If you love Camp Sherman and the Metolius River, you need to help defend this beautiful piece of Oregon. For the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners is determined to cast aside Camp Sherman values in favor of zoning changes that would foster ticky-tacky development.
As the Friends of the Metolius put it in their July newsletter:
For twenty-five years Camp Sherman folks have worked for sensible, sensitive land use planning for the private land in the Metolius Basin. They have sought rules which would produce development that was small scale, low key, conservative, deliberate, that was protective of the natural values. The proposed revision of the Jefferson County zoning ordinance would severely restrict that approach.
Friends of the Metolius has put together a Save the Metolius web site with everything you need to know about the horribly flawed development plans that Jefferson County is trying to foist upon the Camp Sherman area.
Print out, sign, and mail in their petition to the County to stop the rezoning process until genuine local citizen participation takes place. Read a sample letter to the county commissioners, then write and send in your own plea for them to reconsider their ill-considered plans for the Metolius Basin.
What’s at stake here? Gregory McClarren, president of the Friends of the Metolius, spells it out:
By the end of spring 2006, I believe “war was declared on the Metolius,” one of Oregon’s crown jewels, by the county commission. The proposed revision of the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan would undo nearly 25 years of protections for the Metolius Basin’s unique charms, open space, and pristine water quality.
Camp Sherman would end up with a greater density of homes and tourist rental accommodations, stream protections would be scaled back, and the unincorporated rural character would be allowed to become more urbanized to help fulfill urban housing needs.
To add insult to injury five parcels in the Basin ranging in size from about 20 acres to over 640 acres would be designated as “eligible and available for destination resort siting,” further increasing loss of wildlife habitat, threatening water quality, and diminishing the Camp Sherman character.
Five large destination resorts. Just what Camp Sherman and the Metolius Basin doesn’t need. Laurel and I are one-fourth owners of a cabin on the Metolius that sits on leased Forest Service land. We love the river. We love Camp Sherman. We love the wonderful rural friendliness and eccentricity of the area.
It seriously galls me that the Jefferson County commissioners are ready and willing to sacrifice what makes Camp Sherman unique. The Bend Bulletin editorial board says that the commissioners could use a nanny, given how childishly they’ve been handling the Measure 37 claims process.
I’d add, ditto for how they’ve been handling planning for the Metolius Basin. So tell the commissioners how you feel about the prospect of changing the Camp Sherman area much for the worse. That’s what I’ll be doing myself, first thing tomorrow morning.