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State Land Board Meeting, October 21, 2003 and the John Day Navigability Study.

Having driven through fog banks, behind motor homes and big trucks, and along the twisty winding Umpqua (Saw one guy hoist a really nice bright Chinook over the side of his boat as I drove by.) I managed to arrive at the State Land Board meeting about thirty minutes late. They were still discussing whether they would change state log export rules so Weyerhaeuser could get even richer at the expense of Oregonians.

Because the meeting ran very late, they never did get to the review of the navigability issue, however, Treasurer Edwards did make a specific comment about how he wanted to keep pursuing the issue because he did not think it was going to go away. I think he thinks his original “workgroup compromise” was a good thing.

Of course, his comment prompted Governor Kulongoski to say something about it as well. He said that he was also concerned about navigability issues and that he and his staff would continue to work on it from a “common law floatage easement standpoint.”

After the meeting adjourned, the Governor approached me. I introduced myself and said that I had testified at the June 10, Land Board Meeting. He said he remembered me.

I asked him what he meant by “common law floatage easement standpoint.” He said a law like the Montana Law. That is what he said. He used the words, “like the Montana Law.”

I asked him if he was aware that a group of citizens were organizing regarding this issue and that they were considering a ballot measure or litigation. I also handed him one of our CORR brochures. He took the brochure. He did not respond to the question.

All told, I may have had sixty to ninety seconds with the Governor. Not a lot of time but enough time to learn that are pretty much in agreement on this issue.

As he was leaving, almost as an after thought, the turned to me and said, “You’re absolutely right about one thing. The people do own up to the high water mark on navigable streams.” With that, he left to go do an interview.

So where do we stand right now?

The State Land Board took no action regarding the John Day River yesterday. Consequently, the John Day River Navigability Study will continue to move forward as directed by the State Land Board during the June 10, meeting.

News from over in the Gresham area, I am hearing rumblings that Representative Karen Minnis and Representative Patti Smith will introduce a revised version of HB 3657, a bill to create a separate management plan for the Sandy River. I understand their have been several letters to the editor in the Gresham Newspaper supporting this idea. This is a new threat and we need to take it seriously. I am trying to get copies of those letters.

Regarding the Trask River Arrests reported earlier. I understand that either the Judge or DA postponed any action on the case indefinitely. That means that it will not be prosecuted at this time, however, the DA reserves the right to do so at some future date in time.

Scruffy
 

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Scruffy - thank you for the time and energy you are devoting to this issue on behalf of the people of Oregon. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.
 

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Let me add my voice of thanks also. Often we don't think we're accomplishing anything by showing up and voicing our ideas - sort of a "whisper in the wind" feeling - but we do make a difference, as indicated by the Gov remembering you and taking the time to speak to you. Next time will only solidify that.

Thanks for being there, and thanks for the information. These rivers, like the beaches, belong to all Oregonians.

Skein
 

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Scruffy,
I very much appreciate your attention and efforts to help assure that I (and all other fishers) will have access to rivers to fish.

Thanks!]

TC
 

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Thanks for the heads up on the Nav. DSL report. The guy was very helpfull and I now have a copy. I will cherish it and it has motivated me to seek info on some even smaller rivers.
 

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SBV,thank you for caring enough to get involved in this very important issue. Please keep us informed about these sneaky underhanded politicians that are trying to circumvent the will of the people on the Sandy. These people have time to do this type of thing,but can't find a way to fund education. I feel it's all about special interests and to heck with what is best for the people.
 
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