In July 2013, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission placed acquisition of Grouse Mountain on its priority list for the 2013-2015 biennium. The property came to the attention of Oregon Parks and Recreation staff in 2012 when the owners expressed a willingness to sell. Since the department prefers to work with willing sellers, they seized the opportunity and reviewed the property before the commission adopted it as an acquisition priority. While the property is associated with the Bandon State Natural Area exchange proposal, it also stands on its own as a commission priority.
The department held four public meetings in 2013 to collect comments on the acquisition, and received preliminary approval from the commission to proceed with the acquisition at its November 2013 meeting. Local reaction to the proposal was mixed. Supporters generally pointed to the positive effects parks have on local businesses, and the good reputation of state park operations in the county (there are three small parks spread along the Highway 26 corridor). People concerned about the proposal pointed to the conversion of private land to public and the associated loss of tax revenue for the county, and the prevalence of other public lands open for recreation. As a result of the misgivings, state park officials attempted to establish an agreement with the Grant County Court to address continued agricultural use of the land, water rights, property management, and payments to the county offsetting the loss of tax revenue.
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission took up the issue again at its February 5, 2014 meeting in Salem, but citing the lack of an agreement with Grant County and the late delivery of a key real estate document, tabled the discussion until February 20. When it met on that date by phone, there was still no agreement with the county, and the Commission voted to stop pursuing the acquisition. The Commission directed staff to pursue alternative properties to satisfy the needs of the Bandon exchange proposal.
Materials from the February 5 meeting:
Materials from the February 20 meeting:
Audio from the February 20 meeting is at the bottom of this page.
Other and Older Documents
Grouse Mountain in Grant County
Map: Grouse Mountain incoming property
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
Written comments received AFTER the November 2013 Commission meeting
Summary of public comments through December 2013, with staff responses (new)
Comments received between Feb. 5 - 14, 2014
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:
Audio from the February 20, 2014 Commission meeting: