|The Nature Conservancy Ecotrust Salmon Economics February 2012|
|File Size:||2119 kb|
Here are a few comments from property owners in the Coquille Valley.
As you can see it is after 3am and I'm still upset over finding the above document on the internet this evening. If
for some reason this attachmet does not open, please go to google, do a search "china camp creek restoration project grants" and you will find the document around the second or third down on the list "PDF: Analysis of the Economic
Benefits of Salmon Restoration Efforts on the Lower Coquille River and Associated Economic Impacts Report to The Nature Conservancy" dated February 2012, Draft copy, Ecotrust. This was put on the web by Wild River Coast Alliance better know as the conservation arm of Bandon Dunes/Bandon Biota/Michael Keiser. This is the economic impact analysis for the China Camp Creek Project which you are all aware of.
Where in this report does it address the financial impacts to the other landowners in the District that will be affected by this project as well as to Coos County, its businesses, and agriculture? The State of Oregon and the federal government have expended millions of dollars on writing plans: oregon salmon plan, Oregon Coastal Coho ESU plan, Oregon Conservation Strategy, Coquille Sub-basin plan and all this is about is fish and how we landowners, primarily ag and timber, have denuted the land and ruined the fisheries. Yet, these lands were converted to productive agriculture land in the early 1900's and fish production was at high levels for years. One document I looked at showed the downturn I believe in the 60's or 70's. Could the downturn have been contributed to overfishing or lack of predator control? Due to the environmental movement that food sources were removed by cleaning up the streams. We were told to remove the logs, etc. in the streams and now we must put them back in. OOPS, guess the agency made an error! The cheese plant used to put whey into Ferry Creek and the fish counts flourished and when that food source was no longer available to them there was a decline in fish counts. Predation is running rampant via sea lions and cormorants and yet who but us landowners end up paying for the lack of predator control? ODFW introduces species which feed on the smolts but we must spend millions of dollars to restore habitat and take private land off the tax rolls and out of agriculture production. I find it appauling the NGO's become rich on our dollar while our schools, county governments, judicial system suffers due to lack of funds. I personally would prefer to keep those criminals in JAIL and our kids in school rather than have this wetland built right next to me. We worked hard to get this property in the condition it is and now we're expending dollars to protect the very investment which was going to provide an income for our retirement years. I almost died working this land from daylight to dark but the "fish" are far more important than the people.
Legislators, lobbyists, and the public must stand up for what is right! Protect your natural resource industries, private
land ownership, our children, the food supply, local businesses. Stop this crazy move to remove private productive agriculture and forestry land off the tax rolls and out of production through these wetland restoration projects. Charlie
figures that 300 acres probably produces in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million, quarter pound hamburgers a year. How many burgers do the sea lions and cormorants eat? My guess is that beef and lamb have a much more "safe" economic return with no million dollar public investment of taxpayers dollars.
Now that I've got this off my chest, I should probably delete the email but instead I'm going to send it out to you so you have some idea of how we landowners feel when these types of activities are supported by our government. Thanks to the environmental movement, we landowners/business people have so little value in this day and age. Go look at a converted wetland and then go look at our property and tell me which is most productive for fish and wildlife.....
Thanks for listening.
PS: I want you to understand how all this wetland conversion is actually affecting us landowners and I have just given you a taste of what is to come. Wait until the whole Coquille Valley is restored to a wetland as proposed by your favorite environmental agencies and NGO's. Think what it will do to Coos County and its people. But remember, it is about fish and not people, jobs, businesses, families, and private lands.
a very quick scan of the report offers these repudiations to the study:
- it appears they are not including cost of the land in the cost of the project. the costs listed are just for the restoration work, not the cost of acquisition of the land.
- they are not accounting for the loss of revenue to the local economy for all the small businesses currently on this land. this is year-round revenue, not revenue for a very short period during salmon fishing season. this
should be easy to tilt the other direction.
- they are taking as "normal" an unusually high number of fish present after we had decimated the Indian population. there is probably a better way to phrase this, but need to go back much further to get a realistic count of fish on the river.
it should actually be easy to refute their study, but the challenge is getting attention paid to our presentation. nature conservancy has recognition and respect, thus carries great clout. we're just a bunch of hicks who are resistant to change.
1 billion people on the planet, hunter-gatherers. 7 billion people on the planet - you need agriculture. agriculture by its nature changes the face of the land. we can find a way to accommodate both the environment and agriculture, but as the drought continues in the center of our nation do we really want to be taking land out of production here?
wish i could help more. the comment letter i sent in several months ago has the seeds of some of these thoughts in it.