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State Land Board declares Rogue River navigable
For immediate release                                                                            08-20
More information:   Julie Curtis – 503-986-5298 
Decision covers 89-mile stretch from Grave Creek to Lost Creek Dam
Salem – At their public meeting today, the State Land Board adopted the Final Rogue River Navigability Study prepared by the Department of State Lands (DSL) which asserts the beds and banks of the 89-mile segment has been owned by the state since 1859.
“After many months of research, and extensive public input, we now have resolution on this study,” said DSL director Louise Solliday.  “However, there is no doubt this has been a contentious effort, and will continue to be as new navigability studies are requested. DSL and the Land Board will continue to look for ways to ensure the public’s right to use its waterways, while protecting the interests of landowners who live along Oregon’s rivers.” 
DSL used the federal test for navigability in its determination:
To be considered navigable, and therefore a grant to a state upon its admission to the Union, the river must have been:
  • Used, or susceptible to being used,
  • In its ordinary and natural condition,
  • As a highway of commerce over which trade and travel were, or could have been conducted,
  • In the customary modes of trade and travel on water at the time of Oregon’s statehood (1859).
More information about the Rogue River study is available on the DSL Web site. 
In other meeting business, the Land Board approved disposing of, through open competitive bid or exchange, 15 scattered forest parcels (approximately 3,221 acres) in Coos, Curry, Douglas and Lane counties; extended the public comment period to 5:00 pm, July 3 for administrative rules governing leases, licenses and short-term access authorizations for special uses on state-owned land; and approved DSL’s and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s 2009-11 budget proposals. 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards.  The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.