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In Oregon, the beaches belong to the people. As part of Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as the guardian of the public interest for our coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public's access.  Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.
 State Parks Commission Supports Land Exchange
Trail in the Bandon State Natural Area. Photo by Courtney Johnson.
Despite Oregon Shores’ arguments that the decision would set a dangerous precedent, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted on April 9 to accept the proposed land exchange between the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Bandon Biota, the development arm of the Bandon Dunes golf complex.
Through the exchange, 280 inland acres of the 878-acre Bandon State Natural Area would be traded to Bandon Biota for a future golf course. The state park system would gain 111 acres of adjacent oceanfront property to be added to the Bandon SNA, 97 acres of wetland property on the Coquille Spit, $300,000 in cash to control gorse on state park property, $450,000 to satisfy match for a federal grant to acquire 11 acres at Whale Cove on the coast on Lincoln County, and $2.5 million to purchase an as-yet unidentified major new state park property.
While recognizing that the State Parks system did receive some valuable components in the exchange, Oregon Shores has argued strongly that it is inappropriate to accept cash to balance out the exchange. (The parcels to be received by the public, while having great ecological value, are undevelopable and worth far less than the land being conveyed to the golf developer.) We believe that a dangerous precedent is being set, opening the way for would-be developers to attempt to buy irreplaceable parks properties, throwing in low-value parcels so that it can be called an “exchange.”
The commission vote was 4-2 in favor. Commissioners Brad Chalfant of Bend and Robin Risley of Cannon Beach voted against the motion, citing their desire to name a specific property as the target for the $2.5 million fund. Oregon Shores appreciates their stance, reflecting our concern that only if a specific property is considered as part of the exchange can the public know whether the overall exchange is truly a good one for the public interest in the park system.
Commission Chair Jay Graves of Portland acknowledged the concern, noting that the commission as a whole would also have preferred to name a specific property. "In the end, the timing makes it too complicated to try and name a new incoming property today," says Graves. "Properties that are important enough to pursue right now can't wait for the exchange to reach fruition." Oregon Shores strongly disagrees. There was no urgency to acquire the Bandon Biota parcels, which can’t be developed in any case. The urgency was entirely on the part of the golf developers.
With the commission's action, the proposal now moves to the federal Bureau of Land Management. The portion of the Bandon State Natural Area included in the exchange originated with the federal government, and was sold to the state on condition the property remain open to public outdoor recreation. This condition must be removed before the property can be transferred to Bandon Biota, a process which could take several months or longer.
This is the first State Parks land exchange conducted under new rules requiring that any such trade have “overwhelming public benefit.” Oregon Shores would state for the record that in facilitating this exchange by accepting from the developer a cash payment unattached to a specific property, the Parks and Recreation Commission has failed to establish an adequate process for assuring that the standard protecting the public interest has been met.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL

 Annual Auction Will Support Oregon Shores’ Work
This raven mask, created by Jane Clugston of The Belfry, will be offered in Oregon Shores' auction.
Our second annual online auction will provide coast-lovers another chance to support Oregon Shores’ work while enjoying travel options (lodging, meals and tours), classes, goods and services (see photo for one unique item that will be offered)
The auction will run May 1-11 (yes, it concludes on Mother’s Day, a symbolic occasion on which to put in a bid to help us protect Mother Earth).
But first, you can help us make the auction a success, and build Oregon Shores’ capacity to defend the coast we love, by donating an item to be auctioned. Do you have lodging or other travel opportunities you can offer? Does your business provide goods or services that would be of interest to those willing to bid in support of coastal conservation? Auction items need not be coast- or outdoor-themed, although of course that helps.
Guidelines from our auction-master: Items should sell for $30. The auction will be open to everyone on eBay, so think in terms of broad appeal, or of goods or services you personally would bid on. Make listing the item easy: provide a link to a website or a complete write up and photo of the item. Make sure if it needs to be shipped that you include its dimensions and how much it weighs. Include a link to a photo, which should be high resolution (if you have it at 100% it should take up most of the computer screen). Suggest a minimum bid—the lowest amount at which you would consider it worthwhile for Oregon Shores to sell the item.
Deadline for auction donations is April 15 (or contact us to make special arrangements). To donate, go here. If the item involves something non-tangible—a certificate for lodging or a class or tour—we will also need a letter mailed separately, ideally on letterhead, confirming that the service is being offered for auction with a description and value (an eBay requirement). You’ll find directions on the donation form.
For questions or help, contact board member Corrina Chase, (541) 921-7394,
or click this.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL

 Shoreline Science Workshops to Return This Summer
Stewart Schultz and Fawn Custer.
CoastWatch will sponsor another series of intensive shoreline science workshops this year. We received highly enthusiastic feedback from the initial round of workshops we conducted last year, so we’re going to do it again.

Stewart Schultz (author The Northwest Coast: A Natural History) and Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, will once again lead intensive three-day workshops that provide in-depth information about beach, dune, wetland and tidepool habitats. Background information will also be presented on topics of concern such as marine debris, invasive species and climate change impacts. The workshops are open to the public, but are particularly designed to enrich the experiences of CoastWatchers in observing the shoreline.
Here are the dates: July 18-20 in Bandon, July 28-30 in Yachats, and August 1-3 somewhere in Tillamook County (several locations still under consideration). More details will be available soon, but meanwhile, if you weren’t able to take one of the workshops last summer (or would like a refresher course), please mark your calendars.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL