The Highlight for DC Park this spring was our booth at the Earth Day/Energy fair in April. Arboriculturist David Braun brought finished stump samples from Busenbark. These donated samples will become a permanent part of the Busenbark history along with Ken Carloni’s 7 foot storyboard of the 500 year-old Busenbark stump. These generated a lot of interest and were educational. Thank you to everyone that stopped by to visit and/or bought raffle tickets. Thanks also to Joanne Gordon who donated plants from her nursery and volunteered at our booth.
Dealing with the county on Parks and other issues is a frustrating experience. The Parks Advisory Board (PAB), although now more diverse, has become neutralized by the Board of Commissioners and Parks director Rocky Houston. In the last nine months, they have only had five meetings. The last time they voted on an item was February 2018. They voted down the proposed fiscal year 2018-19 Parks Department budget. Despite the no vote, the budget will be presented to the County Budget committee for approval. Most of the PAB’s agenda consists of updates and spending on the coastal RV parks. The county is spending thousands of dollars to improve Umpqua Dunes, formerly called Discovery Point RV Park. This was a run-down, rat infested Park that they purchased for $1.5 million.
The proposed Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) park at the former Lookingglass landfill was scrapped. However, by an in-house decision it has been leased to the Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue group. Some members of this group were the same backers for the OHV park.
The Rural Open Spaces (ROS), 20 acre subdivisions on marginal lands, which the Board of Commissioners approved in March has been appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals by four groups: Thousand Friends of Oregon, Friends of Douglas County, the Ore. Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as the Department of Land Conservation and Development. It is very unusual for these groups to all appeal a proposed land change. The Board of Commissioners determination to defend their proposal will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
We will continue to monitor the County’s efforts to log 10 acres on Bollen Island near Reedsport. The proximity to an active Eagles Nest may prevent this from happening in the short term. Many Reedsport residents are upset at the proposal.
We hope to have a presence at the spring County budget hearing if we can find the notifications for them.
We will have our second Riverside trail clean-up day for the Roseburg Parks department on Saturday June 16th at 10 am We will meet at the parking lot by the American Legion building.
It is obvious that monitoring our County Government is very time consuming and we can use your help. Join us at our monthly meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month 6 pm at the UW office.