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Fall 2009

 

In this newsletter
 
 


Land Board adjusts school distribution formula
School children
The State Land Board in June passed a resolution directing the 2009-11 Common School Fund distribution to be 5 percent of the three-year average balance of the fund, an increase over the previous formula of 4 percent. If the distributable income account will not support the 5 percent distribution, the distribution will be the entire amount of the account. The fund's distributable income account is composed primarily of interest earnings.
 
"This change in the distribution formula should help schools during this tough economic climate," said DSL director Louise Solliday. "We were looking at a significant drop in payments to schools because of the decline in the market value of the Common School Fund. Under the revised policy we're predicting a $95.5 million distribution in the 2009-11 biennium, which is in line with recent years' distributions."
 
In 2007-09, the CSF provided $95.8 million to Oregon's 197 K-12 public school districts. The Department of Education sends payments to the districts twice a year. Inputs into the fund include:
  • All DSL land management revenue - the largest input is forestry revenue; other revenue comes primarily from waterway and rangeland leases.
  • Unclaimed property deposited and held in trust (these moneys are not revenue, but held and invested as part of the CSF)
  • Escheated estates
 
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State land for sale
State land for sale
Department to auction Lane County land
 
This fall, four timberland properties totaling 217 acres and valued at more than $800,000 will be sold by Realty Marketing Northwest (RMNW), a real estate marketing firm under contract to DSL. Two parcels will be sold at an oral auction on Nov. 14 in Portland, and two others will be sold through a sealed-bid process on Nov. 18. None of the parcels have legal access to roads, and all of the parcels are zoned F-1 Commercial Forest which means no home sites are allowable on the properties.
 
The following parcels are available:
  • Blue River Lake, 40.4 acres; reserve or minimum bid price: $325,500. This parcel sits on the western slope overlooking Blue River Lake in a remote mountainous area surrounded by U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land.
  • Mt. Hagan, 84.8 acres; reserve or minimum bid price: $159,500. This parcel is in a steep mountainous area on the north side of the McKenzie River.
  • N. Fork Quartz Creek, 54.4 acres; reserve or minimum bid price: $235,000. This parcel is in a remote mountainous area 1.25 miles west of Blue River Lake with a "V" shaped canyon and surrounded by USFS land.
  • Big River, 37.8 acres; reserve or minimum bid price: $92,000. This parcel has physical access to a BLM road but no legal access, and is in a remote mountainous area.
"DSL's Asset Management Plan directs the agency to dispose of lands that are not actively managed, and to reinvest sale proceeds in other real estate activities," said John Lilly, the department's asset manager. All DSL lands are part of the agency's real estate portfolio managed to generate revenue for the Common School Fund.
 
More information on the Lane County parcels is available on the DSL Web site and on Realty Marketing Northwest's Web site.
 
Northeast Oregon parcels still available to purchase
 
Ten parcels in Baker, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties are available for purchase until Dec. 31, 2009. In March, DSL sold five of 16 parcels at a public oral auction in La Grande. An additional parcel was sold during the summer, after the State Land Board gave approval to sell the remaining northeast parcels at the appraised values on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
The remaining ten properties include both timber and grazing land; none have legal access. More information is available on the DSL Web site.
 
 
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Waterway leasing and marine reserve rulemaking underway
DSL waterway lease
The Land Management Division recently began two rulemaking efforts:
  • Revising rules governing the authorization of uses on state-owned submerged and submersible land (waterway leasing rules).
  • Developing a new division of rules establishing two marine reserves and the uses DSL will allow in these areas.
Waterway Leasing
DSL's first waterway leasing rules were written in 1973. Since then, they've been reviewed by numerous task forces and committees, and amended by the State Land Board many times. The last such comprehensive review and revision occurred in the late 1990s, at which time the current use classifications and compensation schedule were developed. In 2002, less substantive changes were made to these rules, including a mechanism to allow for inflation-based compensation and increasing application fees to more fully cover the cost of processing applications.
 
Over the years, DSL staff have identified a number of minor changes that need to be made to clarify various rule provisions, as well as to streamline some of the processes to benefit both the agency and the public. Additionally, DSL wants to make some definitions consistent with other rules, and reorganize the rules to reflect the current rule format.
 
A draft of these amended rules has been reviewed by a rulemaking advisory committee. DSL will make the proposed rules available for public comment on Oct. 1. Public hearings will be held on Monday, Oct. 26 in Portland; Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Astoria; and Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Coos Bay.
 
Marine Reserves
DSL manages the submerged and submersible land underlying the territorial sea, which extends three miles seaward from Oregon's coastline. The 2009 Legislature passed House Bill 3013 which requires DSL, as well as the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), to "...implement the November 29, 2008 recommendations from the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) on marine reserves by adopting rules to establish, study, monitor, evaluate and enforce a pilot marine reserve at Otter Rock and a pilot marine reserve and marine protected area at Redfish Rocks."
 
To comply with this legislation, DSL is developing administrative rules that will allow establishment of a marine reserve in the vicinity of Otter Rock near Depoe Bay, and a marine reserve and marine protected area in the vicinity of Redfish Rocks near Port Orford. The new rules also will include what uses the agency will allow to occur within these areas.
 
To ensure close coordination among the three state agencies, DSL is holding public hearings in conjunction with OPRD and ODFW. In addition, DSL and OPRD worked with the same advisory committee to provide initial review and comment on each agency's draft rules. DSL's proposed rules will become available for public review and comment on Oct. 1. The public hearings concerning these rules will be held in Salem on Tuesday, Oct. 20; in Port Orford on Wednesday, Oct. 21; and in Newport on Thursday, Oct. 22.
 
Additional information on both these rulemaking efforts will be available on Oct. 1 on the DSL Web site or by calling Liz Martino, 503-986-5239.
 
 
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Removal-fill rulemaking continues
Siskiyou Creek
Two bills passed by the 2009 Oregon Legislature require rule changes to implement the revised legislation. House Bill 2155 clarifies provisions for removal-fill permitting and adds a new category of exempted activities for voluntary restoration projects. House Bill 2156 clarifies and improves provisions relating to wetland mitigation programs, and allows for the creation of stream and other non-wetland mitigation banks. Both bills affect Divsion 85 of DSL's administrative rules.
 
The department also is cleaning up Division 89 rules - consolidating and clarifying language relating to General Authorizations (GAs); and conducting rulemaking to accomodate Essential Salmonid Habitat maps (Division 102).
 
Public involvement will kick off in early October, with the goal of completing the rule revisions by Jan. 1, 2010. Hearings are set for Nov. 11 in Salem and Roseburg; and Nov. 19 in Bend.
 
Later in 2010, staff will begin a "big look" at GAs, which may involve substantial changes to Division 89, and start working with stakeholders to develop additional categories of exemptions for voluntary habitat restoration projects.
 
More information, including the hearings schedule, is available from Eric Metz at DSL.
 
 
 
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Estuarine scientists to meet in Portland
CERF Poster
"Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World" is the theme of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation's (CERF) meeting in Portland, Nov. 1-5. A partnership with numerous organizations including the Society of Wetland Scientists, the meeting will feature the latest research on a wide variety of topics such as climate change, sustainable fisheries, invasive species and the Oregon coast before European settlement.
 
"This conference will bring about 2,000 academic researchers, public-sector managers, teachers, consultants and students to Oregon to hear the most up-to-date information about coastal ecosystems around the world," said Mike Graybill, conference co-chair and manager of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston. "These biennial conferences are not only inspiring for estuarine research professionals, they provide the host community the opportunity to showcase their region," he said. This year's optional tours include a Willamette River canoe trip, a visit to the West Eugene Wetlands, Lower Columbia River boat trips, birding on Sauvie Island, and a trip to Nestucca Bay and the Salmon River Estuary.
 
Graybill and South Slough Management Commission member Bob Emmett have been active on the conference planning team. Beginning last fall, John Bragg, the South Slough's coastal training coordinator, wrote four articles about Pacific Northwest estuaries for the CERF newsletter. South Slough and DSL staff also have participated in communications outreach efforts, and in promoting the meeting through social media.
 
"One of the neat things about CERF conferences is the opportunity for students to be involved," said Graybill. "The organization makes a special effort to promote student participation through targeted presentations, student awards and opportunities for students to work on-site. Reaching these young scientists through modern communication methods is important."
 
The conference will be held at the Oregon Convention Center. More information about CERF and the conference is available at www.erf.org.
 
 
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Sustainability Plan focuses on thematic goals
DSL's Sustainability Plan
The Department of State Lands recently updated our efforts to create a sustainable workplace and implement sustainable business practices with the adoption of the 2009-2015 Sustainability Plan.
 
The document is focused around six themes - financial, transportation and energy, communications, natural resources, agency operations, and sustainable development practices - and is intended to guide the agency in supporting the mission: To ensure a legacy for Oregonians and their public schools through sound stewardship of lands, waterways, unclaimed property, estates and the Common School Fund.
 
"Rather than have a 'to do' list, I wanted our committee to look at the larger picture in developing the plan," said DSL director Louise Solliday. "Oregon's Constitution directs us to manage our lands and the Common School Fund sustainably for current and future generations of Oregon schoolchildren. We also regulate activities in Oregon's waterways to ensure they are healthy and sustainable over time. Everything we do takes the long view, and our plan should too."
 
The plan's objectives range from upgrading the agency's vehicles to be energy-efficient and converting to a paperless file system, to promoting alternative energy development on state lands and retaining high-performing staff. "One of the things I like about this plan is its comprehensiveness - we aren't just focusing on recycling paper, but are truly taking into consideration that what we do now will have an effect on the success of our programs for generations to come. It's a holistic approach that few agencies have taken," said Solliday.
 
Former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, who was one of three members of the State Land Board and who chaired the Sustainability Board, praised the plan as "forward-thinking" because of its themed structure.
 
To see the plan, go to the DSL Web site. More information is available from John Lilly, chair of the DSL Sustainability Committee.
 
 
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Unclaimed property auction a success
Unclaimed property auction
"Gold coins, nuggets, a pocket watch - even gold teeth! - were some of the top sellers at our public auction in June," said Unclaimed Property Section manager Patrick Tate. "Everything sold, and many people went away with interesting items."
 
Each year, the Department of State Lands receives the contents of abandoned safe-deposit boxes, after efforts to contact owners are unsuccessful. DSL makes further attempts to find owners, and after two years, the agency auctions the contents at public oral auctions. "This year we were very pleased to have a good number of owners, and were able to reunite them with their jewelry, coins and other keepsakes before they were offered at auction," said Tate.
 
The auction netted nearly $65,000 for the Common School Fund. Proceeds are available for claim forever by rightful owners.
 
Auctions are conducted by Liska Auctioneers of Grants Pass, Oregon, and have been held at Parrish Middle School for the past few years. "It's a nice partnership with a neighborhood school," said Tate.
 
Anyone interested in being informed of upcoming auctions may sign up
online.
 
 
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DSL photo gallery
   
   
Youths from the Marion County Extension Services's Enviro Squad help clean up invasive species in August along Mill Creek near the Department of State Lands building.
 
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, right, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, participated in the South Slough's 35th anniversary celebration in July, including a hike on the North Creek Trail to a new footbridge.
 
The sonar device being used by Oregon State University and David Evans and Associates to map Oregon's territorial sea floor, in Yaquina Bay, Newport.
 
 

 
Contact Information:
Julie Curtis
Communications Manager
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100
Salem, OR 97301-1279
503-986-5298
 
 
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