Umpqua Watersheds Blog

DCPARC

Spring 2018

Published March 3rd, 2018 in DCPARC

DCPARC

John Hunter

This Winter has been a busy time for DCPARC. We have continued to monitor issues concerning Douglas County parks and to bring more transparency to county government.

The County, despite objections from DCPARC’s and others, bought a new county park, Umpqua Dunes County Park, formally known as Discovery Point RV Park. The entire process lacked transparency and was not justified by a cost analysis study.

Meanwhile, many of our forested natural parks have been closed, listed as surplus property to be sold, or possibly logged, all because our parks have “to be run as a business.”

The Parks Advisory Board has finally filled their 3 vacant positions. And thanks to our numerous complaints, the board is now more diverse. Robert Johnson, Jody Morrow, and Jerry Chartier (former business partner of retired parks director Gary Groth).

The 2nd hearing before the County Planning Commission for the proposed Lookingglass OHV Park has been moved once again, to June. Complicating this decision is the appointment of OHV Proponent, and Twin Peaks OHV Sales owner, Virgile Osborne to the planning commission board. This is a definite conflict of interest that we will be monitoring.

On a positive note, DCPARC has adopted the Riverside trail section for volunteer cleanup through the City of Roseburg. Our first of 4 clean up dates will be April 14th at 10am. We will be working in coordination with the Blue Zones Project. Feel free to join us in this new community effort.

We also plan to have a booth at this year’s Earth Day Fair on 4/21/18. Stop by to visit, buy a raffle ticket, and hopefully win a prize!

Busenbark still remains a focus of our attention. The county has admitted and provided documentation that they did earn more than the original $385,000 from its logging. This additional $124,000 went into the parks department, but how that money was spent is, so far, an unfulfilled request for information. Dr. Ken Carloni, Eric Stauder, and others have begun a dendrochronology study at Busenbark (See Photo). We look forward to their results. Also a “Remember Busenbark” page has been started. Please click on and like us on Facebook. Hopefully there will be more announcements about Busenbark soon.

Another major county issue has been their under reported and down-played is a proposed zoning designation of non-resource land into 20 acre subdivisions. This proposal will probably be approved by the BOC on March 7, 2018 and will result in subsequent appeals by state land use and conservation groups in the state. It is flawed in many ways and will have adverse effects on many issues including, but not limited to, the following: 1) Water availability;  2) Increase the risk of human caused wildfires and increase the cost of fire suppression;  3) Have an adverse effect on not only big game habitat, but all wildlife habitat in these areas and the ecosystems they are dependent upon.;  4) It will increase conflicts between people and wildlife as well as ranchers and owners of these 20 acre parcels.  5) it will provide developers and others the opening they need to begin loosening the long established and highly regarded Oregon Land Use Statues! Obviously, our county government favors actions that are anti-environment. With your support DCPARC will be there to fight them! We meet the third Wednesday of every month, 6 PM at the UW office.