Oregon Forest Homeowners' Association
Generations of family and friends in Oregon’s forests.
Stewards and conservationists of Oregon’s forests.
Preserving and protecting Oregon’s Forest Service cabins. Leaving a legacy in Oregon’s forests
for the next generation of cabin users.
President's Message...By Scott Letourneau
I hope everyone is having a safe and happy start to the New Year. With folks I have been speaking to, the two topics on everyone's mind right now seem to be the passage of the Cabin Fee Act and the general lack of snow statewide. More on the snowpack below.
After nearly a decade of struggle and countless hours of meetings, conference calls, hearings, lobbying, research, and behind the scenes negotiation, the Cabin Fee Act has finally passed! I can't say it more plainly, "THIS IS A BIG DEAL". It will provide some relief to cabin owners in those tracts where the fees have skyrocketed since the last appraisal cycle, provide stability and predictability to yearly fee increases for all of us, and provide a simple and uniform process for both the outright sale or transfer of a cabin within a family. Perhaps most importantly, it will eliminate the painful, expensive, inconsistent, and often capricious appraisal process.
As we have said in previous announcements and email blasts, though, the work is far from over. The interpretation and rule-making process outlining how the CFA will be interpreted, implemented, and administered is arguably equally as important as passage of the Act itself. This concept of "What's Next?" is the focus of an article in this newsletter by OFHA board member Cliff Conner-Coash on the new fee schedule and will be covered extensively at our annual membership meeting in Medford on March 21st. We are pleased to announce that our featured speaker at the annual meeting will be Oregon forest homeowner and NFH Vice President Brad Aspell, speaking on the topic of "Cabin Fee Act Passes Congress- Now What??”
This presentation is sure to be timely and very informative and we hope to see you in Medford.
The unseasonably warm winter is breaking records for all of the wrong reasons and leading to lots of hand-wringing and consternation among water managers, irrigators, farmers, ranchers, fire fighters, forest managers, and water recreation enthusiasts. Across the state, the snowpack is barely 25% of normal and more record-breaking warm temperatures are predicted through press time and beyond. Conditions in Central Oregon are more typical of the shoulder months of November or May and many snowparks are completely unusable with bare ground showing where cross-country and snowmobile trails should be. Two miles of bare pavement are showing on the Cascade Lakes Highway between Mt. Bachelor and Elk Lake, a distance of ten miles at between 6,000 and 5,000 feet of elevation. Many of the Cascade lakes have not even frozen over yet this year. Yikes. Several pictures in this edition of our newsletter were taken near Elk Lake over the Valentine’s Day weekend, when there normally would be 8’- 10’ of snow at the 5,000’ level this time of year. The snowpack I witnessed varied from zero to 18” with lots of bare ground in exposed areas.
If the snowpack does not catch up in the final months of winter, the impact will undoubtedly be widespread. Stay tuned for what could be a very interesting summer season.
Regards, Scott Letourneau, Bend
C2 Steering Committee
Geoff Anderson, Brad Aspell, Barbara Bailey, Pete Bailey Dave Damron, Doug Gann, Roy Glauthier, Jay Tripathi and Ernie Atenci - Exec Director
C2 Committee Members (past and present)
Mike Hoover, Glen Hildreth, Dick Almy, Al Molineux, Bernie Kosola, Ron Yandt, David Mead, Lynn Watkins, Albert Pollmar, Dick Burrows, Sarah Dahl, George Cardinet, Sally Goodin, Fran Filer, Ted Filer, Nancy Chapman, Barry Davis, Mary Clarke, Ver Hoef, Sharon Karr, Bill Kennedy and Bill Johnson
C2 Washington Representatives
Aubrey King, Aubrey King & Associates
Michelle Giguere, Ball Janik LLP
Heath Heikkila, Ball Janik LLP