Bandon State Natural Area Exchange Proposal
|The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission received a staff report at its July 2013 meeting on a land trade proposal from Bandon Biota related to Bandon State Natural Area. Bandon Biota is described as a private "conservation land holding entity" owned by Michael Keiser, owner of Bandon Dunes and other local golf courses. Bandon Biota proposes to use part of the land they've requested -- a 280 acre piece of the 878 acre Bandon State Natural Area -- to create a new golf course. After several public meetings, the Commission agreed in principle to the proposal which includes receiving:|
Read the proposal outline online, with maps and descriptions of the properties and the commission agenda item that it acted on during its November 2013 meeting.
- 111 acres of oceanfront property south of the Natural Area.
- 97 acres on Coquille Spit north of Bandon.
- As much as $2.95 million in cash. $450,000 of this will match a grant to acquire 10 acres of Whale Cove in Lincoln County, and $2.5 million will fund some or all of a new state park property. This addition was formerly identified as Grouse Mountain in Grant County, but that acquisition has stopped and staff are in the process of identifying an alternative property.
- $300,000 worth of gorse control in Coos and Curry counties.
- An easement north of Bandon on Bandon Dunes Golf Course property to relocate a segment of the Oregon Coast Trail off the road.
The commission took four related actions at the November 2013 meeting:
Motion 1: the Commission finds that the contemplated Bandon Biota exchange meets the "overwhelming public benefit" standard of OAR 736-019-0070(4) and instruct the department to prepare a proposed final order for Commission approval.
Motions 2 and 3: Relate to the now-ended Grouse Mountain acquisition.
Motion 4: the department will accept additional written testimony until December 6, 2013, regarding the proposed exchange or the proposed Grouse Mountain Ranch acquisition to afford the department the opportunity to consider the comments in preparing the proposed final orders.
A news release issued after the commission meeting summarizes the result.
Any outside proposal affecting state park land must provide "overwhelming" public benefits to the state park system. The system is not a single, unchanging set of properties. Most of the change involves receiving property from willing sellers, but it does sometimes involve allowing property to leave the system. The equation -- what the public gains minus what it is giving up -- has to show this overwhelming public benefit. The benefits are measured by comparing the effects at the deal on the department's mission to "provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations."
Deciding whether an idea provides an overwhelming benefit isn't just about looking at numbers (acres and dollars), so it's not surprising people have different views about this proposal. The Commission ultimately decided to approve the exchange proposal because they felt, when viewed as a whole, it met this standard.
A packet of new documents on the Bandon exchange was presented to the February 5 commission meeting, but the commission asked for more time to review them. It tabled the decision until its April 9, 2014 meeting in Bend. Here are the materials from the February 5 meeting:
Other and Older Documents
Outline of proposal and the agenda item requesting Commission action at the November 20, 2013 meeting in Corvallis.
Resource assessment: Bandon State Natural Area (and an older report from 2007)
Resource assessment: 97 acre Coquille spit property (older assessment)
Resource assessment: 111 acre oceanfront property
Map: Bandon State Natural Area and adjacent incoming property
Map: Coquille Spit incoming property
Appraisal (outdated and obsolete): Bandon State Natural Area *
Appraisal (outdated and obsolete): 97 acre Coquille Spit *
Appraisal (outdated and obsolete): 111 acre oceanfront property near Bandon SNA *
Map: Whale Cove incoming property
Whale Cove grant application (a federal grant explains the scenic value of the property)
Grouse Mountain in Grant County
Read more about this acquisition
From public meetings and comments
2013-2015 acquisition priority list
Open houses: agendas
Open houses: meeting notes
Open houses: results of voting exercise
A letter from the Governor to the Commission about Grant County
Written comments BEFORE the November 2013 Commission meeting
Written comments received AT the November 2013 Commission meeting
Written comments received AFTER the November 2013 Commission meeting
Summary of public comments through December 2013, with staff responses
Written comments received between Feb. 5-14, 2014
* A note about the appraisals: Old appraisals are used as a rough guide only. New appraisals have been prepared but are under mandatory review.
Audio from the July 2013 Commission meeting in Coos Bay:
Audio from September 2013 Commission meeting in Condon:
Audio from November 2013 meeting in Corvallis. The two beeps you hear represent a break in the audio. The first beep happens after Rep. Bentz's testimony (there was 45 minutes of unrelated meeting material between his testimony and the rest of the recording). The second beep happens during a 5 minute recess as the motions were being written by the Dept. of Justice and the recorder was switched off):
Audio from the February 5, 2014 Commission meeting.