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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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

MRFHA - Camp Sherman

MRFHA - Camp Sherman
Metolius River