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 of the purchase of a 6,300 acre property in Grant County known as the Grouse Mountain Ranch for use as a future state park.
- $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.
Motion 2: the Commission finds that the acquisition of Grouse Mountain Ranch meets the acquisition standards in OAR 736-019-0060 and instruct the department to prepare a proposed final order for Commission approval.
Motion 3: the Commission directs the Department to continue good faith efforts to address local community concerns as reflected in the Governor's letter dated November 19, 2013.
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.
As the commission deliberated, it defined tasks for staff to work on as they prepare to ask the commission for a final vote on both the Bandon exchange as a whole, and the Grouse Mountain purchase as an individual property.
The department is taking public comment on the commission's action until December 6 to help it work on these tasks. You can send in your comments by email or in writing to OPRD, ATTN: Bandon Exchange, 725 Summer St NE, Salem OR 97301.
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
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 citizen oversight commission ultimately decided to approve the exchange proposal because they felt, when viewed as a whole, it met this standard.
- Staff will work on a list of seven tasks as directed by the commission.
- When those items are finished, staff will return to the commission to get final permission to act on both projects: the Bandon exchange and the Grouse Mountain purchase.
- The next commission meeting is February 4-5 in the Salem area.
- A packet of new documents will be published in January to prepare for the February commission meeting. We'll take public comment on those new materials by email and regular mail up to noon on February 4. After that time, you'd best bring your comments to the Salem-area commission meeting.
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
Map: Grouse Mountain incoming property (the entire 6,300 parcel is being considered; only a portion would be funded by money from Bandon Biota)
Grouse Mountain Natural Resource Review
Grouse Mountain Potential Park Uses and Effects on the Community
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 (corrected to add a missing page on 12/6/2013)
Written comments received AFTER the November 2013 Commission meeting (updated 12/6/2013)
* A note about the appraisals: Old appraisals are used as a rough guide only. New appraisals are being ordered now.
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'z 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):
Updated Dec. 6, 2013.