Oregon Forest Homeowners' Association

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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 cabins. Leaving a legacy in Oregon’s forests
for the next generation of cabin users.

President's Message...By Scott Letourneau

Oregon Forest Cabin Owner-

We hope that this letter finds you well.
Since the passage of the CFA there has been much discussion by the Oregon Forest Homeowner’s Board as to the relevancy of OFHA. On the one hand, pressing state issues concerning all forest service cabins in Oregon are relatively infrequent. This makes annual in-person meetings, written newsletters, and the required administration and dues management less relevant and burdensome. On the other hand, issues can and do arise which are of vital interest to Oregon forest cabin owners such as PIT - possessory interest tax (an additional tax on your cabin) or possibly a state legislative action that could impact FS cabin owners, or even a federal administrative rule by the Forest Service that appears to be interpreted/applied at a local or state level that could use some clarification. These types of issues could make a state organizational structure extremely important.

After much discussion, the OFHA Board made a recommendation to restructure the organization, and rewrite the Articles and bylaws, so that the organization can remain functional as needed and at the same time reduce the burden on the officers and members.

One initiative to trim costs and decrease the workload for the Officers is that most future communication will occur in the form of email blasts, website updates, and communication (both electronic and in-person at your annual meetings) from your Tract Leadership (more on Tract Leadership below).

The Articles were rewritten, and OFHA had an annual meeting in April 2016 where we adopted the new set of Articles of Incorporation. In addition, at that meeting, the membership decided to, and voted to approve a fundamental restructure OFHA and tasked the Board with creating a new set of Bylaws. Obviously, this has taken a very long time, and we apologize.

As described in the Bylaws, the membership of OFHA has historically been composed of individual cabin owners with representatives from each Forest in the State making up the Board. This has created an additional, largely redundant level of bureaucracy between the Tracts and National Forest Homeowners Association, and we have struggled mightily to maintain enough volunteers to fill a Board and a slate of Officers. In addition, our current Bylaws dictate that we publish and send out a paper newsletter twice per year. This has been a large expenditure twice per year, and most if not all future communications will be via email and our website, and newsletters will be published as needed on the website rather than printed and mailed.

The model we voted on at the last annual meeting was to restructure ourselves more along the lines of the Washington State Cabin Owners Association, which is much more simple and streamlined. Instead of having every cabin owner pay dues and be a “Member”, the idea is to have the “membership” consist of one elected or appointed representative from every Tract that chooses to participate. These “Members” will also make up the Board of Directors, and will elect their Officers. The Member/Directors will be responsible for bringing issues from the cabin owners in their tracts to OFHA for consideration and to possibly be forwarded to NFH. In addition, they will be responsible for dissemination of information and ‘Calls to Action’ from NFH and OFHA.

Instead of printing and mailing dues notices twice per year, we will be emailing periodic requests for donations, and Tract Leaders will still be able to solicit and collect donations from those tracts that are more organized.

Luckily for cabin owners in Oregon, many tracts and groups of tracts are already organized as Member Tracts in NFH. This includes Anthony Lakes, Crescent Lake, Diamond Lake, Odell Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mt. Hood, Marion Forks, Metolius River, Stahlman, and Upper Rogue River. These Member Tracts will be invited to appoint or elect a Member/Board Representative to OFHA.

So, this letter is also a call to action to the tracts that are not currently organized: If unorganized tracts want to continue to receive information from NFH and OFHA, and if you want representation and your voice to be heard concerning your tract issues and the future of your tract, you need to contact your fellow cabin owners, get organized, and let us know that you would like to be part of OFHA and participate. More information on Organizing Your Tract and Member Tracts can be found at the NFH website: www.nationalforesthomeowners.org. And in the links on the right side of this page.

Being a Member Tract in NFH will not be required for participation with OFHA, but qualifies cabin owners for discounted NFH membership, and essentially means the tract leadership agrees to encourage individual and associate membership, and collects and remits the dues to NFH. Member Tracts can also collect and remit donations to OFHA.

Cabin owners in Recreation Creek, McKenzie River (Scott Cr. and Delta A & B), Elk Lake, Fish Lake, Devil’s Cr. and Breitenbush, Hoodoo, Fernview, Paulina, Agness, and tracts in Northeast Oregon or others that I may have mistakenly omitted need to contact one another, get organized, and let us know if you want to continue to be part of OFHA. If you would like assistance in obtaining the contact information for fellow cabin owners in your tract, please contact us as we may be able to assist. You can email us at: ofha.president@gmail.com

The rewritten Bylaws are ready, and are available on this page. We will hopefully approve them at our Annual meeting on April 1st. Some important highlights of the new draft bylaws:

  1. Eliminates the need for in person meetings where cabin owners have to drive for hours to attend. The Board can choose to have an in-person meeting, but they are not required. Provides for electronic video or telephone meetings where Tract Leaders will meet to conduct business, and any interested cabin owner can call in to participate virtually as well.
  2. Provides for one representative from each of 17 recognized tracts listed in the Bylaws draft to make up the Board. Also, provides for up to 4 additional “at-large” representatives so there can be representation from the smaller, less organized, or far flung tracts. Also, if there happens to be more than one person from an organized tract that would like to serve on the Board, they could seek an “at-large” position.
  3. Does not force rotation of Board members or Officers; A tract representative continues to be a Board Member until their tract elects or appoints a new representative.
  4. Eliminates the cost and expense of mailing out ballots to the entire cabin ownership to elect officers. (In the last ten years, there has never been a contested election, and the return rate on ballots has been less than 10%). Rather, it allows the Board to elect their officers and gives flexibility as to the length of the term for each officer.

If you have not already done so, please share your email address if you would like to continue to stay in touch. Again, you can share your email address by contacting ofha.president@gmail.com

If you have shared ownership and/or if you have children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, or other additional family members who might want to be Associate Members in NFH and stay connected on issues vital to the future of our cabins, please ask them to share their contact information, donate to OFHA, become a member in NFH, and encourage them to get involved and stay involved.

Also, on this page are links to:

  1. Review the new Bylaws
  2. Minutes from past meetings and the new Articles of Incorporation
  3. Information for “Organizing Your Tract”
Thank you, OFHA Board of Directors



NFH Meetings

NFH 2018 Annual Conference
April 21, 2018
Location: Sacramento, CA

NFH 2018 Fall Forum
October 13, 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ



Scott Letourneau
from Elk Lake Tract

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