News and Announcements

Important Information on the EQC "Oregon Resource Water" Petition

MRFHA members, Please take a close look at a petition to designate the Metolius an Oregon Resource Water. We each love the river and want it protected. Please consider the protection needed, the impact and perhaps the unintended consequences that such a designation will have.

The Environmental Quality Commission has received a petition to designate the Metolius River from its headwaters to Monty Campground as an Outstanding Resource Water. You will find a link to this petition below. We strongly encourage each of you to read the petition carefully and consider the proposed designation. At the end of this message is a summary statement with wording drawn directly from the petition. It will be important that the Commission receive a large number of letters from us during this very short public comment period. Comments due August 30th!

Dear Interested Person,

The Environmental Quality Commission has received a petition to designate the Metolius River from its headwaters to Monty Campground as an Outstanding Resource Water. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality invites public comment on whether EQC should deny the petition or direct DEQ to begin a rulemaking process as proposed by the petition. The Metolius River is located in the eastern Cascade Mountains within Jefferson County and along the southern border of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

In addition, in accordance with OAR 183.390 (3), DEQ specifically requests comment on whether options exists to achieve the rules goals with less negative economic impact.

EQC is scheduled to act on the petition at its meeting scheduled for Sept. 22-23, 2022. If EQC directs DEQ to conduct rulemaking, that process will include an opportunity for public comment on the rule language amendments proposed by the petition.

Notice of Public Comment Period

DEQ will accept written public comments on the petition until 5 pm on Aug. 30, 2022. DEQ will summarize in a written report to EQC all comments by that time.

To view the Notice Document and the Petition, and to submit written comment, please view:

https://www.oregon.gov/deq/wq/Pages/WQ-Standards-Policies.aspx

NOTE: If you want to receive future email notices about the petition and any rulemaking that may follow, you must sign up at: GovDelivery-Water Quality Standards Rulemaking. Select “Water Quality Standards” from the topics list.

You can also obtain more information about this rulemaking by contacting:

Aron Borok

aron.borok@deq.oregon.gov

503-229-5050

SUMMARY STATEMENTS/QUESTIONS

Here are some questions the Board has about the petition:


The Metolius is designated as a Wild and Scenic river. The management plan is designed to protect and enhance water quality in perpetuity. Is more required?

Is there data that suggests water quality is decreasing? Friends of the Metolius has been monitoring and has found no critical trends. All parameters met regional standards.

Is growth and development that might affect water quality expected? No. Protection exists through the Metolius Protection Act which prohibits resort development.

Campgrounds, recreational sites and residences are likely the sole discharges of pathogens and other pollutants due to leaking septic systems. Could cabin owners be required to somehow increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our septic systems? Perhaps.

If the Metolius were to be designated an Outstanding Resource Water the Commission may establish a process for determining what activities are allowed. Would that affect the way you enjoy the river? Unknown.

If the Metolius were to be designated an Outstanding Resource Water what would be the anticipated impact on cabin owners, on owner rights in rebuilding, on the Camp Sherman store, on ponds, on access for fishing, hiking, camping? Unknown.

PLEASE READ THE PETITION AND SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS BY AUGUST 30TH!


PDF - DEQ Requests Comments to Designate the Metolius river as an Outstanding Resource Water


Cell Service Update

[July 2, 2022] Announced at the summer meeting on July 2nd, 2022: An AT&T 5G cell tower is due to go online Fall (perhaps September) of 2022. It is possible that other carriers will be available on the tower at a later date. For more information on this, and other updates regarding broadband at Camp Sherman, see www.campshermanfiber.com/ .

New Board Member

[July 2021.] A new member has joined the MRFHA Board! The board and association are pleased to welcome Susan Prince to the Board. We would like to remind you that cabin owners are always welcome to contact us about upcoming open positions if they are interested in contributing to the association. Here is the current makeup of the board as Susan Prince joins us:

Ted Hogan - President (second term expires 6/30/23); Barbara Brazelton - Vice President (second term expires 6/30/22); Carol Wall - Secretary (first term expires 6/30/22); Don Hicks - Treasurer (second term expires 6/30/22); Melinda McIntyre (second term expires 6/30/23); Meggins Tuchmann (first term expires 6/30/23); Susan Prince (first term expires 6/30/24); Carol Enyart (second term expires 6/30/24); Bill Failing (third term expires 6/30/24).

NFH-Endorsed Cabin Insurance Program

[July 6, 2018] Insuring your cabin is one of the most important things you can do to protect your investment. Information on this program is now available on the NFH-Endorsed Cabin Insurance Program page.

Cabin Fee Act - 2014

Cabin Fee Act Passed by Congress! (content from the NFH Website) National Forest Homeowners and Cabin Coalition 2 are proud to announce that on December 12, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed the Cabin Fee Act along with dozens of other lands bills as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Having passed the House on December 4, the bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014. This success brings permanent and very welcome permit fee relief to cabin owners all across the country. Ring those bells and break out the champagne!

This milestone achievement coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Recreation Residence Program on National Forest lands. Passage of the Cabin Fee Act ensures the continuation of the Cabin Program for generations to come with stable permit fees, increased only inflation, while also protecting the value of cabin-owner improvements.

Noxious Weeds

When compared to much of Oregon the Metolius Basin boasts plant communities that are mostly free of noxious, invasive weeds. Scotch broom is here but in small scattered sites, then there are the knapweeds, St John’s wort and Dalmatian toadflax. But along the river are two species that have brought up concern: yellow iris and ribbon grass. They both occur mostly along the upper Metolius, starting in Tract C and running through Tract O and pretty much petering out above Bridge 99. Both grow along the river’s edge and up the bank if the soil is wet enough.

They both out compete native riparian plants. Once the islands on the Metolius supported a variety of flowering plants; now many islands are becoming monocultures of ribbon grass. Yellow iris is an exotic that is pushing out natives too. Yellow iris is a native of Europe. Ribbon grass, an ornamental variety of reed canary grass, is extremely invasive. It came to someone’s attention in 2000 but was probably introduced here long before that, maybe by some well meaning person who wanted to grow a decorative plant.

The Forest Service has completed an Environmental Impact Statement that addresses invasive plants. The Sisters Ranger District is planning a control action this year. The Friends of the Metolius have tried control measures on private land and on the island below the Camp Sherman bridge. There is no silver bullet; control will be difficult and controversial.

There continue to be questions and concerns in regard to weed mitigation. The Metolius River is home to several endangered and threatened species. The best way to get involved is to become educated on what effect spreading weeds or their removal may have on the Metolius River and its inhabitants. Contact MRFHA Board for more information.

Weed information provided by Pete Schay