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Public invited to John Day River meetings
10/22/2009
 
For immediate release                                                                       09-21
 
More information:    Randy Wiest, 541-388-6456 (Bend)
                               Julie Curtis, 503-986-5298 (Salem)
 
Discussion centers on state ownership of river’s bed and banks in Grant, Wheeler, Jefferson, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties 
 
Property owners are invited to learn more about state authorizations needed for uses and structures – such as irrigation pipes, utility crossings, riprap and docks – on the John Day River in Oregon at a series of public meetings and workshops.
 
At statehood, Oregon was given title to the beds and banks of all navigable rivers below the line of ordinary high water. As directed by the State Land Board, the Department of State Lands has been systematically inventorying structures on and uses of state-owned land along waterways. The board determined in 2005 that the John Day River from River Mile 184 near Kimberly to River Mile 10 at Tumwater Falls is navigable, or owned by the state.
 
Two open houses to explain state ownership and property owners' responsibilities are scheduled for early November:
 
Wednesday, Nov. 4 
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Wheeler County Courthouse, Court Room
701 Adams St.
Fossil
 
Thursday, November 5, 2009         
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Sherman County Senior and Community Center
300 Dewey St.
Moro
 
Informational notices were sent to 211 landowners adjacent to the John Day in Grant, Wheeler, Jefferson, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties, as well as to other interested parties and state and local officials. The packets contain information about state-owned "submerged and submersible" land, as well as definitions and state law related to waterway ownership.
 
Three workshops have been scheduled to answer landowners' questions about the process, and to assist them in completing the necessary forms for authorizing their uses on the river:
 
Tuesday, Nov. 17     
10:00 –1:00 pm
The Rock
601 Willow St.
Spray
 
Tuesday, Nov. 17
4:00 – 7:00 pm
Memorial Hall
128 S Main St
Condon
 
Wednesday, Nov. 18                
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Sherman County Senior and Community Center
300 Dewey St.
Moro
 
More information is available from DSL's eastern region office in Bend, 541-388-6112, and on the DSL Web site: www.oregonstatelands.us.
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ben Westlund. 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, waterways, 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.
 
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