Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image

E-News
Fall 2008

In this newsletter

Titan Salvage nearly done with removal project
New Carissa Removal
A significant milestone was achieved on Sept. 23 when Titan workers removed the last visible piece of the New Carissa wreck off the North Spit near Coos Bay. After working several 15-hour days, the crew cut the remaining wreckage in two and pulled the twisted metal onto the Karlissa A and Karlissa B barges.
 
By Sept. 28 the remaining pieces on the ocean floor were successfully removed, leaving nothing left of the wreck. The next steps are to recycle the remaining scrap; jack down the barges during periods of calm seas; dismantle the staging area and equipment; and return the Foredune Road to its pre-project condition.
 
“It’s not over until the last square foot of dunes is recontoured and all the equipment is gone, but obviously we are very pleased with the progress Titan has made so far,” said Louise Solliday, DSL director. “The state is very fortunate to have a contractor with Titan’s determination, expertise and passion for completing this project. They’ve done what they said they could do.” 
 
Since March, Titan has been working on the mammoth project to remove the remaining wreckage of the freighter that ran aground in February 1999. Barges were repaired and moved to flank the wreck; a staging area on the dunes was set up for office trailers and a cable-car transporter to the barges; and crews were sent out seven days a week, 12 hours a day, to cut and pull, cut and pull, cut and pull on the wreck just off the beach in the surf.
 
“Our guys have worked hard and worked smart on this one,” said Titan’s engineering director Phil Reed who came to Oregon in early September to take over the project from David Parrot, Titan’s founder and managing director. “We are very deliberate about how we work, always testing and retesting. With salvage master Shelby Harris in charge and a top-notch crew, the project has gone very well. Luckily, we’ve run into very few obstacles to getting the job done, and even the weather has cooperated for the most part,” said Reed.   
 
“Getting the job done” means fulfilling a 2002 Coos County jury’s verdict to remove the wreck off Oregon’s south coast. Because the ship’s remains were less than three miles from the low-tide mark – within Oregon’s territorial sea – it’s under the jurisdiction of the State Land Board and DSL.
 
“It’s been a long time coming, but we are relieved to have this project nearly complete,” said Solliday. “It shows that Oregonians are serious about cleaning up our beaches, and sets a precedent for any other shipwrecks that may occur on our shores.”

 
 
DSL signed a $16.4 million contract with Titan for the wreck’s removal; all funds for the removal project come from a $25 million jury award paid by the ship’s owners.
 
More information and photos are on the DSL Web site.
Photos:  Top photo taken in July 2008; bottom photo taken in September 2008
 
Top of page


Planning continues for Central Oregon lands
Stevens Road Tract
A scoping meeting in July kicked off the public process for DSL to potentially acquire 1,577 acres north of Bend from the Bureau of Land Management. The Deschutes Market Road parcel is acreage DSL selected “in lieu of” land the federal government has owed Oregon since statehood in 1859.
 
“This property would become an asset of the Common School Fund, and we see it as a long-term investment for Oregon schoolchildren,” said Steve Purchase, assistant director of DSL’s Land Management Division. The acreage contains the historic Huntington Wagon Road which DSL has agreed to protect. Purchase estimates the state could receive the property as early as 2010 if the BLM approves the transfer.
 
DSL has applied to the BLM for another 640 acres near Prineville Reservoir in Crook County, and acquired 240 acres at Cline Buttes near Redmond in April 2008 and 945 acres in South Redmond in April 2007.
 
Other land management activities in the Central Oregon region include:
  • Completing the Land Use and Management Plan for the South Redmond tract, which has an emphasis on large-lot industrial development. The State Land Board will consider the plan at their October 14 public meeting.
  • Planning for a rural subdivision on the Ward Road parcel east of Bend.
  • Working to get additional acreage in the Stevens Road parcel included in the city of Bend’s Urban Growth Boundary.
More information, including a fact sheet and map, is available from John Lilly, DSL’s asset manager.
 
Top of page


State land auction in works
Seventeen parcels in Baker, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties – all isolated and difficult to manage separately – will be sold by public auction in the spring of 2009.
 
“This auction is the result of our efforts to consolidate and better manage our lands throughout the state,” said DSL Asset Manager John Lilly. “Guided by our Asset Management Plan, our goal is to dispose of currently non-revenue-producing land and reinvest sale proceeds in more productive lands with higher earning potential for the Common School Fund.”
 
More information on the auction will be available on the DSL Web site later this fall. To receive additional information, and be included in the email notification list, contact Gerry Hutson.
 
Top of page


Unclaimed Property Section prepares for increased reporting
Unclaimed Property Brochure
Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, businesses must report their unclaimed property to the Department of State Lands’ Unclaimed Property Section, which serves as custodian for reported funds and seeks to return the funds to rightful owners.
 
This year DSL is preparing for additional reporting because of the recent change in state law that reduces the abandonment period for inactive bank accounts from five to three years. “Changing the abandonment period will make Oregon’s law more uniform with our neighboring states, and this should simplify reporting for financial institutions that report to multiple states,” said Patrick Tate, DSL’s new unclaimed property manager.
 
It’s important for financial institutions to make a diligent effort to contact their inactive account holders before reporting, Tate emphasized, “as we want to avoid having accounts reported when the owner is still living at the same address.”
 
At least 60 days before reporting, all holders (businesses) must attempt to contact owners who have accounts worth $100 or more.  Any positive owner contact will prevent abandonment of accounts.
 
Financial institutions are encouraged to request reporting extensions if they need additional time to perform the required due diligence before reporting. More information is available from the Unclaimed Property Section.
 
Top of page


DSL planning for Oregon's 150th birthday
Oregon 150 Logo
With the state’s oldest board – still composed of the Governor, Secretary of State and State Treasurer – the Department of State Lands has a history that stretches back to statehood in 1859 when the federal government granted Oregon 3.4 million acres of land to manage for public schools.
 
Led by an agency sesquicentennial committee, the department is planning a variety of projects to commemorate this milestone in 2009, including:
 
Submitting DSL’s Oregon Story – which describes a colorful piece of our history – to Oregon 150, the statewide organization spearheading the celebration.
  • Initiating a project to restore native vegetation along Mill Creek near the DSL headquarters building in Salem.
  • Creating a state lands display for the State Capitol and DSL’s lobby in Salem. The Eastern Region office in Bend will have a smaller-scale display.
  • Exploring a long-term partnership with a middle school in our Salem neighborhood.
In addition, the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston is developing their own commemorative activities.
 
Many state agencies, communities, organizations and individuals are sharing their great ideas for the Oregon Sesquicentennial – visit www.oregon150.org for more information and inspiration.
 
Top of page


Customers rate agency
DSL Receptionist
In April, 1580 customer service surveys were sent to a random sample of DSL customer groups (removal-fill and wetlands, land management, unclaimed property, and agency partners) who interacted with the department in 2007. The survey helps DSL gauge current customer satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and measure customer service over time. DSL uses the Department of Administrative Services’ six mandated questions; the goal is to achieve 90 percent “excellent and good” satisfaction rates for each area of service.
 
DSL’s “excellent and good” ratings are as follows:
 
Timeliness:
2006:  60%
2007:  70%
 
Services provided correctly the first time:
2006:  75%
2007:  75%
 
Helpfulness:
2006:  76%
2007:  75%
 
Employee knowledge and expertise:
2006:  82%
2007:  73%
 
Availability of information:
2006:  75%
2007:  67%
 
Overall quality of service:
2006:  72%
2007:  77%
 
One note about the 2007 data:  due to an ordering error, stamped envelopes were not included with the surveys, so the response rate was significantly lower than the previous year which may have affected results. Of the 1580 surveys sent out, only 250 – 15.8 percent – were returned this year.
 
More information on the survey is available on the DSL Web site.
 
Top of page


Department rule changes proposed
Rangelands
Several divisions within DSL are in the process of updating administrative rules that govern how the agency manages its programs. Current rulemaking includes:
 
Land Management:  special uses, easements and sand and gravel rules are nearly completed; upcoming rulemaking includes waterway leasing, land sales, grazing and closure rules.
Wetlands and Waterways:  removal-fill and local wetland inventory rules.
Finance and Administration:  general administration, unclaimed property and Natural Heritage Advisory Council rules.
 
Rulemaking deadlines vary by topic so check the DSL Web site for additional information.
 
Top of page


Forestry plan in works at South Slough
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
After more than 30 years of a “hands-off” approach, the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve’s 4,000 acres of forested land have a new steward with the recent hiring of Jake Robinson as the Reserve’s first forest sciences coordinator. “I’m the first person to come in to create an adaptive plan for managing the South Slough woods,” said Robinson, who started his position in May.
 
As a restoration forester, Robinson spends his time cataloguing the number, size, location, condition and availability of fallen trees, snags and other forest features that benefit fish and wildlife, in addition to surveying timber resources for harvest, particularly thinning. “Threatened or endangered species like the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl would benefit from thinning in the long run, when the remaining trees begin to develop longer, larger limbs that are beneficial for nesting and roosting,” he said.
 
This active management of the Reserve’s forests involves not only timber cruising, but interacting with neighboring woodlot owners who are concerned about the possibility of fire spreading out of the South Slough, said Robinson.
 
As a former forest management consultant, Robinson is eager to design a management plan to establish greater variety in the age, size, species mixture and habitat values within the South Slough forest. “There’s a need for more large woody debris on the forest floor,” he said, and “everybody is very enthusiastic and supportive of some type of active management.” 
 
More information is available from Jake Robinson.
 
Top of page


DSL and Corps approve expedited permitting
Waterway permits
On May 1, DSL adopted by rule a new General Authorization (GA) for placement of large wood and boulders to assist voluntary habitat restoration efforts. With a 15-day turnaround, the permit was developed in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has standards that are acceptable for both state and federal jurisdictions. The new GA also was written to incorporate plain language and limit the use of technical jargon. On Aug. 1, the Corps adopted their compatible Regional General Permit.
 
Applicants who do restoration work (e.g., the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts) will benefit by spending less time and money interpreting regulatory requirements, filling out applications, and dealing with additional information requests.
 
More information about these two authorizations is available from Kevin Herkamp at DSL.
 
Top of page


New mitigation banks approved
Mud Slough Mitigation Bank
As the popularity of wetland mitigation banks has grown, so have new options for developers with the approval in July of four new banks, bringing Oregon’s total to 19.
 
“We’ve significantly increased the potential availability of bank credits for development projects,” said DSL’s mitigation specialist Dana Field. “Our focus this year has involved technical reviews of proposed banks and improving bank templates to expedite the approval process. In addition we’ve done compliance monitoring of existing banks and looked at improving consistency standards between banks and conventional mitigation,” said Field.
 
Three of the new banks are in the Willamette Valley area and one is in Jackson County in southern Oregon:
 
Garret Creek Bank near Molalla serves the Pudding River basin in Clackamas and Marion counties. Expected total number of credits = 15.5 wetland, plus additional stream credits.
 
Long Tom Bank near Junction City serves the upper Willamette watershed in Lane, Linn, Benton and Polk counties. Expected total number of credits = 60.
 
Mud Slough Bank, Phase 3 near Rickreall serves the mid-Willamette basin in Polk, Marion, Yamhill and Clackamas counties. Expected total number of credits = 40.
 
ODOT Vernal Pool Wetland and Conservation Bank near White City serves only ODOT projects in the Rogue-Umpqua eco-region. Expected total number of credits = 20. This is Oregon’s first combination wetland and rare-species conservation bank, because of its vernal pool fairy shrimp and various listed plant species.
 
Another eight mitigation banks are in various stages of development, and two of the prospective banks involve estuary restoration, said Field.
 
More information, including service area maps, is available on the DSL Web site.
 
Top of page
 
 
Contact Information:
 
Julie Curtis
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100
Salem, OR 97301-1279
503-986-5298