Sep
27

Floras Lake Public Workshop

When
September 27, 2017 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where
Curry County Annex Building
94235 Moore Street
Gold Beach, OR
Cost
Free--public meeting

Floras Lake.
Floras Lake. | Photo from Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

On Wednesday,  Sept. 27, the Curry County commissioners continue their public process regarding the future of county-owned lands at Floras Lake with a "workshop" to which the public is invited. In late April, 150 local citizens attended a hearing in Langlois to support a conservation/ recreation option for these lands. At the upcoming event, which the county is labeling a workshop rather than a "hearing," it is expected that the County development director will report on public input from the Langlois meeting plus provide more info on the four options she has researched for the lands: development, logging, conservation, and recreation. This is a critically important event for those concerned about preserving natural values in the area. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. in the Commissioners' Chambers in the Curry County Annex Building.

Since it is a workshop, the number of people allowed to comment may be limited.  Ann Vileisis of the Kalmiopsis Audubon society has been granted time to present a slide show to the commissioners, and at least a few other advocates for preservation will be allowed to speak (if a lot of concerned citizens show up, it may induce the commissioners to extend the comment period). In any case, a strong conservation presence could be influential.  Plus, any citizen can submit a written comment.

Address your comments to Curry County Commissioners Court Boice, Sue Gold, and Tom Huxley (see email addresses below). 

Key points to make as suggested by the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society:

  • "I appreciate the county holding a public meeting in Langlois about what to do with the county’s Floras Lake lands –providing a transparent and open public process."
  • "The county’s Floras Lake lands are poorly-suited to development or logging owing to lack of road access, septic and well constraints, historic platting constraints, prevalence of wetlands, coho-spawning streams that require buffers, marginal forest potential, high potential for wind throw and gorse infestation."
  • "The highest value for county’s Floras Lake lands is to conserve highly-valued scenery, fisheries, wildlife habitat, and world-class recreation opportunities rather than to pursue development or logging options."
  • "The most practical way for county to pursue these opportunities is through a land-swap with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department whereby Curry County can obtain some other land that is more conducive to producing revenue."
  • "This was recommendation of the Real Property Task Force in 2016, and it has broad support from the community as evidenced by the community meeting held in Langlois in April; the county should pursue this option." 

Also, the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society suggested that it would be helpful if people represented these different perspectives, such as:

  • Local landowner talking points: want to preserve property values and local community character —would be devalued by logging; value of property taxes already paid reflect lakefront views and scenery; local community values scenery at lake, uses lake for recreation —primary waterfront  and ocean front access for Langlois community; preserves water quality of the lake by buffering the lake from intensive agricultural uses; from dealing with my own property in the vicinity, as local landowner, I know that there is poor septic feasibility, marginal timber values, and high amenity and wildlife values….
  • Local business talking points: Floras Lake is a world class wind surfing destination; already an economic engine for northern Curry should not be destroyed for short term gain of county; people come for beautiful scenery, camping at county park or staying at local B&Bs —it’s a draw that keeps on providing amenities for the local community and to attract new visitors and residents
  • Local recreation enthusiast talking points: Floras Lake is a world class wind surfing destination —the beauty of the place is part of why people come; already an economic engine for northern Curry should not be destroyed for short term gain of county; people come for beautiful scenery, camping at county park or staying at local B&Bs —it’s a draw that keeps on providing amenities for the local community and to attract new visitors and residents. The county lands are adjacent to Floras Lake State Natural area, the only wilderness state park on the coast, which is also a draw for people seeking more primitive recreation —hiking on a wonderful trail system. The lands are adjacent to Floras Lake State park and its cherished trail system —and contribute to making that resource more valuable —and could make the parcel valuable to OPRD. 
  • Conservation talking points: The county’s Floras Lake lands help to preserve the lake’s water quality by buffering the lake from intensive agricultural uses. The lands are adjacent to Floras Lake State park and its cherished trail system —and contribute to making that resource more valuable. Floras lake provides habitat for threatened SONCC coho and other fishes; for birds including bald eagles, osprey, swans and other wintering waterfowl; and for other wildlife.
  • County taxpayer talking points: For nearly 15 years, the county has wasted too much time, energy, money, and goodwill with poorly conceived plans to develop its Floras Lake lands. Given all the well-known constraints to the lands, the county should avoid unnecessarily wasting more resources and should pursue the most practical option, which is to pursue a land swap with state parks. 

Email your comments to the Curry County Commissioners and County Community Development Director Carolyn Johnson by Sept. 20: 

Court Boice [email protected]

Thomas Huxley [email protected]

Sue Gold [email protected]

And to ensure they become part of the record/ packet, cc County Community Development Director Carolyn Johnson: [email protected]