October 31, 2000

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room



Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Peter Sorenson was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.




a. DISCUSSION/Upper Willamette Spring Chinook Working Group Technical Report on Lane County Riparian Corridor and Floodplain Regulations, and the Endangered Species Act 4(d) Rule and Statewide Goal 5 Rule.


Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled that last May they gave a work session briefing to the Board about the ongoing watershed studies, and assessment within the upper Willamette Basin, focusing at the federal listing of the Spring Chinook under the Endangered Species Act.  He said in September the Board approved their periodic review work program, addressing the riparian protection provisions consistent with the Goal 5 Administrative Rule.  He noted this past June, the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) adopted the final 4 D Rule for the Upper Willamette Spring Chinook Salmon with an effective date of January 8, 2001.


Jim Thrailkill, Chair, Upper Willamette Spring Chinook Workgroup, stated that local ownership was very important and it is a unique opportunity for Lane County to be proactive and promote water quality.  He discussed the prepared report. (Copy in file.)  He added that, while the working group was comfortable about the release of the report, they wanted an external review of its content and information summary.  He said the report had gone to three biologists for review and they would be receiving it back in about three weeks.


Jeff Zeller, District Biologist, Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife, noted there is an endangered species in the Willamette Valley administered by the National Marine Fishery Service.  He said the problem is that the species resides where most of the population of Oregon resides.  He said the Spring Chinook are at extremely low levels and that is why there is a listing.


Zeller said that the Oregon Plan was a statewide plan to restore salmon, steelhead and other fish populations within the state.  He noted the main thrust of the Oregon Plan was to restore the habitats and watersheds using community-based efforts.  He said they were hoping for small increases over time for habitat that would maintain the populations.


Thrailkill explained the Chinook Working Group was established in 1997 as an ad hoc advisory group and they have had major accomplishments in managing Spring Chinook and water quality.


Thrailkill said for improvement to the ordinance, the "no net loss" policy should be considered.  He said the current ordinance does not provide for the recruitment of large wood into the system.  He suggested a possible wider setback on the larger stream systems for getting more  wood into the waterway.


Zeller said the river is not a channel--it includes the floodplain and ecological benefits, creating a diversity of habitat within the floodplain.  He said local ownership needed to be part of this and the next step in promoting local ownership.


John Runyon, McKenzie Watershed Council, stated they have a comprehensive watershed assessment that is underway in the McKenzie basin, scheduled for completion next year.  He said they are looking at floodplain and riparian habitats.


Morrison was concerned about time to research this.


Dwyer was concerned about Measure 7 impacts.  He suggested adopting the state’s setbacks.


Ollie Snowden, Public Works, said when the County submits an application, the National Marine Fishery wants the County to consider the full range of activities.  He said they have two limits under the 4 D Rule that affect County operations.  He said that NMFS was looking for a fairly extensive submittal, including the biological environmental baseline to be established.  He said they should not be duplicating efforts in moving toward the 4 D limit request.


Morrison agreed that there were problems with the 4 D Rule.  She wasn’t sure this was the plan that Lane County needed because it fosters gridlock.  She suggested starting over. She declared that dollars were being spent without consideration to outcome.


Thrailkill said the goal of the 4 D Rule is to bring the fish out of the listing to a sustainable level that the people could live with.


Weeldreyer was pleased with the variety of viewpoints that came together with the McKenzie Watershed Council on the review of the riparian ordinance. 


Howe stated that Lane County had an opportunity for local control by starting the public involvement process, taking out the proposed code, and coming back to the Board by February.  He added they wanted to minimize risk to Lane County and its management practices in authorizing development.


MOTION: Land Management staff prepare a proposed amendment to Lane Code 16 and the Rural Comprehensive Plan policies to comply with the Federal Endangered Species Act 4 D Rule and Goal 5 requirements and begin citizen involvement meetings and a public hearing process.

Weeldreyer MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.


VOTE: 3-1 (Morrison dissenting.)

Morrison thought going forward was a mistake.


Howe responded that Lane County was in a unique situation.  He said the Upper Willamette and Spring Chinook working groups were ready to review the County’s riparian ordinance.  He noted that Clackamas County submitted a proposal to NMFS for their management plan and there wasn’t any science review to back it up.  He hoped that if the Board adopted ordinances early next year (based upon the science), that would be submitted to NMFS and it would be the best management program and have scientific findings of support.



Green reported that Cafe Today was opening and there was a celebration at lunchtime.  He attended a National Training for Criminal Justice and community leaders in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 


Weeldreyer stated she heard Governor Kitzhaber speak in Portland.  She said there was a statewide development conference and the commission approved a project providing expanded telecommunication services to Blue River, Culp Creek and communities not covered by fiber optics.  She announced that Friday she attended the dedication of the Middlefork District Ranger station.


Morrison thanked the Board for attending the Joint BCC/Florence City Council in Florence.  She commended the Sheriff’s Department on the United Way Campaign as they had 134% participation over last year.  She announced she would be performing in the play Oklahoma.





There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.


Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary


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