill or omnibus Lands’ bill in the lame duck session late in the fall. So we will remain vigilant concerning the moratorium timing and need.

Remember The National Forest Homeowners website is a great source for information and Cabin Fee Act updates, too. We are found at

Best Wishes as we enter the Cabin Season across the country! Happy Re-Creating!

Pete Bailey, NFH Director and C2 Legislative Contact Committee, Chair

Cabin Coalition 2 Report from Sharon Karr

Oregon Update – June 24, 2010

C2 continues to work closely with Oregon’s political delegation, asking for their support of the Cabin Fee Act (CFA), H.R. 4888, the legislation replacing the CUFFA appraisal method of setting permit fees. Just this week, another Oregon co-sponsor has signed on, Rep. Wu from Oregon’s 1st district! This brings the bill’s co-sponsors to 25, already including Rep. Greg Walden. Walden has 756 cabins in Oregon’s 2nd district, many belonging to tracts with the highest appraisals in Oregon such as the Lake of the Woods, Rocky Pt., Odell Lake and Crescent Lake. Although Rep. Wu does not have Forest Service cabins in his district, many cabin owners live in this geographic area extending from the west-side of Portland, to the coast, and south into Yamhill County.

Throughout the spring, meetings have been held by C2 and cabin owners with the staff of Oregon representatives DeFazio, Schrader, Wu, and Blumenauer, along with Senator Merkley’s office. The focus of each meeting is answering their remaining questions, addressing revenue from permit fees and asking for their support. Assisting C2 in Oregon is the firm Ball Janik, thus engaging the support of local lobbyists. Ball Janik’s involvement is beneficial to bringing focus to political meetings by briefing cabin owners on the interests and agenda of politicians and their staff beforehand, helping us address the important issues.

One comment I found particularly interesting in a May meeting with political staff was the staff recommends a second appraisal when cabin owners call in and comment on their high appraisal result. What was not understood by the staff was the second appraisal date is the same as the first appraisal. The staff thought the cabin owner could pick a current date, thus benefiting from the impact of the economic downturn and lower real estate values we’re experiencing across Oregon. Addressing misunderstandings and explaining the long-term benefits of the CFA is an important aspect of these meetings, while emphasizing the affordable continuance of Oregon tracts like Lake of the Woods, Rocky Pt. and McKenzie River where permit fees will exceed $6,000 per year.

Without the letter writing by, and generous support of tracts and cabin owners across Oregon, C2 would not be on the cusp of change. C2 has received donations from many Oregon tracts and individuals, some donating multiple times. Thank you for your continued support.

All Oregon Cabin Lot Appraisals Completed

All appraisal results of typical lots for Oregon tracts are published. The following table summarizes the disparity in results for tracts appraised in 2008 versus the appraisals completed in 2009.[1] Permit fee revenue projections C2 has obtained from the Forest Service are pre-2009 appraisal completion. It is clear from this table, in Oregon alone, original revenue projections based on 141% average increase per cabin permit was not upheld by the 2009 Mt. Hood appraisal. Thus revenue collected from permit fees will be less than projected by the Forest Service’s early estimates. The importance of this revenue issue is described in Pete Bailey’s national report on the next page.

Appraisal Year

Oregon Tracts

# of Cabins

Average % Increase per Cabin


31 tracts across the state




10 Mt. Hood tracts



Enjoy the July 4th holiday,

Sharon Karr
NFH Treasurer & C2 Representative/Oregon C2 Political Liaison – Diamond Lake Tract

Friday, June 18, 2010

Interpretive Walks

Summer, 2010
Interpretive Walks

Sponsored by the Friends of the Metolius. 

Everyone is encouraged to participate, at no charge.
Children are welcome. Dogs are not really all that appropriate; sorry.
Wear sturdy footwear.
Bring water and sunscreen.
  1. July 3, Saturday. Metolius River Walk - Store to Allingham Bridge. 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Learn about the unique riparian habitat of the Metolius ecosystem, enjoy summer wildflowers, and observe changes to the river to enhance fish habitat on a walk from the Camp Sherman Bridge to Allingham Bridge and back. Meet near the Camp Sherman Bridge fish viewing platform at 9:00 AM - Leaders: Susan and Megan Prince. For information call 541-595-6910.
  2. July 10, Saturday. Suttle Lake - Camp Sherman Trail. 9:00 to noon. Walk 4.5 miles downhill from Suttle Lake to Camp Sherman along the basin’s newest trail. The trail parallels the north fork of Lake Creek through fir, larch, and ponderosa forest and will take you through the northern portion of the Deschutes Land Trust Metolius Preserve. Meet at Black Butte School at 9:00 AM to carpool to Suttle Lake. - Leader: Kent Gill. For information call 541-595-2269
  3. July 17, Saturday. Birds, Butterflies, & Plants along the Metolius. 8:30 to 10:30 AM. Follow the West Metolius River Trail below the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery to the Nature Conservancy site. Observe wildflowers and birds with a knowledgeable and keen observer of the Central Oregon outdoors. Meet at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery Kiosk at 8:30 AM - Leader: Norma Funai. For information call 541-549-2104.
  4. July 24, Saturday. Metolius River - Store to Riverside Campground. 10:00 to noon. Explore the upper river from the Camp Sherman Bridge to the site of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp at the Riverside campground while learning about the natural and human history of the Camp Sherman area. Meet near the Camp Sherman Bridge fish viewing platform at 10:00 AM. - Leader: Scott Blau. For information call 541-595-6439.
  5. July 31, Saturday. Head of Jack Creek. 10:00 to noon. Walk a mile to the magic world of the springs that feed Jack Creek. Our way will take us through a ponderosa forest, along the creek, to a pine plantation, and back through an area charred by the B&B fire. Mostly a flat walk. Meet at the Black Butte School bus barn, west of the Camp Sherman Store at about 10:00 AM to carpool to the trailhead. A trail parking pass or fee is required. - Leader: Kent Gill. For information call 541-595-2269.
  6. August 7, Saturday. Birds, Butterflies, & Plants along the Metolius. 8:30 to 10:30 AM. Follow the West Metolius River Trail below the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery to the Nature Conservancy site. Observe wildflowers and birds with a knowledgeable and keen observer of the Central Oregon outdoors. Meet at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery Kiosk at 8:30 AM - Leader: Norma Funai. For information call 541-549-2104.
  7. August 14, Saturday. Forest Walk. 10:00 to noon. Walk on an informal trail for about two miles in the area north of the school to observe interesting forest phenomena and specimen plants. Meet at the Black Butte School bus barn at 10:00 AM - Leader: Kent Gill. For information call 541-595-2269
  8. August 21, Saturday. Birds, Butterflies, & Plants along the Metolius. 8:30 to 10:30 AM. Follow the West Metolius River Trail below the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery to the Nature Conservancy site. Observe wildflowers and birds with a knowledgeable and keen observer of the Central Oregon outdoors. Meet at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery Kiosk at 8:30 AM - Leader: Norma Funai. For information call 541-549-2104.
  9. August 28, Saturday. Metolius River - Store to Riverside Campground. 10:00 to noon. Explore the upper river from the Camp Sherman Bridge to the site of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp at the Riverside campground while learning about the natural and human history of the Camp Sherman area. Meet near the Camp Sherman Bridge fish viewing platform at 10:00 AM. - Leader: Mark Dohrmann. For information call 541-595-2150.
  10. September 4, Saturday. Metolius River - Store to Allingham Bridge. 10:00 to noon. Learn about the unique riparian habitat of the Metolius ecosystem, explore early Camp Sherman history, and observe changes to the river to enhance fish habitat on a walk from the Camp Sherman Bridge to Allingham Bridge and back. Meet near the Camp Sherman Bridge fish viewing platform at 9:00 AM - Leader: Scott Blau. For information call 541-595-6439

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

*** FREE FREE Clean up in the Forest Tracts ***

Yes well it's late notice if you didn't see this in the newsletter already but like last year the FIREFREE group has funding to do a pine needles pick up and will make rounds sometime beginning (but not before) June 26th.  To participate all you need do is put your needles out at the head of your driveway, near but not IN the main roadway.  It takes them several days to get ALL of the tracts, but once your group has it's pickup that's it>...The Forest Service is no longer letting us use the dump site we had used for so many years.

Last year the largest amount of needles ever removed from the tracts was collected.  Our properties (and the Forest) are that much safer when we do this.  Hope you can work it in...

Monday, June 7, 2010

C2 & Cabin Owners Attend Wyden Hearing ~Message from Sharon Karr~

June 6th, 2010 at 21:10

Last Friday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was in Bend, OR to hold the second hearing on his bill, S. 2895, to overhaul management of Central and Eastern Oregon forests. With him were the Energy and Natural Resources Public Lands and Forests subcommittee, which he chairs, his D.C. and Oregon staff, and Frank Gladics, minority staff member of the subcommittee.

The national forests included in this bill also include eleven cabin tracts with a total of 424 cabins, with fees ranging from $350 to $5,500. The tracts I’ve visited exist in forest conditions where cabins have burned in forest fires and permits were lost when rebuilding wasn’t allowed. The forest conditions need attention and this seemed like an opportunity to hear both sides of the debate and see Senator Wyden at work, perhaps learning a little about his style of chairing a hearing.

When C2 has a companion bill (to H.R. 4888) in the Senate, the hearing will be held before Wyden and this subcommittee. Wyden knew his topic well. His questions and dialog with the 11 witnesses was a no-holds-barred style, demanding answers and when the answer wasn’t forthcoming, asking the witness to get back to him with the information. All sides of the debate were presented, from the timber industry, the conservation and environmentalist movement, and the Native Americans who reside and work within the east-side reservations surrounded by national forests.

What was very interesting to me was the timber industry is divided internally as are the environmentalists. This deeply perplexed Senator Wyden. He asked repeatedly why one timber operator hasn’t spoken with the opposing timber operator; why one conservationist group opposes what other environmental groups support. He wanted everyone at the table to communicate, with one another, with him, and with his staff.

I find a valuable lesson in Wyden’s insisting everyone communicates in all directions. C2 has followed the model of communicating and sharing information since the beginning. Continuing to talk, meet, answer questions and educate the agency and political staffers in a bi-partisan way is to C2’s advantage and will appeal to Wyden.

Thanks to the local cabin owners from Crescent Lake, Diamond Lake and the Metolius who attended the hearing, showing your interest in Senator Wyden’s proposal for central and east-side Oregon forests. By simply signing in as a cabin owner on USFS land lets Wyden, his staff and the committee know cabin owners and C2 are organized, still working and serious about a solution. Although the hearing lasted almost three hours, your time was well spent, using this as an opportunity to let Wyden know cabin owners are united and are vested in the health of the forests and the future of our cabins.

MRFHA - Camp Sherman

MRFHA - Camp Sherman
Metolius River