Saturday, March 31, 2007

Save The Metolius

Any of you that have fished this river know what a special place it is. You can fish there and not touch a fish all day but feel like your day on the "Met" was one of your best days of fishing ever.The Metolius is just that kind of river!
So here we go again! Another threat by those with no soul and those who care for nothing but their pocket book! Friends we might as well face the fact that this kind of stuff is something we will always have to deal with as long as there is pristine and unspoiled waters.

The following is from Joel LaFollette's Royal Treatment Fly Fishing website

Once again greedy politicians are trying to steal from the public. This time it’s a group of county commissioner looking to cash in on county owned land in the Metolius basin. They’re proposing a sale of two pieces of county owned land for development into destination resorts. One piece of land rests on the hill on the east side of the Metolius basin. This is not where Oregon needs another golf course.

The Metolius basin is a special ecosystem that needs to be protected from this type of development. It is a fragile balancing act that nature has carried on for a millennium and we have already tipped the scales on more than one occasion. It has taken generations to understand how we affect our planet and the Metolius basin and the clear, cold river that flows through it have helped us with that understanding. We have learned that nature does a better job of fish production that we do. We have learned that water quality is important to all living things and is more expensive to restore than protect. We spend millions now to rebuild watersheds and the process takes time. Protection of a watershed offers instant results.

The environmental impact from water use, increased traffic, loss of habitat, chemical run off, increased fire danger and other issues make this a risky proposal for such a delicate area. It is not worth the risk. Jefferson County is facing hard times. Employers are moving out of the county and unemployment is high. Commissioners are looking for a quick fix. That’s not the right way to do anything. You just set yourself up to have to do it all over again the right way. It ends up costing much more. The number of family wage jobs destination resorts bring to an area is minimal. Housing for the workers willing to take the lower paying jobs doesn’t exist. You only have to go as far as Bend to see that there are not enough workers to fill those lower wage jobs. The cost of housing is too high to support a minimum wage work force.

The commissioners are really only looking to increase the county’s tax base. They are not really concerned with the employment picture of their county. Of course to the unemployed worker it seems like there is hope in this proposal, but it is false hope. There will be no winners if these proposed resorts are allowed to be built. In fact we will all lose. Oregonians will have lost one of the most special places in their state. All for a few pieces of fools gold.

For more information on what you can do go to

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